Scotland’s Chief Medical officer has defended the SNP’s Baby Boxes ahead of the initiative being launched on Tuesday.

A Baby Box will be given to each Scottish newborn and has received a mixed reaction at home. Some have welcomed the initiative whilst critics have dubbed it a PR stunt. The aim of the box is to help both parents and the early development of children.

Doctor Catherine Calderwood, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland, said: “It’s no secret that the Scottish Government is working hard to ensure that all children have the best possible start in life – what might not be so clear is what this actually means in practice.

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“All the evidence shows that the early years are crucial for children’s development. What happens then can be linked to outcomes much later in life. So we know that measures undertaken in the 0-3 year’s age range have the opportunity to make the biggest impact."

The government will provide a bath, a room thermometer, a baby wrap, a play mat, books and a cellular blanket in every Baby Box given to each new-born child. All items have been designed with the child’s health in mind and aim to tackle inequality in Scottish households.

The box itself also doubles as a "safe sleep space" and has been awarded British Safety standard accreditation to use as a crib at home.