Baby’s born in NSW will soon receive a free baby hamper containing a sleeping bag, wrap, nappies, change mat and children’s book.
Valued at around $150, the “baby bundle” is part of a $157 million parenting package to be unveiled on Tuesday when Treasurer Dominic Perrottet hands down the last state budget before the election in March.
The hampers, being labelled as “lifesaving”, will include washable breastpads, a thermometer, sanitiser, toothbrush and nappy rash cream, are meant to encourage parents to read key health messages contained within the package, covering topics such as dental care, breastfeeding, child-proofing a home and a child’s key developmental stages.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the baby bundle was designed to encourage parents to consume important health messages.
“It will not only help reduce some of the initial costs faced by new parents, but it will also support positive health and development outcomes for babies and their families,” Ms Berejiklian said.
With 90,000 babies born in NSW annually, this will cost taxpayers a staggering $13.5 million every year.
Waste of well needed dollars?
But like news.com.au writer, Alexandra Carlton argues, How is this lifesaving? “They will do nothing to address the real problems that face Australian mothers and babies every day — things like peri- and post-natal depression, sudden infant death syndrome and household child safety.
Alexandra adds, “The costs of these hampers compared to the money being earmarked for truly critical — and lifesaving — services for new parents is huge.”
“Specialist peri-natal and infant mental health services” will receive a tiny $1.1 million in extra cash in the upcoming budget .
Just $4.3 million will go towards more home nurse visits.
Why not put the money towards something really lifesaving, like first aid courses, argues Alexandra.
Alexandra also thinks we should consider the hampers be means-tested so they only go to families who really need them.
It’s easy to see why some parents are excited by this bag of swag. Everyone loves a freebie. But what they really is a flashy Band-Aid solution dreamt up by a government who hopes to dazzle new parents with bells and whistles rather than putting any real elbow grease into addressing real life problems.
What do you think of the new baby bundle for new parents?
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