Mums of all Scottish newborn babies are set to receive a free baby book from UNICEF as part of the Glasgow 2014 legacy ambitions to improve the wellbeing of children in Scotland.
The book, Baby, I Love You, was launched today, (Friday 4 July) as part of UNICEF's partnership with Glasgow 2014, which aims to reach every child in Scotland and children across the Commonwealth.
It has been designed by UNICEF, the world's leading children's organisation, to help build loving and nurturing relationships between new parents and their baby, through encouraging skin contact, holding, stroking, playing and singing.
Mums and babies at a drop in centre in Glasgow were joined by Scotland’s Children’s Commissioner Tam Baillie, Dr Kate McKay Senior Medical Officer for the Scottish Government and David Grevemberg, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014 for the launch.
The mums were given a sneak preview of the book, which is being funded by money raised through the ground-breaking partnership between UNICEF and Glasgow 2014, which will culminate in a single world-wide fundraising moment at the Opening Ceremony on 23 July, when all the expected one billion viewers will be invited to make a donation to Put Children First.
With the message “You can’t spoil your baby with love”, the simple board book, with words written to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, has the support of NHS Health Scotland, and will be given out to every new mother by her health visitor at the first home visit.
UNICEF Ambassador Ewan McGregor, himself a father of four, has recorded an audio version of the book.
He said: “UNICEF’s Baby, I Love You book is a fantastic gift to kids in Scotland and their mums and dads.
“Momentous sporting events have the power to really transform kids’ lives over the long-term. It’s great that UNICEF’s baby book supports the special bond between parent and child, and will be part of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games legacy.”
Tam Baillie, Scotland’s Commissioner for Children and Young People, said:
“I am delighted to be giving out the first of the Baby, I love you books. All parents can identify with loving their baby and there is nothing more natural than hugging, reading and singing to your baby. UNICEF has hit just the right note with these great wee books helping parents bond with their children in this precious time for their development. I think it is a great ambition to get to every baby in Scotland.
Glasgow 2014 Chief Executive, David Grevemberg, said:
“Glasgow 2014 and UNICEF’s ambition is to positively impact the lives of children in Scotland and across the Commonwealth. Baby I Love You is a charming book, which celebrates the bond between parents and their newborn children.”
Teresa Bergin, Director of Programmes for UNICEF UK, said:
“Baby, I Love You is a gift from UNICEF with love to all new babies and their parents in Scotland. We hope that this beautiful little book will be enjoyed by families for many years to come, and that it will help parents trust their instincts, and know there is no such thing as too much love when it comes to caring for their new baby.”
Dr Kate McKay, Senior Medical Officer with the Scottish Government, said:
“Forging a strong connection from their earliest days is vital for a child’s development, and a key component in the Scottish Government’s commitment to getting it right for every child. A strong attachment with a parent, which can be encouraged with the advice in this book, can enhance a child’s self-esteem, self- confidence and, ultimately, help shape how a child grows and develops into adulthood.”
Detective Chief Superintendent, John Carnochan, formerly director of the Scottish Violence Reduction Unit, said:
“We are all born connected and when that connection is broken or is absent it is very stressful and harmful. The most important thing we can give our children from the moment they are born is our time. Time spent with your baby talking to them, touching them, smiling, singing will help prepare them for life. The science that supports the importance of early years is vast and cast iron; I’m not a scientist and I think it’s a magic time.”
The book builds on UNICEF’s existing long-term Baby Friendly work across health settings in Scotland, which aims to get all newborn babies off to the best start in life.
Baby I Love You is published by Nosy Crow, with illustrations by Helen Stephens. It will be given as a gift to the mother of every child born in Scotland between the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
You can download a recording of Ewan McGregor reading Baby I Love You here www.unicef.org.uk/BabyILoveYou
Notes to editors:
1. The Commonwealth Games is an international, multi-sport event involving 71 teams of athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and takes place every four years. Glasgow 2014 will be the XX Commonwealth Games and will be held from 23 July to 3 August. It will feature 17 sports in 11 days of competition with 261 medal events on show. The Games will play host to 4500 athletes and sell 1,000,000 tickets with the event aided by an army of 15,000 volunteers. Glasgow 2014 Ltd is the official name for the Organising Committee tasked with delivering the Games in partnership with the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council and Commonwealth Games Scotland.
2. Glasgow 2014’s official partner level sponsors are Longines, SSE, Virgin Media, BP, Emirates and Ford. For more information on Glasgow 2014’s full sponsor family, please visit http://www.glasgow2014.com/games/our-sponsors
3. Baby I Love You contains words and pictures designed to encourage parents to follow their instinctive nurturing behaviours, which include keeping their baby close day and night, lots of skin contact, stroking, looking into her or her eyes, and responding to what they think their baby is trying to tell them.
Evidence indicates that these sorts of behaviours lead to better brain development, and a strong mother-baby and father-baby bond – the foundation on which all other relationships are subsequently formed. Plenty of skin contact between the mother and baby is also known to support breastfeeding, which provides profound health benefits to both mother and child.
4. Glasgow 2014, the Commonwealth Games Federation and UNICEF are working together in an exciting partnership that will transform the lives of children in Scotland and throughout the Commonwealth. Using the power of sport and culture this unique partnership aims to inspire, enable and empower the children of the Commonwealth to be the best they can be.
5. You can download a recording of Ewan McGregor reading Baby I Love You here www.unicef.org.uk/BabyILoveYou. There is also a recording of Mairi Campbell singing the song
6. For further information please contact Sarah Vincent at UNICEF UK on firstname.lastname@example.org, 07814 447935 or Glasgow 2014 PR Manager Kate McCheyne on email@example.com 030 2014 0176 / 07557 565 423