“What’s the red book?”

The morning after I’d arrived home with a 3 day old Baby Z a health visitor came knocking on my food at precisely 9am. I remember this very vividly because we’d been up for most of the night with our little party animal who had night and day confused. He’d finally given in about 6am and both the OH and I were exhausted and shocked by how much work this little bundle of joy was creating. Didn’t babies sleep at least 5 hour stretches? Little did we know.

Anyhow, the very perky health visitor was now sat in our front room talking me through various things and giving me about a hundred pamphlets and books to add to the hundred I’d already brought home with me from the hospital. SO much information. When was I going to read it all? How was I going to raise a baby? I barely had time to read it all. And I hadn’t even had a shower yet!

And she kept referring to a red book. What the hell was that? I knew I had a big green book. She shook her head.

“No, no. You should have a red book that the midwife wrote in. Did she not show you?”

I dunno. I was all high on morphine For the first day in hospital, and distracted with trying to pick out a name for Baby Z. I looked around a bit more hoping it would magically show itself. After sifting through even more papers I finally found it and she showed me the baby growth charts and explained how I could take Baby Z to clinics to get him weighed. Oooh.. Ahhh…I’d heard about this from my friends. Suddenly I was interested in what the very eccentric looking lady had to show me.

This became my favourite book during the first year of Baby Zs life. It probably still ranks in the top 3.


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  1. Sarah Wood October 24, 2012 / 7:01 am

    What a lovely post! I love the red books too! My sons go on a lot of Scout and Cub camps now and I’m forever having to write their NHS numbers on forms. I get the red book out to check and suddenly I’m lost looking at their height and weight charts from when they were babies!

    • notmyyearoff November 5, 2012 / 9:23 am

      I do the same thing now and he’s not even 2 yet!

  2. Shell Louise October 24, 2012 / 8:00 am

    Aww I just felt all nostalgic then when I thought about Aiden’s red book. I didn’t bother with the girl’s red books much because I was more relaxed and didn’t get their weight checked every week but I had his checked religiously!
    I must find it out now and have a stroll down memory lane 🙂

    • notmyyearoff November 5, 2012 / 9:23 am

      I get the feeling if and when we have a second I’ll be much more relaxed. I used to go every couple of weeks with z until I started work!

  3. Jenny paulin October 24, 2012 / 8:06 am

    What a wonderful book to include this week. It would never have occuured to me to use mine. I used to go every other week with burton during his first 6 months and ever month til Jenson was born. I have only taken Jenson to baby clinic about 3 times!! Eeek I feel bad but it was hard going with two in tow and they moved my clinic opening times and it always clashed with nap time.
    Great post x

    • notmyyearoff November 5, 2012 / 9:25 am

      I thought there might be lots of Red book entries! I think its because mine is on top of the bookcase and I catch sight of it every other day so it was the first thing I thought of.

  4. Trish @ Mum's Gone To October 24, 2012 / 9:01 am

    A great take on the theme. I must hunt mine out and see whether the projected height chart was right. My boy is 16 now and 6′ tall.

    • notmyyearoff November 5, 2012 / 9:26 am

      Z has always followed one of the lower lines so I worry about his height and weight but I know a lot of women who’ve said the same and have 6ft strapping men as sons now.

  5. dearbeautifulboy October 24, 2012 / 9:37 am

    I have to say the red book is up there as one of my favourites too. Although now I have two to deal with I’m paranoid I’ll put things in the wrong one. But I do love using those little charts at the back to chart their growth and see how big they are getting. X

    • notmyyearoff November 5, 2012 / 9:27 am

      Me too. I haven’t filled any of the other parts in – only the growth charts matter to me!

  6. bavariansojourn October 24, 2012 / 9:55 am

    Bless. Big favourites in our house as well, apart from when I used to forget them when we were going to the doctors! 😀

    • notmyyearoff November 5, 2012 / 9:28 am

      Haha oh I’ve been there too! Luckily I’d taken z so much those first few months they knew who I was. (which is probably not a good thing!)

  7. theminimesandme October 24, 2012 / 10:10 am

    I still have my twos red books. Minxy was way up in the 90th centile when she was born! X

    • notmyyearoff November 5, 2012 / 9:55 am

      Wow, she must have been a very cuddly baby! 🙂

  8. Herding Cats October 24, 2012 / 11:00 am

    Lovely post. I have three of those red books now and apart from vaccinations, they have never been filled in. I am a bad mummy.

  9. Nikki Thomas October 24, 2012 / 11:10 am

    Aha that is a different take on the theme! It is a really nice thing to look back on although I have used it a lot less with A as I rarely saw the health visitor with her.

  10. Becky October 24, 2012 / 11:28 am

    I spilyt tea on mine, lost it found it now treasure it x

  11. prestonprecious October 24, 2012 / 2:53 pm

    How lovely! I forgot to fill out the section of my daughter’s firsts. I am so bad!

  12. Kelloggsville October 24, 2012 / 6:54 pm

    I’d forgotten about that. I’m with Trish, I’m going to hunt it out and see if it was right!

  13. Sinead October 24, 2012 / 8:21 pm

    Lovely post! I want to go and find my daughters now and look at that section, I loved filling it in! xxx

  14. Helpful Mum October 24, 2012 / 8:50 pm

    What a great take on the theme this week. Both of the red books I own are rather neglected. I feel sad that I didn’t fill them in more.

  15. lauracymft October 24, 2012 / 9:25 pm

    I love the red book although I forget to take it with me to the DRs nowadays LOL Great take on the theme 🙂

  16. Emily October 24, 2012 / 9:29 pm

    Love your take on the theme! The red book has lead to me being told off on quite a few occasions though as I ALWAYS forget it! x

  17. Jenn October 24, 2012 / 9:35 pm

    aw, we aren’t given these in the US although I do have baby books for both kids. Kind of. My son’s is filled out until my daughter was born 2 years later. Whose book was sadly neglected, I will admit.

  18. Ericka Waller October 25, 2012 / 1:05 pm

    I’ve lost Thing 3’s red book. She just had her one year jabs and I did not have it with me. The lovely nurse gave me the boxes the jabs came in so I could take the stickers from them and put them in the book, which I assured her was at home. I’ve looked all over the place. I’ve got Thing 1’s book (of course, precious firstborn) shall I stick them in there?

  19. Erica Price October 28, 2012 / 7:56 am

    Our’s is looking a bit dusty now. They get used so much in the first year, but ours hasn’t had an outing in about a year now.

    • notmyyearoff November 5, 2012 / 9:31 am

      I am the same. I used to take him every couple of weeks and the HV actually told me not to come so often if I didn’t have any worries….oops!!! 🙂 I’ve not been for almost a year now though.

  20. TheBoyandMe November 6, 2012 / 12:09 am

    I love the red book too, it shows my healthy boy’s growth and moderating out from the 95th percentile (well he was 10lb 5oz) to the 75th percentile.

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