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Helping families to give their baby the best start in life.

A new baby is a time of joy and celebration – but it can also be a time of stress and anxiety for the parents-to-be. BabyStart is helping to remove some of that stress amongst vulnerable families, by providing items to ensure their newborn is kept safe and warm.

Taking inspiration from the famous Finnish baby box concept, BabyStart gifts a cardboard box to expectant parents containing almost 40 care items such as nappies, disposable wipes and washcloths, and high-quality baby clothing.

The box also comes with a custom-fitted mattress and bedding, which allows the parents to use it as a safe sleeping space for their baby.

Distributed through Lead Maternity Carers and midwives, priority is given to families who are at risk of SUDI (Sudden Unexpected Death in Infancy) or meet material hardship criteria.

And since the first box was given away in March 2016, the outcomes have been beneficial for both the families and for the midwives.

One such family found the box helped to make life much less stresssful.

"It helped with so much. We didn't feel the need to buy any more products and it gave us some of the things we did not have. Life became easier."

Meanwhile midwives can not only see the immediate benefits to the families, but the box also helps them to educate new parents on the best way to care for their child:

"The woman was so relieved to have received this gift. The clothing and bedding provided a great tool for me to educate the family - I also managed to get this family to stop using polar fleece."

In 2017 BabyStart successfully applied for a Grassroots Giving grant which, along with other secured funding, has enabled them to reach more families in the last six months than the originally anticipated 19.

BabyStart's long-term goal is to reach the most challenged 10% of births in the Auckland region, providing boxes to approximately 2,000 babies each year.

Photo supplied by BabyStart.