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Sh*t Parents Say: A Glossary of Parenting Terms

Written by James Kicinski-McCoy

Photography by Photo via NYmag

If you’re a new mom or about to be a new parent, congratulations! You are about to embark on a wild and incredible, love-filled and rewarding journey. Now, to give you a little jump-start in parenting 101, we thought we’d give you the Cliff Notes to common baby-related slang. In other words, here is a list of terms you should know that they don’t always teach you in childbirth class.

Ankle Biter – A slightly derogatory term for an infant or small child.
Attachment Parenting – A style of parenting using genuine sensitivity, endless support, and love, forming a close bond believed to bring out the best in the child. In most cases the child is literally attached to the parent, (see baby wearing and co-sleeping.)
Au Pair – A young person from abroad who takes care of your children and some housework in exchange for room and board and a monetary allowance for personal use.
Baby Dancing – Trying to conceive.
Baby Wearing – The practice of wearing or carrying a baby (or toddler) in a carrier or sling.
Baby Whipped – Being completely controlled by your tiny, drooling baby.
Binky – Another word for a pacifier. See also: paci, nuk, or dummy.
Blowout – When your baby poops so much that it explodes outside of his diaper and causes a giant, stinky mess.
Booger Sucker – A handheld device that uses a compressive bulb and nozzle to create suction to literally suck the snot out of your baby’s and young children’s noses.
Boppy – A “C” shaped pillow commonly used to offer support when nursing or bottle feeding. See also: My Breast-Friend.
Butt Paste – Another name for diaper rash cream, which is used to treat and prevent diaper skin irritations.
Co-Sleeping – When a parent and child share a bed or sleep close together for easy breastfeeding, constant bonding, and a feeling of security.
Doula – A trained professional, usually a woman, who assists another woman before, during, and often times after childbirth to provide postpartum support.
G00 Goo Gaga – Baby talk or cooing noises that babies make before they learn to speak real words.
Helicopter Parent – Also called “cosseting parenting,” is an overbearing, over-focused parent who pampers and “hovers over” her child while they go through life.
Knocked Up – Another word for expecting a baby or pregnant.
Lawnmower Parent – Also called “bulldoze parenting,” is a parent who “mows down” any obstacles they see in their kid’s life.
Layette – Baby’s first wardrobe. A collection of clothing, bedding, and accessories for a newborn.
Lovey – Usually an overly loved stuffed animal or blanket that a child has grown attached to over time.
Meconium – The very first feces of a newborn infant, usually a blackish, dark green color that has a tar-like consistency.
Midwife – A qualified woman (although the term references both men and women) who specializes in childbirth, postpartum, and well-woman health care.
MILF – A vulgar expression meaning “Mother I’d like to fuu… have sex with.” See also: DILF.
Mommy Brain – An expression commonly used for the forgetfulness of a busy or pregnant mom who operates on very little sleep.
Mommy Wars – The term was originally used to describe working moms vs. stay-at-home moms, but over the years the definition has become more wide spread, referring to everything from breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding to strollers vs. baby wearing.
Mucus Plug – A mucus discharge that blocks the opening of the cervix to prevent bacteria from entering the uterus. Passing a mucus plug is a sign that the body is starting to prepare for birth.
Nappie – What the British call a diaper.
Onesie – A soft, comfortable one-piece garment for infants and babies that has snaps at the crotch for easy access to diaper changes.
Pee Pee Tee Pee – A cotton “tent” used to cover baby boy’s penis and to prevent the parent from getting peed on during a diaper change.
Pram – Another word for a stroller.
SAHM – The abbreviation for ‘stay at home mom.” A mother who stays at home to raise her children.
Sophie – Sophie is the name of one of the world’s best-selling baby teething toys, Sophie The Giraffe by Vulli.
Terrible Twos – A child development stage (usually around the age of two years old) associated with toddlers who display unruly, defiant behavior.

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