Every child born in Scotland from today (August 15) will receive a baby box full of essential items from the Scottish Government.

Each box contains a large number of practical items that will help to promote health and tackle inequality. It also doubles up as a safe space for the baby to sleep, having been awarded British Safety Standard accreditation as a crib for domestic use.

Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson said: “I’m extremely proud of this Scottish Government initiative, which will help Falkirk bairns to thrive in those vital early months and provide practical support to their parents.

“One of the many great things about the baby box is that feedback from families and healthcare professionals will be used to keep the contents under review, which will ensure that it perfectly meets the needs of newborns and their parents.

“This is a really worthwhile investment in our future generations and further evidence of the Scottish Government’s commitment to give every child the best possible start in life.”

Dr Catherine Calderwood, the chief medical officer for Scotland, added: “All the evidence shows that the early years are crucial for children’s development. What happens then can be linked to outcomes much later in life.

“Over and above the practical benefits the items within the baby box provide, it also offers healthcare professionals a unique opportunity to introduce expectant parents to a wide range of health promotion information.”