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A box to put the baby in: UK parent perceptions of two box programmes promoted for infant sleep

Ball, Helen L. and Taylor, Catherine E. and Yuill, Cassandra M. (2021) 'A box to put the baby in: UK parent perceptions of two box programmes promoted for infant sleep.', International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (21). p. 11473.


Between 2016 and 2019 two different infant sleeping-box interventions were implemented in England: 1) shallow polypropylene baby boxes were distributed via a feasibility study to families with Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) risk-factors; and 2) a commercial-health system partnership scheme distributed cardboard baby boxes to new mothers in particular locations. We conducted parent-evaluations of both interventions at the time of implementation. The views of 79 parents receiving polypropylene boxes and 77 parents receiving cardboard boxes were captured using online questionnaires and telephone interviews. Participants provided feedback on education received about using the box, their perception of the box design and materials, their experiences of using the box they received, and whether they would recommend it to others. Parents appreciated that both boxes provided a portable space to place their baby near them anywhere in the home, discouraging other riskier practices. The polypropylene box was rated more favourably regarding transparency, hygiene, and portability outside the home. A minority of parents found the idea of putting their baby in any box unappealing, however younger mothers and smokers particularly appreciated the ability to safely co-sleep with their babies using the shallower box. Overall, the versatility of the polypropylene box scheme was more positively evaluated than the cardboard baby box scheme which, stripped of its social value as part of a larger welfare provision, had minimal value for parents that received it.

Item Type:Article
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Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.
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Publisher statement:This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited
Date accepted:28 October 2021
Date deposited:21 December 2021
Date of first online publication:31 October 2021
Date first made open access:21 December 2021

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