Getting started on Mumsnet

Mumsnet getting started

Welcome to Mumsnet. Before you get stuck in, here’s a quick tour.

Mumsnet is a place where parents come to swap tips and tricks, pool their knowledge, ask for help and offer shoulders to cry on. Since 2000, we’ve tried to make parents’ lives easier while also creating a place where they can come to be entertained. We’ve grown into the UK’s biggest network for parents, with millions of users having conversations about pretty much everything you can think of. (And no, it’s definitely not all child-related.)

Finding your way around

On Mumsnet you’ll find content on everything from the surprising truth about pregnancy (sorry) to the best tips for calming a toddler tantrum (hurrah). We’ve also got a steady stream of exclusive competitions, curated picks of the best travel and lifestyle offers, and expert reviews of big ticket items. Everything is delivered with refreshingly honest insights, hard-won wisdom, and jokes for the times when it’s a toss-up between cackling hysterically and bursting into tears.

And then there’s Mumsnet Talk. Got a question you just can’t ask in real life? You’ll find responses from every angle here. Had a terrible day and need to vent? This is the place to just let it all out while nobody’s watching, but everyone’s listening. Join the chat and share your own advice, experiences and stories too. You’ll find the community to be resilient, driven, fierce, resourceful, supportive and extremely funny.

Sign up to get started

When you’re ready to join in, you’ll need to sign up to start posting. It’s quick and easy, takes only a couple of minutes, and it’s free. Here’s a warning though – you’ll need to pick a user name and this is something it’s quite possible to spend ages mulling over. Luckily, if you fancy changing your username at any time, the process is very straightforward. Well, it’s a lot simpler than what happens if you suddenly go off the moniker you’ve registered for your first born, trust us.

Here’s what to expect

Want to know more about what you'll find once you get started? Don't take our word for it – here are some of the things Mumsnetters themselves are saying on the forum.

The thing I like about Mumsnet is that people are prepared to admit when things don't go swimmingly in their house with their children and offer their experience. Unfortunately friends sometimes don't want to drop the facade that everything is rosy in their house and with their children. So it is refreshing to read and know that you are not alone.

I think what I like about Mumsnet is that when you've had a bad day, there is always someone to vent to (and the occasional 'get over it' reply…)

AIBU covers everything from Tena Lady moments to serious issues about child abuse, say, or heavyweight discussions about feminism, along with silly threads about Take That.

Posters aren't treated like teenage miscreants – no words are censored, you can say what you like (more or less) and many a time I've found myself spraying coffee all over my screen at some foul-mouthed turn of phrase.

I can have a good debate, and if I need advice I can come on here and people give good advice and share their experiences. Sometimes just knowing you are not alone makes all the difference.

Mumsnet is a proper community. It doesn't matter what you post about, someone will know the answer and try to help you. I love it here.

What I love about Mumsnet is that it is the only place I can think of where (mainly) women talk to each other openly about every blimming thing, they support each other and argue with each other, and advise each other, and cheer each other up tirelessly. It's like the nunnery/girls' boarding school/horde of sisters and aunts I never had.

The best of Mumsnet, elsewhere

For exclusive competitions, the best of AIBU and a sideways glance at life for when you just need a bit of entertainment, do join our community on Instagram. The chatter continues on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and even more on Pinterest, so do follow our boards there too. Once you've chosen the areas of the site you're most entertained by (and yes, it's fine to say all of them!) customise your newsletter settings to get the best of what you're interested in delivered directly to your inbox.

Got five minutes? Grab a cuppa and a biscuit and start here

So now you're ready to get stuck in! To post on an existing thread, click on the Add a message link above the thread title or above and to the right of any post. This will take you to the Add Your Message Here box.

To start a discussion of your own, go into the Topic you want, then click on Start a New Thread Within This Topic (just under the Topic title).

Abbreviations

Time for the nitty gritty. Who are DH and DS? And what do TTC and AIBU mean? Mumsnetters use a whole load of (often unique) acronyms and abbreviations on the Talk boards; you can find a list of the most commonly used ones here. Quick need-to-know though: AIBU stands for Am I Being Unreasonable? It's the most asked question on Mumsnet, and if you ever have a spare five minutes (ha!) we promise you'll find a debate here to pass the time quite nicely.

Need a quick run-down? This way for a potted history

Not quite sure why a poster's being told to cancel the cheque, or asked whether the neighbours serve Pombears? You'll find the best of Mumsnet, including everything from the legendary Penis Beaker thread to the elderly Korean lady in the garden, right here in Classics. If you're reading through these in company, expect to laugh out loud. They're mostly safe for work, but once you get started, you might be some time.

Searching the boards

Looking for something specific? The basic keyword search searches all of Mumsnet (find it in the top right-hand corner of every page).

The advanced search searches the forums only, by keyword, date, topic and/or nickname (find it at the top-right of every Talk page). You need to be logged in to use it.

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 view discussions by clicking on the Customise link on the Talk Homepage. You can also set how many threads you want to see in Active Conversations, and choose to exclude or hide certain threads or Topics.

Troubleshooting

If you have any problems, do email us at contactus@mumsnet.com or post in Site Stuff, and we'll get back to you asap.