From babyccinos to play dates: a glossary for parents-to-be

Katja Fischer

Are you expecting your first baby? Or have you just become a parent? If so, there’s a strong possibility you’ll find lots of the new vocabulary incomprehensible. Not to worry, though: I’m here to translate the parenting jargon for you.

When your children are born, a whole new world opens up to you. And with it, a completely new language. Let’s call it «Parentish». After all, parents often have their own unique slang full of specific terminology and abbreviations. So that your parental chat isn’t left lacking, I’ve put together a glossary with some of the words needing explanation.


A fake cappuccino which makes kids feel a little more grown up. Made with foamy milk and garnished with cocoa powder, all without the nasty caffeine.

 Babyccino, please.
Babyccino, please.
Photo: Katja Fischer


Right after the birth, your midwife will give you calendula cream for your baby’s nappy rash.

Weleda Wound protection cream, calendula, 75ml
Baby bodycare

Weleda Wound protection cream, calendula, 75ml


Pudendal massage

Pre-natal massage of the tissue between the vagina and anus. It supposedly prepares the perineum for the rigours of childbirth and prevents tears.


In German, this stands for «Eltern-Kind» (parent-child), and is used to describe classes that you and your little one can take together. Think Elki-gym, Elki-swimming, or Elki-dancing.


You can feel the fontanelles on your baby’s head. Each one is created by a gap between the skull plates, which closes over around the age of two.

Gender reveal

A party hosted to reveal the sex of your unborn child, with as much fanfare as possible and plenty of stereotypical pink or blue.

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A form of mental preparation for the birth. Breathing and relaxation techniques are intended to put you in a state of deep relaxation, allowing you to give birth as painlessly as possible.

The mirror test

Between 18 and 24 months, your child recognises their own reflection for the first time. However, they’ll still only refer to themselves or you in the third person. It isn’t until they’re about two and a half that they learn the words «I» and «you».

Jesper Juul

This Danish best-selling author was the messiah of family therapists. Before he died in 2019, he was a firm believer in raising children in an egalitarian way.


Medical term for your baby’s first bowel movement. This happens 12–48 hours after birth – and it might give you a fright on account of its greenish-black colour.

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Linea nigra

A dark line on your pregnancy bump running from your chest, to your belly button, to your pubic bone. The line is caused by hormones and fades away after you give birth.

The Linea nigra is caused by pregnancy hormones.
The Linea nigra is caused by pregnancy hormones.
Photo: Shutterstock


About ten minutes after your baby comes into the world, the fourth and final stage of birth begins: the placenta is expelled from the body.


This pain-fighting gel is every parents’ best friend when their child is teething. You should always keep it handy – at the changing table, next to the cot and in the pram.


A meet-up with other parents so the kids can play together. As soon as you have kids, these will become pretty much all of your social occasions.


Little plastic pouches filled with fruit puree that you can squeeze directly into your little one’s mouth. No cutlery, no bib, no mess.

Freche Freunde Apple, Strawberry, Blueberry & Raspberry
Baby food

Freche Freunde Apple, Strawberry, Blueberry & Raspberry


Diastasis recti

Medical term for the gap between your straight abdominal muscles after pregnancy (if it’s more than two fingers wide). The abdominal muscles make room for the baby and close again after birth. Some women are left with an overly large gap.


This is when your baby is positioned with their head down, but facing your abdomen instead of your back. This position makes it more difficult for the baby to pass through the birth canal.

Tripp Trapp

Considered the Mercedes of kids’ chairs, these can be found in virtually every home. Or a cheap version of them, in any rate. Despite its copyrighted name, it’s become synonymous with any height-adjustable chair for children.

Submarine parents

If you’re happy enough to miss parents’ evening or are glaringly absent from your kid’s theatre performance, you might be a submarine parent. This is the opposite of the ever-present helicopter parent.

Vitamin D

These will be your child’s bread and butter (in drop form) for at least the first two years of their life. In this country, we get too little of it from sunlight, but it’s essential for bone growth. Und damit zu wenig vom Sonnenvitamin.

Diaper cake

If you’re in need of a gift idea for new parents, make a diaper cake. As the name suggests, this is a multi-tiered cake put together using diapers and other baby paraphernalia.

Timfanie Nappy Cake with Music Box

Timfanie Nappy Cake with Music Box

XXL pads

These are for the weeks following the birth, when blood flows out of you in different colours, consistencies and smells. Since they’re about as long as your forearm, they’re also referred to as surfboards.

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Yoni eggs

Egg-shaped quartz stones for the vagina, which are used to train the pelvic floor muscles. They’re supposed to help re-strengthen your stretched tissues after birth and prevent incontinence.

Gap puberty

A kind of pre-puberty that occurs between the ages of five and seven. As is often said during this phase: when the teeth wobble, the walls wobble.

Header image: Katja Fischer

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Mom of Anna and Elsa, aperitif expert, group fitness fanatic, aspiring dancer and gossip lover. Often a multitasker and a person who wants it all, sometimes a chocolate chef and queen of the couch.

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