First ‘Baby Bundles’ to be delivered to expectant parents

First ‘Baby Bundles’ to be delivered to expectant parents

Marc Ó Cathasaigh T.D. for Waterford, and the Green Party Spokesperson for Social Protection, with Roderic O’Gorman, T.D. Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth at the rollout of the pilot initiative. (Pic: Michael Chester)

Hundreds of expectant parents will receive a new ‘baby bundle’ in the coming days as part of a pilot announced by Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman.

The scheme – a first of its kind in Ireland – will see a ‘Little Baby Bundle’ filled with a range of useful items, including play items to encourage early communication and bonding, household items for help with safe bathing and safe sleep, as well as a range of other items to support new parents after the birth. This welcome gift, from the State for a new arrival, to a family acknowledges this very significant and special moment for parents.

300 families from the Rotunda Hospital and 150 families attending Waterford University Hospital were invited to take part in the pilot. The Baby Bundle will be delivered to the homes of participating parents at a time of their choosing. Parents participating in the pilot initiative will subsequently be asked to share their views and experiences of the Baby Bundle and its contents, which will inform the development of proposals for wider national rollout.

Welcoming rollout of the pilot, Green Party TD for Waterford Marc Ó Cathasaigh said: “Waterford is very well placed for this pilot scheme having a city and county-wide catchment area opposite the Rotunda in the centre of Dublin and the feedback from these two hospitals will steer the project into the future. It is so important to support families as they manage those essential first few weeks of their child’s life as they get into new routines and start on their new family journey. This period can be very challenging for new parents, so I hope that this gift from the state will help ensure Irish children will have the best start in life and will help them go on to reach their potential. I want to thank my colleague Minister O’Gorman for including UHW, where my own three children were born, in the scheme”

Waterford Green Party Councillor Cristíona Kiely added: “I’m delighted to see Waterford families start to receive their baby boxes now in the coming weeks. As a parent of 4 children, I would have loved to have received one of these boxes after having one of my own babies in UHW. The boxes will be filled with essential items for both mum and baby and they are modelled on the Baby Boxes from Finland which have been available to all babies born in Finland for 75 years. This is a pilot scheme so the feedback from the families receiving these boxes will be most useful for finalising the items for the next stage of the scheme.”

Minister Roderic O’Gorman said:

“I’m delighted to see the new Baby Bundles arrive at the doors of new parents. We have seen how well this scheme works in other jurisdictions, and through this pilot, we can get a real sense from parents of how well the scheme works. Our hope is that the bundles will be a welcome gift from the State for the new arrivals, full of the kind of practical items that parents need in those first few weeks and months”.