The Mumsnet Rules – do you agree? Review and Competition

If there are no hard and fast parenting rules and we are all individuals with our own personalities and accepted ways of doing things, and if if internet forums are full of people disagreeing with each other then why on earth have Mumsnet published a book called The Mumsnet Rules?

The Mumsnet Rules


Here’s what they have to say about it……

So what is the wisdom of crowds, how can there be any rules when everyone is sitting at their computers disagreeing with everyone else?

“The goal of the Rules is to make you into the person you would be if you had had two or three children to practise on before the ones you actually have.”

The answer, we think, is this – that by reading a hundred different people’s views on controlled crying, on the contents of party bags, on how to help a child who has no friends, you find that there is usually a commonsense consensus around the important things. But there are also boundaries to what works and what is OK, and sometimes we need a (virtual) village to help us find those boundaries. The Mumsnet Rules maps out both the areas of consensus and the boundaries.

And the goal of the Rules is to make you into the person you would be if you had had two or three children to practise on before the ones you actually have

So we are looking at greneral consensus here and there are some really insightful funny posts. Some of it I totally disagree with such as don’t buy a moses basket (Personally I think they are the most beautiful baby item ever and help a baby feel snug) and don’t bake with your kids (no, no no…..DO BAKE WITH YOUR KIDS!!! it is an absolute pleasure!)

Some areas of advice I completely agree with; such as keep your sick child at home, let them eat dirt and fall over, don’t hit them and turn off your lap top!

A fab vbook , loads of fun to read and it makes you think!


I have one copy of the Mumsnet Rules by Justine Roberts and Natasha Joffe (Bloomsbury :RRP: £12.99) to give away. It’s a great book, it will make you laugh, nod in recognition, agree,  disagree and keep you thoroughly entertained. I learned a good few tips and tricks along the way too and there is a lot of wisdom here.

To enter simply tell me you top bit of childcare advice!




  1. Ashleigh
    July 15, 2011 / 6:15 am

    have fun!

  2. Cheryll H
    July 15, 2011 / 12:38 pm

    Let them make mud pies in the garden, eat with their hands and run around with no clothes on! Soon enough they won’t be caught DEAD with mud / foor on their hands / no clothes on 🙂

  3. lynn train-brown
    July 15, 2011 / 1:29 pm

    Your house / social life is going to be a mess for the next 16 years, so relax and enjoy mess, mud and finger painting

  4. July 15, 2011 / 1:39 pm

    Relax. The best you can do is the best you can do for them. Don’t compare your child, or yourself, against anyone else.

  5. July 16, 2011 / 7:49 am

    Allow yourself to be silly.

  6. July 16, 2011 / 8:00 am

    Think of your best childhood memories and create similar ones for your children. You may find country walks, splashing in puddles, home baking, art and craft, sharing a cuddle and a book are good ones; the best things in life are free!

  7. Robyn Clarke
    July 16, 2011 / 9:16 am

    No use crying over spilt milk. I think that pretty much sums up living with kids.

  8. Sarah Anguish
    July 16, 2011 / 9:42 am

    Remember children are children NOT mini adults, they will make a mess, not listen to a word you say and embarrass you wherever you go… accept this and have fun


  9. Laura
    July 16, 2011 / 11:52 am

    Dont let others take over no matter how much they are ‘only trying to help’

  10. carole maciver
    July 16, 2011 / 11:57 am

    have fun they grown up to fast

  11. claire woods
    July 16, 2011 / 4:16 pm

    keep them entertained. A bored child is an annoying child!

  12. Laura Pritchard
    July 16, 2011 / 5:17 pm

    Not to follow any advice you’re not comfortable with. No one knows your baby like you do, not the Health Visitor, not the Midwife, not your in-laws….advice is advice, not the law!

  13. Michelle Errington
    July 16, 2011 / 8:50 pm

    Do the best you can and take a time out for yourself once in a while if you can – we are only human after all 🙂

  14. Catherine (@MummyLion)
    July 16, 2011 / 9:45 pm

    the housework will wait but the rainbow (cuddle/extra hour of play/add as appropriate) won’t

  15. Carolina J.
    July 16, 2011 / 11:24 pm

    Yes, I agree- relax and enoy! They are small and lovely for a short period of time only.

  16. Karen
    July 17, 2011 / 7:23 am

    Remember that so called experienced mums have usually only brought up 2 kids, so don’t know that much more than you do. (And women of grandparent age brought their children up so long ago that practically everything they did has been superceded with better advice.)

  17. helena haddock
    July 17, 2011 / 3:59 pm

    Let children find out things for themselves

  18. Aine
    July 17, 2011 / 11:56 pm

    You choose to have your kids not the other way around so make sure they know every single day how much they are loved and appreciated and how lucky we are blessed with them in our lives.

  19. KIERAN Walsh
    July 18, 2011 / 9:41 am

    allways listen, to your child, and one or both of you spend a quiet period, reading, together before bed

  20. Susan England
    July 18, 2011 / 10:53 am

    Always try and let them think it was their idea to do something and not yours!

  21. Pamela Gossage
    July 18, 2011 / 12:06 pm

    Use what is there.If it is raining put on wellies and splash in the rain. In Autumn russel through leaves

  22. Solange
    July 18, 2011 / 12:14 pm

    Baby wipes are your friend

  23. Suzy
    July 18, 2011 / 2:04 pm

    Listen to all the well meaning advice. Smile and nod, then make your own mind up.

  24. Elaine Kidd
    July 18, 2011 / 2:19 pm

    Don’t just say no; explaine things. Even young children can understand if you tell them that they can’t play with a knife as they might hurt themselves, or that we can’t do X today so why don’t we do Y instead ? We have avoided many a tantrum just by giving a reason for the answer.

