In Finland every expectant mother receives a Baby Box, for free. No matter how much they earn. Above is the 2012-2013 baby box and contents. It’s full of everything you need for the first 6 months of your baby’s life. The box itself doubles as a moses basket and it even comes with a mattress to make that a viable proposition as well as a sleeping bag and snow suit. For full contents you can see the website. Of course not every mother needs the box, you can opt for a €140 grant instead (the box and contents is worth about €200)
Tastefully selected, there is a real push from companies to supply (imagine the size of the orders!) so it obviously costs the government much less than it would cost each family to purchase all items separately.
As well as being down right handy, the box also is a huge stress reliever for new parents. No panic over what do I need to buy and how much? Have I forgotten something vital? No pouring over stupid lists in magazines which tell you invariably that you simply cannot cope without a baby wipes warmer or some other ridiculous piece of useless kit. You simply open your box and there it is.
So, let’s look at Britain. Here we have the Bounty pack.
On your first midwife visit you receive your first pack – thereby highlighting it’s legitimacy and importance. You’re told that the plastic sleeve is the perfect size for your folder of medical notes to stop it getting wet, like it was meant to be. Inside you find all sorts of bits of information. Here’s my latest first Bounty pack –
Inside was the following
- NHS Scotland leaflet on Whooping Cough
- photocopy of Unicef leaflet “Feeding Your New Baby”
- NHS leaflet (photocopy) “A guide to your baby’s movements during pregnancy”
- NHS Scotland booklet “Off to a good start” about breastfeeding
- NHS DVD “from bump to breastfeeding”
- Money Advice Service booklet “Having a baby”
- Money Advice Service booklet “Parent’s guide to money”
- business card for Tommy’s PregnancyLine (talk to a midwife)
So far, so good (although there are other options for feeding which a new mum might need information on)
But, here’s the rest
- form to complete to take in to a select number of stores to pick up my next Bounty pack
- Cussons stretch mark cream sample and 30p off voucher (stretch mark creams are not proven to do anything)
- advertising from Family Investments
- advertising from Ocado – £20 off first shop over £80
- voucher from photobox – free prints or 1 free poster print
- advertising from Sainsbury’s for £15 off first online shop (ie doesn’t apply to me)
- strange card for framing your scan pic from Bepanthen
- advertising from mamabloom.com
- advertising from 24studio.co.uk
- voucher for £1.50 off pregnancy vitamins
- magnet for the fridge with list of foods to avoid, although confusingly looks like foods to eat
- form to join the Bounty club
- Bounty magazine
So, an awful lot of useless stuff mixed in with some actually quite important stuff and only one pathetic sample for a product that is not scientifically proven to do anything at all.
Today I took in the form to pick up the second Bounty pack. This pack is much much thicker so hopefully has some more useful things inside.
- sample of fairy washing powder
- sample of simple hydrating light moisturiser
- sample of sudocrem (I’m allergic to it!)
- sample of Tena liner
- newborn size baby towel with 2 x persil washing liquid samples and 2 x comfort fabric softener samples and vouchers off full priced products (impressed, this wasn’t in my pack for Katja)
- ovaltine sample (hot chocolate drink)
- advertising from Dettol sealed in a plastic bag to make it look like a sample
- card from bliss re premature baby support
- ocado, photobox, sainsburys advertising as before
- advert from 24ace.co.uk – looks just as dodgy as the 24studio.co.uk one
- catalogue from Babies R Us
- catalogue from Anglecare
- catalogue from Fisher-Price
- voucher for a free rattle providing you join the Fisher Price club (free)
- Bounty magazine
So, another bag largely full of useless, although admittedly better than the first for samples this one is woefully short on actual information.
Apparently Asda gives additional samples with the packs, but I was unable to locate an Asda that I could get to that had stock and after two months gave up and collected mine from Boots.
I can’t help wondering how many people actually use all those silly advertising things. Surely companies like Sainsbury’s would be better off including a sample of one of the body suits (which are actually very good). I’m impressed by the Persil/Comfort inclusion, but it’s pathetic compared to Finland!
Anyway, I thought other new mums might be interested in seeing what you get when you sign up to the horror of Bounty!