They've been hailed as the reason why Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world.

Now Finnish-style 'baby boxes' will be given to new mothers in Watford for the first time in an attempt to reduce levels of cot deaths.

The sturdy cardboard boxes - which come complete with a foam mattress, waterproof mattress cover, cotton sheet and other baby essentials - are designed to be a baby's first bed.

The boxes will be given out by Alternatives Watford Pregnancy Crisis and Support Centre, which is being supported by Watford Borough Council.

In Finland, the baby boxes were introduced in the 1930s when cot deaths were high - and it is thought their introduction contributed to the reduction in the infant mortality rate in the country.

The rate fell from 65 infant deaths per 1,000 births in 1938 to 2.26 per 1,000 births in 2015.

Publicity in the UK surrounding the baby boxes spiralled when the Finnish government sent one of their boxes to the Duchess of Cambridge when she was pregnant with Prince George.

The boxes will be given free to anyone who is 32 weeks pregnant and claiming universal credit, living in temporary accommodation or under 16-years-old.