20 Things You'd Never Heard Of Before Parenthood

07/06/2012 11:22 | Updated 22 May 2015
20 things you'd never heard of before parenthoodRex

Becoming a parent involves learning a whole different language – new terms and names for stuff that you'd never heard until your little one came into the world.

At first they're bewildering, but before long seem to be a commonplace part of everyday life.

Here are 20 things that might once have left you scratching your head...

Baby wipes

Not until these have become as essential in your house as toilet paper do you understand the meaning of parenthood. Seemingly able to clear up almost anything, you've always got a pack on hand and never step out of the house without them.

Nappy sacks

Before you were a parent it hadn't occurred to you where all those dirty nappies get put after you've cleaned up baby. While some parents might think they waste resources, to millions they are a salvation as they struggle with the poop onslaught.

You'd heard of paracetamol, but before you became or mum or dad the chances are you had no idea how reliant you'd become on the sweet tasting version of the painkiller for kids that's permanently on standby in most parents' medicine cabinets.

Breast pumps

Before baby you might have thought this was something used in boob op procedures. Many women and men alike find themselves bemused by this weird piece of kit used to collect breast milk either because there's too much or to store for later.


You knew that babies cried, but you had no idea how much or how they could blub for no apparent reason at any time of day. The fact that medical experts still aren't agreed on what causes colic won't help the anxiety if your child is suffering with it.



Before those antenatal classes, you might have guessed it was a town in France.


In fact it's a vacuum type gadget sometimes used to help deliver your baby. And then there's meconium – those alarming first stools of your baby's that look like tar!

Moses Baskets

How do you move your new born around from room to room in comfort? These days it's probably in a Moses basket. Before you were a parent you'd probably thought it was just something from the Bible. Now you swear by your wicker wonder that's cheaper than a crib, lightweight and fashionable.


You knew babies were sometime sick. But you'd never heard of possetting, where babies throw up a bit of their milk after a feed, usually over the shoulder of your top so you go out later in public, still wearing it.


No trip out with a new born is complete without these cotton squares – and they're essential if you don't want your friends or family to get covered in all that sick when holding the baby.



Up until parenthood winding was something you remember getting as a child yourself when someone in the playground gave you an unexpected elbow in the guts.


Now it's very familiar, as that ritual that involves getting baby to burp after a feed.


Being a parent takes bottle – lots of them. For months your life may be ruled by that sterilising machine, but at least it saves boiling up water in pans!

Baby monitors

OK so you might have heard of them but you never realised quite how much your life would be ruled by them. It doesn't even stop the worry – if you hear nothing then you just wonder if it's broken.

See our guide to the best baby monitors.

Baby sleeping bags

Trendy, handy and often called by the brand name Grobags. Before you had a baby you'd probably have thought that was something you used to bring on tomatoes in a greenhouse? Now zipping up your kid in one every night seems a no brainer.

Hand foot and mouth disease

You expected chicken pox and panicked about meningitis. But hand foot and mouth disease? Surely that's something to do with cows? The illness, which causes a rash on the hands and feet as well as mouth ulcers, is one of those common conditions affecting children that can leave you bemused.

Cradle cap

The uninitiated might guess that it was a hat the baby wears when they're asleep. Or that their new born has a serious case of dandruff. In fact it's a scaly scalp babies get and usually clears up quickly.


You've just about got used to breastfeeding or giving them formula. Now there's a whole new challenge - getting your baby to eat some mushed up real food. Who hasn't had to resort to pretending the spoon is an aeroplane?


Every child of a certain age seems to have one of these – whizzing along on the pavements as tiny speed freaks. They rule your life too – as you worry about the going too fast, falling off or just that you'll end up carrying them most of the time.

Buggy boards

Perhaps once you'd have thought this some kid of equipment for a new extreme sport. Now you end up debating if this attachment to your buggy or stroller could help you juggle things once you've got more than one tot.

Gina Ford

Swear by her, or loathe her, you probably haven't been able to ignore her. The famous childcare author's books detail daily routines for taking care of your child but often spark controversial debate among mums and dads.

The Gruffalo

Julia Donaldson's loveable monster with its orange eyes, black tongue and purple prickles has become an essential read for any child today. Along with Iggle Piggle and Peppa Pig if you haven't heard of it, you surely can't be a modern mum or dad.

More on Parentdish: You know you're a dad when...

Suggest a correction