You're probably guilty of using at least one of the terms on this list. Here's which cutesy names Reddit parents love, hate—or love to hate.

By Zara Hanawalt
December 17, 2020
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As a parenting writer, I thought I had heard pretty much every nickname for children and the people who raise them. But, as it turns out, there's a whole world of terms out there—and it's a polarizing world.

A Reddit user poses the question: "Which cutesy terms do you hate?". The original poster admits that while she loves being called "mama", she gets that the term isn't for everyone.

She's right: Several posters agree that being called "mama" by someone who isn't your child can feel condescending. "I cannot stand being referred to as mama in casual conversations. Especially when we're not talking about babies. I am more than a mom and I have a name," one responder writes.

High angle portrait of cute baby sticking out tongue while sitting on high chair at home
Credit: Getty Images

And you know what? As a person who actually finds it kind of sweet when someone says something like "hang in there, mama" to me, I totally get that comment—even though I personally fall in line with another commenter who says she'd much rather be called "mama" than "mommy" by the outside world. That one's a no for me, too. As is "mama bear", which also gets a thumbs down from one parent on this thread and a thumbs up from another.

But there's also a spectrum when it comes to the names we dislike for our children. "I hate bean, little bean, peanut for the baby! It drives me crazy!" one user writes. Another flags "littles" as the term she most hates, while yet another poster calls out "prince/princess".

The names we assign to items can be pretty polarizing, too. One poster here hates the term "lovey" while another can't get behind calling pacifiers "binkies" (SAME). There's one parent who cringes when an adult says the word "potty" and plans to "toilet train" her child instead. And don't ask one mom here if her food is "yummy"—she can't stand the term whether it's used to describe her child or her breakfast.

The cool thing here is that the parents are able to just laugh it off when another user calls out a nickname they use. And wouldn't it be awesome if we could apply that same attitude to all aspects of parenting?

For example, one commenter says she hates it when people call their babies "caca" or "caca butt." And another responds, "Lol I'm guilty of that. My dad always called us 'poo-poo' when we were kids and other stuff so it's probably why ... I planned on not carrying it on, but now my husband and I end up calling our son 'poopy' or 'poopy bum' all the time."

The point? What works for one family won't work for another and there's nothing wrong with that. Ultimately, this thread is just for fun, but we can all learn something from it. Because there's no judgment or shaming happening. It's just a group of parents coming together to vent about the things that annoy them. And you know what? Sometimes that's an absolute necessity.