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Bringing up a baby

Are conflicting parenting styles causing friction between UK parents? Landmark study into bringing up baby in the 21st century United Kingdom


Are you a Tiger Mum, focused on your baby’s academic success? Or perhaps you’re a Hyper Dad, always signing your little one up for classes and activities? New research has revealed that, as a parent in the modern United Kingdom, you are probably a Snowplough, keen to remove obstacles from your baby’s path. A landmark study commissioned by WaterWipes, the world’s purest baby wipe, has revealed for the first time what type of parents we are, and what that means for us and our children.

The study looked into which expert-recognised, modern parenting styles UK parents with babies under 24 months old fall into and found:

  • The majority of UK parents (35%) describe themselves as Snowplough Parents – clearing all obstacles from their child’s path
  • 26% identified as ‘Hothouse Parents’ – pushing their child to be successful
  • 19% identified as ‘Helicopter Parents’ – always hovering over their baby
  • 17% identified as ‘Hyper Parents’ – filling their baby’s spare time with activities such as baby yoga, baby aquatics and baby sign language classes.
  • 3% identified as ‘Tiger Parents’ –prioritising their baby’s future academic success over happiness.


The findings of the WaterWipes study were presented to leading child psychologist Kate Barlow, a specialist in parenting behaviour who analysed the study and shared her insights on its findings.

She said: “This survey gives us an up to date snapshot of parenting styles across the UK, and I’m not surprised to see that Snowplough Parents are in the majority. I think deep down we can all understand where a Snowplough Parent is coming from – when you look at a tiny, defenceless baby of course you want to make their path through life as smooth as possible, which naturally leads to you wanting to remove obstacles from their way. There’s no right and wrong way to parent, although some of them can be quite exhausting for the parents involved! But anyone, whether they define their parenting style as Hothouse, Helicopter or Tiger or any other, can be a great mum or dad.

“The trouble begins when parents start comparing their own parenting style to that of other parents.

Are you right because, as a Helicopter Mum you stay close to your child to keep them safe? Or is your best friend, the Hyper Mum next door who takes her child to every baby activity going, right? This can cause real friction between friends and family members, as well as damaging the self-confidence of parents who start to feel they aren’t good enough, and should be doing things differently.

“The most important thing to remember is that there are no right and wrong answers. When you strip it back, all parents want the same thing, a happy, healthy baby. Let’s try to be kinder to each other and not judge – after all, we’re all just doing the best we can.”