What We Do

What We Do

Our Purpose

While we do offer baby boxes for sale to anyone who wants one, we are a charity first and foremost.

Our mission is simple:

Today, every baby born in New Zealand has the right to have their needs met

Tomorrow, our goal is to make sure they are

We will achieve our mission by providing comprehensive packages designed to keep new babies warm and safe for the first 100 days of life and beyond. Each package contains clothing, care products and bedding and comes packaged in a large cardboard box which serves as a safe sleep space.

One of our most important focuses is less about safe sleep or the products we provide but rather the connection which the gift of a baby box can contribute to between healthcare or social work professionals and their clients. The process of gifting and explaining the box and its contents is, in our view, the most valuable aspect of the BabyStart programme.

Our Results

We have carefully put together a box full of items that are both useful and of high quality. We have consulted with organisations including the Ministry of Health, Plunket, the New Zealand College of Midwives, the University of Auckland and several District Health Boards.

In March 2016 we gave away our very first box to a three day old boy on his first day home from hospital.  His family and midwife had grave concerns for his wellbeing.  After being given a baby box, he not only had a safe place to sleep but he also benefited from organic cotton and merino clothing and all the basic items he would need to thrive.

Since then we have given away several hundred boxes to babies in need. These are just some of the comments from families who have received a box:

By getting gifted this stuff there was more money for food for other children

I hadn't thought of reading to my baby but after seeing the book in the box I'm going to go and look for more books

Sleeping baby in the box takes a lot off my mind

Safety

Safety is our number one priority.  The majority of our products are already well-established but we have worked very hard to ensure that the famous box itself is as safe as possible.

At present, there are no compulsory safety standards for bassinets and newborn safe sleep devices in New Zealand.

However, we have already taken steps to make our baby boxes as safe as possible.  These include:

- Ensuring a distance of 250mm from the top of the mattress to the edge of the box

- Constructing the box from one solid piece of cardboard with a double layered bottom, double layered long sides and triple layered short sides. We advise against carrying a baby in the box but have made it as strong as possible in the event this does occur.

- Performing migration testing to comply with AS/NZS ISO 8124.3:2012. This standard applies to cots and toys sold in New Zealand and relates to the migration (or transfer) of elements from products to children. In other words, if a baby is sleeping in the box, it has been tested to be safe in the case of the baby sucking or licking the walls.

- Every box comes with safety instructions on the lid and base as well as a list of emergency contact numbers

In addition to the box, we have designed the mattress to be firm and snug fitting with gaps of no more than 20mm between it and the box walls.  The mattress is produced in New Zealand.  It is 25mm thick and covered in a polyester coating on its underside with a water protective polyurethane layer.  The inner mattress is constucted from polyurethane Enviro Foam and contains no CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons).

Each box contains two envelope or pillowcase style fitted bottom sheets which are designed to fit as snugly as possible.  In addition, there are two wraparound top sheets which are placed under the mattress before it is placed in the box.  These then wrap around and tuck in to snugly secure baby while still allowing them to free their hands in the event of something covering their face. One sheet set is a 300 thread count sateen which is perfect for warmer temperatures while the other is a heavier interlock fabric which will help keep baby warm and snug when it is cooler. All sheets are made from GOTS organic cotton.

Getting a Box

There are three ways to get a BabyStart Box.

Firstly, we work with Lead Maternity Carers, other midwives and social workers to provide free boxes that they can give to clients who need them the most. This is at their discretion and we provide them with as many boxes as we can find funding for. This includes hospital-based and community midwives, many of whom deal with babies whose parents have not had any contact with a midwife or LMC until the day their baby is born. We currently have a waiting list of distributors but you can contact us to find out more about availability in your area. Please note, we are unable to provide baby boxes directly to recipients on request but rather need the referral of a distributor who is already working with us.

Secondly, we provide the boxes at cost price to District Health Boards, agencies, community groups, midwives and charities that work with babies who need extra help. If you would like to know more about purchasing boxes on behalf of an organisation please contact us.

Finally, the boxes are available for purchase for anyone in New Zealand. Each box sold enables us to purchase one to give away to a baby in need. The recommended retail cost for each box is approximately $900 but thanks to the generosity of our suppliers we are able to offer them for a discount while still being able to give away an identical box to a baby in need.  Please visit our Purchase page for more information.