Parenting Glossary

How to Speak ‘parent’ and ‘Internet parent’

Becoming a parent opens you up to a whole new world of vocabulary. Before you know it you’ll be dream-feeding your LO while DD1 is self-settling (thanks to that CIO method you used). Being a STM is so much easier than being a FTM, unless your DS2 happens to suffer from GERD…at least that’s what your CHN seems to think.

…and if you understood all that without even blinking, you don’t need this! Or maybe you do, just for the fun of reflecting on how thoroughly immersed in this world and language of parenting you are. It’s good to laugh at ourselves.

Attachment Parenting – The idea that you as a parent are attached to your child. For some reason it needs a label other than, parenting. Some ‘attachment’ parents move beyond the figurative to the literal here. That’s when we get in to ‘baby-wearing’ and ‘co-sleeping’ (see below).

Baby-wearing – Every good hipster knows they must “wear” their baby. On the back, in a sling, on the front. Linen wraps, Manduca’s, Ergo’s, Stretchy wraps. Being able to put your baby on the back is in fact very handy…and there’s plenty of groups you can join to celebrate this fact.

CHN – Child Health Nurse – These people are great. They’re on the front lines helping mums come to terms with being parents. Even the more annoying ones deserve our respect.

CIO  – Cry it out
Be careful using this one, it will divide and alienate. Probably one of the most controversial ideas to learn about. Basically translated as ‘Let your baby cry for a bit…it’ll do them (and you) some good…in the end. Maybe…if you do it right. If you don’t, maybe you’ll psychologically scar them forever, creating a generation of psychopaths.

Co-Sleeping – Having your baby sleep in bed with you. Goodbye traditional sex-life (okay, a bit too cynical maybe).

DD1, DD2…etc. – Dear Daughter 1 (first child) 2 (second child) and so on.
For some reason it’s very important to refer to you children as ‘Dears’, it’s actually kinda handy. Depending on the context, it can come off as nurturing and loving or patronising and facetious.
Nurturing: “My dear daughter gave me the sweetest cuddle in bed this-morning.”
Not-nurturing: “My dear daughter just wiped poo all over the wall and chopped all her brothers hair off.” (Because obviously in that moment she is not being ‘dear’…for the slow ones playing at home).

DH – Dear Husband
As above.
“My Dear Husband woke up this morning amazed that DD2 slept through the night. I almost punched him in the face.”

This is the idea that you can give your baby a feed (breast/bottle) late at night while they’re still sleeping, in the sheer hope they might then sleep soundly until 7am the next morning, dreaming about milk (It’s worked for us twice so far). Don’t be fooled by the word ‘dream’ though, baby usually wakes up a little, nothing wrong with that.

DS1, DS2…etc. – Dear Son 1, 2 and so on (See DD1 above).

EBF – Exclusively Breast Feeding
The ‘Exclusive’ Club. Make sure in any forum or online post, you make a point of letting everyone now that you EBF your DD1.

EBM – Expressed Breast Milk. Also a bit exclusive, with a touch of the martyr for special effect.

Elimination Communication – When your baby goes red in the face and starts to push…that’s them communicating the need to eliminate waste. I.E. they need to poo. No seriously, this is a thing, watching and waiting for your baby to show they need to poo or wee (sorry I meant ‘eliminate’).

Foremilk – The first round of breastmilk that comes out

FTM – First Time Mum

GERD – Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, also touted as the modern ‘colic’. Babies who genuinely have this…genuinely have it, it’s awful for them and obvious. So if you ‘think’ your baby might have this, they probably don’t.

Hindmilk – The second round of breastmilk that comes out mid feed. Supposedly fattier then the first.

IMO/IMHO – In My Opinion/In My Humble Opinion
The first is a given, but is used to try and waive responsibility for rational and logical thought. The second is used when you’re feeling quite the opposite of humble.

LO – Little One

Milk Ejection Reflex, Let down reflex – This is why many women need breast pads. Think about it. Milk Ejection.

Oxytocin – Some hormone that does lots of crazy things to your body. Those crazy cramps you get post-birth when your uterus contracts back to size…Oxytocin. That hazy feeling when you’re breastfeeding….Oxytocin (and maybe prolactin too). Anything else that makes you mad, sad, crazy happy, manic or need the larger bowl of ice-cream over your husband…Oxytocin.

Self-settle – When a baby goes to sleep by themselves in the cot.

Sleep Cycle – You know how little babies sleep for like 20-40mins then wake up the moment you managed to fall into a deep sleep on the couch. That’s a sleep cycle.

Solids – Food that isn’t liquid.

STM – Second Time Mum

Voided – A fancy word for having ‘done a poo’. (See Elimination communication above, these go hand in hand).

Wind, Gas, Colic, Reflux, Teething – It’s not enough just to say your baby is crying, you must be prepared with a reason, because every “good” mum knows exactly what’s going on with their mini non-speaking human. And if you don’t know the reason (other than being an awful mum), don’t stress, everyone around you will certainly know what the problem is. That’s where these fantastic words come in handy.
“Oh, he’s just a bit gassy.”
“She’s teething.” – Best said with a knowing little grimace for effect.
“The doctor said she has colic.” – This one is a bit old-fashioned, and unfortunately in today’s internet age you will probably be pointed and laughed at…because we all know that’s a made up word! So best go with the next one.
“The doctor has him on reflux medication, he suffers from GERD”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: