A PAIR of caring mothers are hoping to help reduce infant mortality rates by introducing a radical concept to the UK.
Susan Purse and Sarah Simons, who both live in Dedham, have looked to Finland in a bid to keep babies safe.
Baby boxes, sturdy boxes with fitted mattresses, have been gifted to Finnish parents as part of a starter kit for the past 80 years.
Now Susan and Sarah are at the forefront of pushing the idea in the UK with their business British Baby Box.
“It might sound odd to tell new mums to put their precious bundle to bed in what is essentially a cardboard box, but studies have shown that putting a baby to sleep in a baby box rather than a cot or Moses’ basket can help reduce the causes associated with sudden infant death syndrome,” said Susan.
“We want to inform and educate British parents on the idea and our company has created a range of options to make the concept affordable and accessible to all.”
Susan has a personal reason for wanting the product to succeed in the UK.
Her fourth child was stillborn and she believes that protecting babies is something which should begin at conception.
This is why their company supports not only the Lullaby Trust but the charity Kicks Count as well.
They have also formed a number of partnerships with other charities and organisations to reach more vulnerable women and children.
They were also involved in sending boxes to Syrian refugees in Greece and delivered them to a women’s charity in Iraq.
Thanks to a hugely successful pilot scheme in Clackmannanshire and Orkney, all newborn children in Scotland are now set to receive one.
“Our aim is to be at the forefront of delivering the baby box concept to the UK,” she said, “but we are mothers first and businesswomen second.
“We firmly believe all babies deserve the best start in life and baby boxes are not just a hot parenting trend.”
Baby boxes have already been introduced via Colchester General Hospital which teamed up with American charity the Baby Box Company to give one to each of the 3,700 mums who give birth in north east Essex every year.
The boxes are designed to help reduce cot death as they stop babies from rolling on to their tummies.
The UK has high rates of infant mortality and is 22nd out of 50 European countries with 4.19 deaths per 1,000 births.