The Rome city council has launched an initiative for newborn babies in Rome, a Baby Kit. The city councillor responsible for children and the family described it as a small gift to parents of babies born in one of the 31 hospitals or clinics that are taking part in the scheme. From 2 May new parents will receive a bag, blue for boys and pink for girls, in which they will find a baby card, valid for a year, entitling them to special discounts at Farmcap chemist shops. The discounts vary from 25 per cent on nappies and sterilizers to 37 per cent on thermometers and baby creams.

There will be a leaflet with advice about paediatricians and gynaecologists and information about where to go for vaccinations.

Included in the baby kit will be a CD of nursery songs and a copy of the United Nations declaration of childrens rights.

Last year 24,803 babies were born in Rome, 12,896 boys and 11,907 girls.