The RCM has today released a statement supporting the universal provision of baby boxes in the UK.
The Lullaby Trust recognises that for some parents, who do not have a cot or Moses basket for their baby, a box may be a better alternative than co-sleeping in hazardous circumstances, such as on a sofa. We also recognise that the aim of some of the Baby Box schemes is to reduce inequality and give all babies the best start in life. However, the concerns we raised last year about baby boxes remain valid. It is still not possible for baby boxes to fully comply with safety standards, as there is currently no specific standard for the use of a cardboard box as a sleeping place for an infant. Additionally there is still no evidence directly linking the use of a baby box with a reduction in infant mortality or SIDS. Given current pressures on public health budgets, we question whether the call to introduce the scheme across the country is the best use of resources to reduce infant deaths.
In addition, The British Standards Institution has recently commenced work on developing a new standard for cardboard baby boxes because of concerns about possible hazards of using them for infant sleep. We would strongly advise awaiting for the publication of this standard, before any decision is taken to commission manufacturers to provide boxes to give to new families.
For more information on our position on baby boxes please see our position statement
We have also produced guidance for parents who choose to sleep their baby in a baby box download our information leaflet here