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"Baby" as a petname for my kids

114 replies

ourflagmeansdeath · 18/03/2023 22:23

I feel as if I'm not being unreasonable but I just wanted to check.

I call all 3 of my children the pet term "baby" - 19 year old son, 14 year old daughter and 5 year old daughter.

I met an old friend recently and when I referred to my 14 year old as this she looked me horrified. And asked if I said this to all my children. I said yes, it's just a habit really and they don't mind/don't notice me doing it at all.

She said I should have stopped for my teens ages ago, and should be considering stopping for the 5 year old as none of them are "babies" and this is a term used with relationships.

I don't agree personally because of course I know they're not babies but they'll always be MY babies. And if her argument is that surely it makes no sense to use this term in a relationship because your partner is not your baby??

Please tell me if I'm wrong though and I've missed something.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

ourflagmeansdeath · 18/03/2023 23:15

nc13467 · 18/03/2023 23:11

So were you addressing your teen dc as "baby" in the presence of your friend, as in "baby can you pass me the spoon please?" And your friend overheard?

Or we're you having a conversation with your friends and refer to you teen DC as a baby?

IMO the first is totally normal/acceptable, latter is a bit cringey. It's personal taste but I'd find it a bit "icky"'

The first one. I don't refer to them as "my babies" in front of other people, I just say my children. But when I'm talking to my kids, I call them "baby" as a habit and she found that really strange.

OP posts:

Pinkchilli · 18/03/2023 23:18

I called My 2 yo baby today and she said I not a baby mummy I (her name). I do say it to my two who are 2 & 5 but I do cringe when friends with older kids use the word tots and similar….. eh they are at high school 🙃


Greenmoonset · 18/03/2023 23:18

All my children are ‘my baby’. Yes my baby, how are you my baby etc.


Spirini · 18/03/2023 23:23

I call them baby in person as in 'hello my baby' but would never refer to them as that outside the home, mind I wouldn't call them any other term of endearment in the third person. My kids are 8 and 6.


Spirini · 18/03/2023 23:26

@ourflagmeansdeath read your other post, totally normal in my view. Does your friend have form for putting you down and throwing barbs?


HowcanIgetoutofthisalive · 18/03/2023 23:28

I use the terms baby boy (ds21) and baby girl (18). Neither one of them cares 🤷‍♀️


Hello12345678910 · 18/03/2023 23:29

I'm 31 and my dad still calls it me


DarkShade · 18/03/2023 23:30

FunnysInLaJardin · 18/03/2023 22:34

I call my DS's baby, treasure, chicken and my love. They are 13 and 17

For some reason I misread this as "treasured chicken" which I think is brilliant.

Some people just associate baby strongly with sexual relationships, which in my opinion is weird. DP never liked me calling DS "baby" even when he was a literal baby because it's for relationships apparently. I ignored this, and only stopped using it when DS started to protest that he's not a baby. Fair enough. But if your babies aren't protesting, crack on!


WashAsDelicates · 18/03/2023 23:39

HowcanIgetoutofthisalive · 18/03/2023 23:28

I use the terms baby boy (ds21) and baby girl (18). Neither one of them cares 🤷‍♀️

I bet they do care. I bet that if you stopped they'd notice and be bothered by you not using your pet names for them.

Why are people so invested in telling others what they can and r call their own children? Mine, girls and boys, adults and teens, are all equally my sweetie/infant/chicken. Dh is also sweetie (though not infant or chicken).


EstherHazy · 18/03/2023 23:40

Another vote for saying call them baby! I personally don't like being called 'babe' or 'babes' for example by friends (or specifically thinking about a gay work colleague who does this) but within the family we call each other all kinds of names even as adults.
My oldest nephew is called Jaden, now 15, and I still all call him 'Jadey-baby' or even 'my little Jadey-baby' and he's fine with it which is pretty good going for a sensitive teenage boy I think - I know he'd probably rather I didn't. I think I like to still call him it to show him we've always loved him and he means the same to us as he always has. I wouldn't do that in public because it is particularly infantalising - but might say 'sweetheart' - like 'hey, sweetheart' when he comes over...

I think you only need to stop if you notice if your kids find it embarrassing (which some might, I would hazard a guess) - so if they don't, I reckon you're completely fine :)


Mumtoboys1 · 18/03/2023 23:46

I'm still called baby by my family (mainly my sister) and im 29 🤣🤣


SoShallINever · 18/03/2023 23:46

Where do people find these awful friends?
Dear Hod, it's none of her business what pet names you use for you kids. I'd be tempted to refer to them as squidgybearbumpkinbabies whenever you're in her company.


Divorcedalongtime · 18/03/2023 23:48

My sister also hates anyone calling a child over 6 months a baby but I call all my 3 baby and eldest is 17 now.


petermaddog · 18/03/2023 23:56

the twins are34 and still babys or
thing one and thing two


TiptoeThroughTheToadstools · 19/03/2023 00:20

I don't know what business it is of anyone else to comment on how you pet name your children. I usually call mine honey, doll, pet... but have on occasion said baby.. my kids always respond to that by saying I'm not a baby, to which I say, you'll always be my baby. I think as long as you and your kids are fine with it, then screw what anyone else thinks


girljulian · 19/03/2023 00:32

Your friend reminds me of a post I once read on AskAManager where some American lady was perturbed by the fact that her originally-Geordie boss, living in the US, had called her "pet" and she thought it was a fetish thing. I have been "pet" every day of my life from someone!


Cassiehopes · 19/03/2023 01:17

I call my kids baby! They ARE my babies! Even when they’re 90 I’ll still be calling them baby!


TheMotherSide · 19/03/2023 03:35

NC13467 beat me to it: actually using the term 'baby' when addressing your DC, as in "Baby, give me a hand clearing the table, please." is absolutely fine to me. I do it with both my DC, picked it up in the US before having DC in the UK. It is just a term of endearment, albeit a bit twee. Also 'babykins' like a previous poster; I thought that was only me!
I don't refer to them as 'my baby / babies' to others.


Lulu2171 · 19/03/2023 04:19

What business is it of hers? Do what you want.


JudgeRudy · 19/03/2023 04:27

It's unusual. I'd be surprised if your 19 year old son wouldn't feel uncomfortable if you did this in front of others.
There's 2 things going me Baby is either literally that, so a baby or a very young child (or even a pet!)...or...its a name you'd call your lover. My ex used to call his 16 yesr old daughter 'baby girl' which I didn't like. It wasn't my business but it felt 'wrong'.
Ultimately it's between you and your kids. Would you be OK with them calling you for example Mummie? I take it you don't call you partner Baby/Babe


WhatWouldHopperDo · 19/03/2023 04:35

I use it sometimes with both of mine (24 & 18) and the dog!!!

It is one of many things they get called that aren’t their names!! (All nice things 😊)


sunmonlight · 19/03/2023 04:37

My DS is 4 and I often call him baby


NumberTheory · 19/03/2023 04:43

I don't like "Baby" for kids, or "Darling". But I use "Honey" which is just the same! People have different tastes over language, but that's all this is about - personal preference.


Redebs · 19/03/2023 04:48

Mine get called 'babe' or 'baby'
They are all adults


theveg · 19/03/2023 05:05

Surely it is much more weird to use it in a romantic sense, than to use it for a child, even an adult child, given the semantics of the word. Your friend is the odd one op for being "horrified" by something so innocuous. I use it for my dc who are pre-teens.

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