Getting started

Welcome to Mumsnet Talk, the home of our forums.

Before you dive in here's a little guided tour of Talk – how it works and how to make it work for you.

When you have finished reading, you can click here to return to the boards.

What is where? | How do I join? | How do I post? | Where can I see what all the abbreviations mean? | What are the Talk rules? | How do you post smileys and links? | Can I change the way I view discussion threads? | How do I search the Talk boards? | What if I get stuck?

How Talk is organised

Mumsnet Talk is divided into sections and these sections are divided into Topics (click Show all - on the right of the blue bar with 'Talk topics' on it - to see all the Topics in each section; click All Topics A-Z to see an alphabetical list of all the Topics we have).

Inside each Topic, you will find lots of separate discussions (or threads). 

There is also a list of the most Active Conversations on Mumsnet at the moment. Looking at this is a good way to get a flavour of the range of issues talked about.

Anyone with web access can read the Talk discussions on Mumsnet. But to post you need to join

Signing up for Talk

To post on the Talk board, you need to sign up to Mumsnet (it's free) and choose a username.

"You need a witty name. Txt spk, your year of birth or your very common real-life name: all bad. Oblique reference to Salinger book: good." morningpaper

If you've already signed up to Mumsnet but have decided you would like to change your username click here and, after you've logged in, click on Registration Details.

You are free to change your username whenever you like but please note that we don't allow name changes for malicious or misleading purposes.

Contributing to discussions

To post on an existing discussion, click on the Add a message link above the thread title or above and to the right of any post. This will take you down to the bottom of the 'page' to the Add Your Message Here box. Type your message into the box and, if you haven't already logged in, fill in your Mumsnet nickname and password in the boxes underneath the message box.

"Before you post for the first time, do spend some time looking through threads to help you see the best/worst/funniest sides of Mumsnet." AttillaTheHan

If you want to see how your message will look before it goes on the board, click the Preview Message button (and then correct the message if you need to). 

1. "Never, ever write a post USING ALL CAPITALS." MaryAnnSingleton
2. "Don't sign your posts off with your posting name. lots of love rubyslippers xxx." rubyslippers
3. "Don't use text speak. And do use paragraphs." catweazle
4."Be more specific on your thread title than, 'Help needed please'... Not that I did that first time or anything." AttillaTheHan
5. "Remember that anyone, anywhere can Google everything posted, so it's not a good idea to post identifying info or email addresses." LeninGrad
6. "Don't be frightened to ask how things are done. There are always posters who more than happy to point you in the right direction. We were all new once." squonk

To start a discussion of your own, click on the right Topic and then click on Start a New Thread Within This Topic (just under the Topic title). Fill in the Add Your Message Here box (as above) and also fill in the Subject Line box, to give your thread a title.

So, who are dh and ds? And what does TTC and AIBU mean? Mumsnet users use a whole load of acronyms and abbreviations on the Talk boards: some of them you may recognise from other forums. You can find a list of the most commonly used ones here.

Links and "Smileys"
There's a set of emoticons and shortcuts to allow you to bold or italicise words or cross them out (for comic effect). To find them look to the right of the Add Your Message Here box.

The simplest way to post a link is to copy and paste the link itself into the Add Your Message Here box, surrounded by [[ and ]]. So, if you type [[]], the link will display as If you want your link to display other text than the web address itself, leave a space after the address then add the text you want before the ]]. So, "Look at [[ this page]]" would display as "Look at this page". Please note that we delete links from spammers or people seeking to advertise for free.

Mumsnet Talk rules

When posting, please use the same courtesy that you would show when speaking face-to-face with someone. In a nutshell, BE CIVIL.

Our policy is to keep intervention to a minimum and let the conversation flow. Having said that, we will remove postings that are obscene, contain personal attacks or break the law as soon as they are reported. For more on this, see our Talk Guidelines page. 

Customising Talk

You can change the way you see discussions by clicking on the Customise link on the Talk Home page, and selecting from the variety of options on offer. You can also set how many threads you want to see in Active Conversations, and choose to exclude or hide certain threads or Topics.

Searching the board

  • There is basic keyword search that searches all of Mumsnet (find it in the very top right-hand corner of every page, to the far right of the Welcome to mumsnet message).
"Don't forget about Advanced Search. Very useful for getting info and advice." notnowbernard
  • Advanced Search which searches Talk only  by keyword, date, topic and/or nickname (find the link to Advanced Search at the top right of every Talk page, just above the picture of the moon). You need to be logged in to use it.

There is also a line of handy links on every Talk page under the big Mumsnet Talk headline:

  • Last 15 mins: A list of the threads that have been posted on during the last 15 minutes.
  • Last hour: A list of the threads that have been posted on during the last hour.
  • Last day: A list of the threads that have been posted on during the last day.
  • Threads I'm On: A list of the threads you have posted on. You can Customise this list to show anything up to 14 days' worth of threads.
  • Threads I'm Watching: A list of threads you have selected to watch.
  • Threads I Started: A list of the threads you have started.
  • Unanswered Messages: A list of threads that only have an opening post. Feel free to answer one if you can!


Any problems, do email us at or post in Site Stuff (where other members may be able to help you out if we're not around).

Last updated: 7 months ago