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Register your baby's birth

Register your baby's birth

All births in England and Wales must be registered within 42 days of the child being born.

More information about how to do this and what you'll need to bring with you can be found at your local register office. If your baby was born in York, you can register your baby at the York Register Office. If your baby was born within England and Wales but outside York itself, you can make a formal declaration at York Register Office, which we will forward to the registration district where your child was born. You can book this online for a baby born in York but note we cannot issue any certificates if your baby was not born in York.

After you have registered your baby, you may decide you would like to have a religious ceremony for family and friends to join you and help celebrate the birth and naming of your child. There are many different rituals that are practised within different cultures and religions, including:

  • Christening
  • Baptism
  • Jatakarma
  • Naam Karan

You can discuss these services with your local faith leader.

Alternatively, you may prefer a non-religious ceremony to mark the birth and naming of your child. You can choose a non-religious venue for these ceremonies and a local registrar will conduct the service instead of a faith leader. You can find out more about naming ceremonies in York online or email: [email protected] for more information.

Register your child with a GP

Once you have registered your baby's birth, you'll need to register your child with a GP.

It's important that you register your baby at your GP as soon as possible after the birth, in case you require medical help.

It's good to find a GP close to where you live so you can access help quickly and locally. If you haven’t registered your baby yet but need help, you can receive emergency service from any GP.

Red book

Shortly before or after your baby is born, you'll be given a personal child health record (PCHR)4. This is a book with a red cover and so is commonly known as the ‘red book.’ You'll keep hold of this and use it until your baby is 4 years old.

The red book tracks your child’s health and development progress and can be shared with their health professionals.

NHS Choices advises that you should take your baby's red book with you every time you visit the baby clinic, your GP or hospital. Your baby's health professionals will use it to record your child's weight, height, vaccinations and other important health information.

You can add development and health information to the book yourself, such as recording accidents and illnesses as well as any medications they take.

You should keep the developmental milestones section of the red book up-to-date and fill in the relevant questionnaires before each routine review.

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