Expectant parents in Ireland to receive free 'baby bundle' worth €500 2 weeks ago

Expectant parents in Ireland to receive free 'baby bundle' worth €500

A welcome initiative.

Piloted in collaboration with the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, and University Hospital, Waterford, around 500 expectant parents in Ireland will receive a free bundle of supplies worth €500 from the State this autumn when their babies are born.

Announcing the plan today, Children's Minister Roderic O’Gorman revealed details of the Little Baby Bundle plan, inspired by similar schemed in Finland and Scotland.

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The "welcome gift" from the State for a new arrival which will include a blanket, a hooded bath towel, a digital thermometer, a bath sponge, a babygro, a vest, muslin cloths, socks, mittens, nappies and cream, wipes, nursing and maternity pads, nipple cream, a breast pump, a sling, a changing mat, and a baby monitor.

The Little Baby Bundle

The welcome bundle will also, according to the Irish Examiner, include information on breastfeeding, safe sleep, and post-natal depression. A resource to inform parents about accessing the national childcare scheme will also be provided.

A booklet will also be included, containing helpful information and advice for expectant parents, such links to online parenting resources and a library card, to "encourage families to build a relationship with their local library, and to encourage reading and parent-infant bonding".

Designed to promote the health and wellbeing of newborns and help parents in the first days and weeks of a baby’s life, the Little Baby Bundle is inspired by similar initiatives in Scotland and Finland. It was rolled out in Finland in the 1930s and in Scotland in recent years. A commitment was made to have the Irish scheme off the ground in the 2020 Programme for Government but it was delayed due to Covid-19.

“We’ve seen the success of similar initiatives in Scotland and Finland and so I’m delighted to announce these plans to pilot the Little Baby Bundle, in collaboration with our partners, the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin, and University Hospital, Waterford," he said.

The scheme will be funded with money from the Dormant Accounts Fund, O'Gorman explained, adding:

"The Little Baby Bundle is about giving each of Ireland’s newest little arrivals a welcome gift, while also providing parents with practical supports as they navigate those special first few weeks and months in their child’s life.”

A procurement process for the Little Baby Bundle managing agent is now underway and a request for tenders for the Little Baby Bundle evaluation partner, who will examine whether the Little Baby Bundle is suitable for wider roll-out, will be published later this Summer.