  25. Hazel
    July 18, 2011 / 7:16 pm

    Pick your battles. It really doesn’t matter if you take your daughter to Sainsbury’s in wellies, a pink tutu, and her brother’s Batman cape – in fact you’ll make some new friends if you do. Go along with the fun things and your children will then do exactly what you tell them to do when it really is necessary – without argument.

  26. Martina
    July 18, 2011 / 8:01 pm

    Don’t listen to your in-laws when they are telling you you are spoiling your child if you pick him up when he is crying – you can’t spoil them when they are only 3 months old…

  27. helen milner
    July 18, 2011 / 9:49 pm

    Make sure every goodbye and every goodnight you tell them that you love them, give them a kiss and a cuddle, no matter how old they are xxx

  28. lucy robinson
    July 18, 2011 / 10:14 pm

    give them a choice. e.g are you going to eat the chicken or the carrots? It works much better by giving them a choice, helps them feel in control.

  29. Victoria Boland
    July 18, 2011 / 10:20 pm

    Just follow your instincts. You will be given lots of advice but just pick the bits that are best for you.

  30. clare smoker
    July 19, 2011 / 6:52 am

    always be the parent first,the friendship will come later.

  31. vicky haddock
    July 19, 2011 / 7:20 am

    Let your children be children, they will learn from their mistakes

  32. Andrew Cakebread
    July 19, 2011 / 9:49 pm

    Always be patient and have plenty of wild adventure stories to tell for these dull rainy days!

  33. Laura F
    July 19, 2011 / 10:45 pm

    Just read all the above posts, all wonderful advice! –
    When my first son was a baby an old lady once said to me ‘This particular baby has never been born before so why does everyone else think they know how to look after it?- Mum usually knows best- trust your gut instinct’ Boosted my confidence and I remember it from time to time.

  34. Lindsey Wileman
    July 20, 2011 / 3:08 pm

    Follow your gut instinct – it’s very rarely wrong. Babies dont come out of the womb with an instruction manual so do what you feel is right and you won’t go far wrong.

    July 20, 2011 / 8:49 pm

    Do NOT take any notice of the remarks, tuts or negative looks when disciplining your children in public. Providing you are not swearing or using violence then no-one has the right to pass judgement. Your was is the right way! Concentrate on the tak in hand and not the opinions of those around you!

  36. Charlotte
    July 20, 2011 / 8:51 pm

    Have patience, every question your child asks is just because they want to learn and that should be encouraged!

  37. lorna anderson
    July 20, 2011 / 11:27 pm

    be patient and kind

  38. Maya Russell
    July 21, 2011 / 6:03 am

    Children need rules, routine and responsibility, so my advice is to give them all three. Athough most children will rebel and moan this is better for them in the long run.

  39. Lian McCulloch
    July 21, 2011 / 10:33 am

    don’t hurry don’t worry and never forget to smell the roses !

  40. phyllis ellett
    July 21, 2011 / 5:53 pm

    bite your lip, seriously, bite your lip and enjoy their time. ‘Cause it will only get more stressful


  41. L. Louis
    July 21, 2011 / 6:29 pm

    Enjoy every moment. No matter how much screaming, no matter how much muck and mess, regardless of the tantrums and the public embarrassment that occasionally ensues! Our kids are our little mini miracles that we grew from seeds into beautiful (if a little sticky and boisterous) flowers 🙂

  42. Janine Atkin
    July 21, 2011 / 9:16 pm

    let them know they are loved and have your support no matter what decisions they make, then be there to pick up the peices after!

  43. clare seal
    July 22, 2011 / 9:29 am

    Have fun. They grow up too quickly. Get good memories that you can talk about!!

  44. Andrea Farrar
    July 22, 2011 / 9:44 am

    Do tell them you love them, every day, no matter how naughty they’ve been

  45. susan willshee
    July 22, 2011 / 12:13 pm

    my best tip is to listen to well meaning advice, say to the giver of the advice ‘yes you’re probably right’ then go ahead and do whatever feels right to you.
    I lost count of the times my well meaning mum & mum in law gave me completely opposite views. If I argued I just felt bad about it afterwards and if I tried to follow their advice and it didn’t work then I just felt a failure.
    A while ago I decided to agree with everything they said (to keep them sweet), thanked them for their advice and then went my own way. Afterwards I’d say to them, ‘that didn’t quite work but it made me think of trying…. instead’.
    Funnily enough, even when I’m doing my own thing the ‘mums’ think I’m doing what they suggested and everybody’s happy.
    Don’t feel guilty about picking and choosing what advice to follow… and of course if you don’t want to take my advice on this I promise I won’t be upset 🙂

  46. Val Pownall
    July 22, 2011 / 1:12 pm

    Just love them, love them, love them, and treasure every moment, good and bad, because one day you’ll blink, and they”ll be all grown up with babies of their own, and you’ll wonder where the time went!

  47. Heather Shaw
    July 22, 2011 / 3:36 pm

    Get them cleaning their own rooms from a young age

  48. Greg
    July 22, 2011 / 3:51 pm

    constant supervision

  49. Sharon Curran
    July 22, 2011 / 6:42 pm

    My advice would be make the most of every second – they grow too fast!

  50. Belinda Hendry
    July 23, 2011 / 11:02 pm


  51. Joanne Cross
    August 3, 2011 / 9:37 am

    I like to have a ‘secret’ list of games and ideas for things to do…so that on those days when I’m tired and I just don’t know how we’re going to get through the day, I’ve got something fun to fall back on.

  52. August 31, 2011 / 2:30 am

    I am a mum of 5,my main bit of childcare advice is to treat every child as an individual. What works for one child wont necessarily work for another. I compared my first 2 kids initially,it’s not fair though as every child does things differently and at their own pace.

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