Gifts for new babies

By Seymour Telegraph

First time parents in Victoria will be gifted a baby bundle by the Andrews Government starting from July.

But first, the government wants to know what people’s favourite baby books by Victorian authors are.

Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos announced nominations were open and the public could have its say on which books by Victorian authors for children aged two years and under should go in the bundle.

‘‘Sharing books from birth is the most powerful way to boost literacy and numeracy and build your child’s love of literature. I urge everyone to nominate their favourite children’s books today,’’ Ms Mikakos said.

The Andrews Government plans on delivering 35000 of the bundles starting from July this year.

The Baby Bundles will include a nappy bag, growsuit, safe sleeping bag, muslin wrap, teething ring, information on safety and parenting, and picture books for various stages of a child’s development.

Research shows that children who are regularly read to and have easy access to books at home do better when they start school.

A panel of experts will examine all the nominated books and then come up with a shortlist.

An independent advisory panel will also help choose the other items in the bundle, making sure new parents get the best advice and products.

‘‘Bringing your bundle of joy home for the first time is life changing. We are making this precious moment that little bit easier and less stressful for new mums and dads,’’ Mr Mikakos said.

‘‘I know being a parent is one of the toughest jobs there is. Our baby bundles will set up first-time parents with the very best tips, products and confidence they need to give their baby the best start to life.’’