Mums share disappointment that handwritten 'red book' is set to go digital

The precious keepsake used to record a baby's development is moving online.

Mums across the UK have shared their disappointment at the news that the little 'red book', given to all parents to take home with their new baby, will soon be made digital.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock announced the handwritten book will be switched to a digitised version in a bid 'to keep up to pace with the times', and is part of a new government plan to improve NHS care for mothers and babies.

The sentimental book, used to help parents track their baby's development, is set to go online as soon as 2024, at the latest.

Mums have taken to Twitter to share their dismay that future parents will be left without this sweet reminder of their baby's birth and the first precious stages of their growth. One mother wrote of the switch to an online book:

Another reflected on her own attachment to her red book:

One user, who is in the health profession, also spoke of her concern:

And one mother spoke on behalf of many with this comment:

The 'red book' is a health record for babies and children up to four years old. It is given to every parent upon the birth of their child, and contains information such as a list of all the vaccinations your baby will need to have, along with a growth chart and other health related data.

The announcement has received a mixed reaction from parents and health professionals, with some disagreeing as to whether this way of logging health information will be more efficient for everyone.

Writing for the Huffington Post, Senior midwife Marie Louise stated that she believes it will ultimately help improve NHS care for mothers and new babies as 'the new digital records will probably be more convenient and easier for parents to access.'

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Other people, however, have also argued about the accessibility of a purely digitised 'red book' and have aired these views on Twitter.

One user wrote: 'As a health visitor who works with red books every day, this will be a disaster for vulnerable families who very often don't have Internet access. Health staff will have babies details, but many families won't. Did anybody ask parents what they want??'

Another expressed their concern with the new NHS plan: 'What happens if you can't afford technology or lack the mental capacity to use your digital records'

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Freelance Lifestyle Writer

Niamh McCollum is a freelance lifestyle writer who has written for Future titles GoodTo and Marie Claire UK, plus the Irish Independent. The Dublin-based journalist specialises in stories 

affecting families - from health updates, to the freshest parenting debates and celebrity announcements.