Close Close
Mother and Baby

The Parenting Terms You Really Need To Know

From helicopters to latching-on, parenting requires a dictionary (or at least a Google search) to get your head round all the jargon. And with our guide you’ll be casually dropping parenting lingo into conversation in no time…
Expand Image

Helicopter parenting

This is the name given to parents who hoover around their child, ready to swoop in and get all protective should they be given the wrong type of yoghurt or be in a potentially-dangerous situation (we’re talking possibly treading on a piece of Lego).
Expand Image

Attachment parenting

Attachment parenting is all about responding to your baby’s needs and building a strong bond with her. It loosely follows the seven Bs: birth bonding, breastfeeding, baby wearing, bed sharing, belief in the language of your baby’s cry, beware of baby trainers and balance.


Expand Image

Latching on

This phrase refers to how your baby attaches to the breast during breastfeeding. If the latch is right, it will make it easier for your baby to feed and should make it more comfortable for you.


Expand Image

Bum shuffling

Sounds strange, but this is a very common occurrence in the world of parenting. You’ll soon spot your baby getting from A to B on her bottom while she gears herself up for crawling.
Expand Image

Tiger mother

Involving both negative and positive parenting styles, such as strictness combined with warmth and support, tiger parenting came about after the publication of Amy Chua’s book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. Tiger mums tend to raise their children to work really hard so that they achieve brilliant results later in life.
Expand Image

Sleeping through

While this used to refer to falling asleep at the start of a dull documentary and waking just as the closing credits start rolling, it now means that your baby slept from 7pm to 7am without stirring. Bliss.
Expand Image

Baby-led weaning

When your baby’s ready to move on from milk and start eating solid foods, at around the six month point, baby-led weaning comes in. And table manners go out of the window. Let your baby feed herself with bite-sized chunks of food you’ve cut up for her to pick up with her fingers.


Expand Image

Tummy time

This is time when your baby spends time lying on her stomach to her develop physically. You can start this when your baby’s just a few weeks old – even if it’s just for a few minutes a day – to help her learn to keep her head up, push herself up and eventually crawl.


Expand Image


You may have heard about hynobirthing in your antenatal class – it’s a type of hypnosis used during labour that’s favoured by celebrity parents including Jessica Alba and Giovanna Fletcher. It’s all about mind over matter to help get rid of the negative associations to do with giving birth – so words such as contractions and pain are swapped for less scary alternatives.


Expand Image

Soft play

No, soft play isn’t about your tot going easy on her competitor at the kids game table. It’s an indoor playground filled with soft slides and climbing apparatus that your little one can clamber all over – with no risk of hurting herself. Warning: At least once, you’ll dive in to rescue your toddler from a particularly precarious foam ledge.
Expand Image

Bedtime routine

Pre-parent, this involved a glass of red and an episode of Breaking Bad. Now it’s a minute-by-minute schedule that involves a military level of planning.
Related content:


No comments have been made yet.

Win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack
Win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack

Click here for your chance to win an award-winning aden + anais swaddle pack

Pampers Baby-Dry
Win a 1 month supply of Pampers Baby-Dry nappies

Enter now for your chance to win a 1 month supply of Pampers Baby-Dry nappies PLUS £100 John Lewis voucher.

Lemonade Money
Protect your loved ones this Valentine's Day with Lemonade Money

Valentine's Day is an opportunity to let your partner know just how much they mean to you. If you don't have the time to sort out your life cover, financial planning firm Lemonade Money is here to help.

Win an NCT antenatal course
Win an NCT antenatal course

Click here for your chance to win an antenatal course with NCT and make sure you're baby ready.

How to deal with nappy rash with Superdrug's My Little Star range
How to deal with nappy rash with Superdrug's My Little Star range

Nappy rash is painful for parents as well as for your baby. Read Dr Pixie's guide to learn how to deal with nappy rash…

Celebrating parenting's small wins
Celebrating parenting's small wins

As mums, we're constantly told to enjoy every moment; in reality, parenting can sometimes be challenging. That's where small wins come in...

Mother and Baby April
Subscribe to Mother&Baby

Be the best mum you can be and let Mother & Baby guide you along the way. Each issue is jam packed with REAL advice from mums just like you. Subscribe today & get a free welcome gift!

Ovulation Calculator
Ovulation calculator
Trying for a baby? Work out when you're most fertile to increase your chances of getting pregnant with our easy-to-use ovulation calculator.
Pregnant woman
Due Date Calculator

When is your baby due? If you’re having trouble remembering dates and counting up the days on your fingers and toes, don’t worry – use our due date calculator.

Get M&B in your inbox!

Sign up to Mother&Baby today and get news and advice about your body and your baby straight to your inbox every week.