It doesn’t take a viral video to remind any parent raising kids in the U.S. that American parents have things a whole lot worse than most of the rest of the world. But every once in a while, a viral video comes along anyway. American moms, if you’re feeling salty about your systemic lack of support, now’s a good time to click away — or maybe just put your devices away altogether — because we’re about to talk about the “Scottish baby box.”
A Scottish mom is going mega-viral on TikTok after she posted a video walking viewers through a little tour of her “Scottish baby box.” If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, a baby box is pretty much what it sounds like: a box that moms receive when they’re about to give birth. But in Scotland, they’re provided free of charge by the government, every time you give birth (even if it isn’t your first baby). And as this mom shows in her video, they’re absolutely packed with clothes, toys, and other essentials to help you welcome your new arrival.
Every time I watch something about the Scottish baby box I just sit and dissociate in American pic.twitter.com/qj5tpB9Xog
— Claire Zagorski, MSc, LP (@clairezagorski) October 29, 2023
First, she shows off the box itself, which is covered in fun designs. It’s made that way so that if you have older children, they can color it as a relaxing activity as they wait for their new younger brother or sister to arrive. This allows them to help get the house ready for the baby, since the box is also designed for the baby to sleep in once they’re born.
Then, she starts unpacking and showing off everything that comes inside.
“Inside is an envelope on how to breastfeed… some maternity pads and breast pads, a gorgeous play mat, which is absolutely massive… a tummy time book…a teething toy, a thermometer, a bath and room thermometer, some essential bits like a sponge and some nail files for your baby,” she says.
That’s not all. It also includes a baby blanket with a plush giraffe head on the corner, a travel changing mat, a baby-carrying wrap, gender-neutral clothes and pajamas in different sizes up to six months, hats, bibs, mittens, and socks, a hooded towel, blankets, sheets, a mattress to fit inside the box, and even condoms.
Did we mention all of this is free? Meanwhile, in the U.S., your baby box includes… a five-figure hospital bill.
It’s probably also worth mentioning that while moms in other countries get… all of this, the U.S. is still the only developed nation on Earth that doesn’t mandate paid parental leave. Oh, and other countries with GDPs similar to ours contribute around $14,000 per child per year toward subsidizing child care to keep it affordable for all parents. Meanwhile, in the U.S., COVID-era child care subsidies were just allowed to expire, which means child care, which has recently hit record high prices, is set to increase in cost again in the coming months. But it sure is a good thing our taxes pay for so much military power, right?