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Baby bundles arrive in Ballarat

The Andrews Labor Government’s free baby bundles for first-time parents are being delivered to new families across Ballarat from today.

Labor MPs Michaela Settle and Juliana Addison made a special delivery of baby bundles to new parents welcoming their first baby at Ballarat Base Hospital this morning.

Across Victoria, around 35,000 new parents every year will receive a free baby bundle with all the essentials they need to help guide them through the first few months and years of their child’s life.

The bundle is valued at $150 and comes with a teething ring, nappy bag, safe sleeping bag, a cotton wrap, first aid kit, baby sunhat, toothbrush and a grow suit.

Ms Addison said the bundles will help first-time Victorian parents build safe sleeping practices and support their child’s learning and development through regular reading and playtime.

“Bringing your bundle of joy home for the first time is life changing but we also know it can be challenging. We are making this precious moment that little bit easier and ensuring our youngest Victorians have everything they need to thrive,” Ms Addison said.

Ms Settle said the bundle also contains four picture books for various stages of a child’s development.

“Not only are we giving local parents the help they need, we’re also giving some of Victoria’s emerging authors their big break,” she said.

“The bundles are a great idea which will help make the early stages of parenting a little easier,” Ms Settle said.

Almost 1,200 people had their say on which books should be selected for the bundle, with the public nominating 332 different books.

A panel of experts in childhood literacy and development decided on the winning books, all by Victorian authors:

  • Baby Days by Nicola Philp
  • Ten Little Owls by Renee Treml
  • Puddle Hunters by Kirsty Murray and Karen Blair
  • Gumtree Buddies, a soft pram book produced by Tiger Tribe

Ballarat Health Services Acting Director of Women’s and Children’s Services and Midwifery, AnneMarie McKenzie, said her staff were delighted to provide first-time parents with a baby bundle.

“The baby bundles deliver important information to parents, along with some useful items and books. It’s lovely to see how families have been genuinely excited to receive the goodies and know that there are services to support them on their journey,” Ms McKenzie said.

Bundles will be handed out to new parents by maternal and child health nurses at Ballarat Base Hospital and St John of God Hospital from today.

Baby bundles are part of the Labor Government’s $213.7 million plan to give new parents the information, support and care their family needs – with new parenting centres, more maternal and child health nurses and round-the-clock specialist sleep advice.