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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…
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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).
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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.


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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.


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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.
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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.
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