WITH the days counting down to the arrival of their first child the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a received a welcomed present - a baby starter kit.
Kela, Finland’s social security agency, has sent the couple a box containing everything parents need for a new addition to their family.
The free package is offered to all expectant mothers in Finland and includes a large selection of clothes, from romper suits to booties, bedding, cloth nappies and child-care products.
Even the box the items come in can be used as a small cot for the baby - something many parents use.
The clothes included in the maternity package are in neutral colours, making them suitable for both girls and boys.
A majority of mums, around 40,000, opt for the package each year with 20,000 choosing an alternative £120 cash benefit.
The practice of giving the essential baby items to new mums has been running for 75 years in Finland.
During the first few decades of the scheme the box contained fabrics because mothers generally made their baby’s clothes, but in the 1950s ready made items made an appearance.
The package has been instrumental in helping to improve the wellbeing of babies as bottles were removed to encourage breast feeding and books included to promote reading.
A Kensington Palace spokeswoman said: “We were delighted to receive the very kind gift of the maternity package from the Finnish government.
“It was a very thoughtful gesture and we’re very grateful for it.”