Upon taking office, Gov. Kay Ivey moved to abolish the Office of Rural Development, leaving many to ask about the future of newly launched Baby Box Program.
In March, under the direction of former Gov. Robert Bentley, the state began to offer new parents a box full of baby goods for free aimed to help improve family health care outcomes and reduce Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUIDS).
On Tuesday, Ivey put families across the state at ease when she announced her support for the continuation of the Baby Box Program. Implementation of the program has now transitioned to the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR).
In 2017 alone, the program is expected to distribute up to 60,000 Baby Boxes across the Yellowhammer State, ensuring that every expecting family in Alabama has access to this free resource regardless of socioeconomic background.
“The Baby Box program is important for expectant families in our state. Being able to provide this much needed resource is important for the promotion of a strong understanding of infant care,” Ivey said. “The information learned through this program is imperative during the beginning stages of life, because it helps decrease the infant mortality rate and increase awareness for all families. Children are our future and their future begins with a safe sleeping environment.”
Looking forward, DHR will be reaching out to the organizations that have volunteered to help parents access the Baby Boxes and provide parenting education. DHR will also be actively recruiting new organizations to help new and expecting parents acquire their own Baby Boxes.
“DHR is pleased to have the opportunity to continue this important program. Children are vulnerable at birth and continue to be at a heightened risk during the first months of their lives,” said DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner. “Child deaths due to unsafe sleeping environments are totally preventable. Making sure that children have a safe sleep environment is one of the most important things we can do to protect infants.”
All expecting parents living in Alabama are eligible to receive a Baby Box which includes newborn essentials such as diapers, baby wipes, activity cards, breast pads and nipple cream for breastfeeding mothers, onesie, waterproof tote bag and more.
New parents interested in obtaining a Baby Box need only follow these three simple steps:
- Register for free online at babyboxuniversity.com as an Alabama resident. Be sure to include your correct contact information, including mailing address.
- Watch the 10-15 minute Alabama syllabus at babyboxuniversity.com. After taking a short quiz, you will receive a certificate of completion and be able to select local pick-up or direct delivery of your Baby Box.
- If you select direct delivery, your Baby Box will ship to the address you provided when you registered on Baby Box University. If you select local pick up, bring your Baby Box University certificate to the closest participating distribution site to collect your Baby Box.