People Need to Share Their Baby's Name Before the Birth

Rant 39

So that woman who supposedly sold the naming rights to her baby for $5,000 was a fake. It would be nuts to do such a thing, of course, but the fact that a pregnant woman would feel so overwhelmed by the naming process that she's not thinking clearly, I sort of get.

I've kept a running list of my top baby names since I was old enough to hold a pencil. But by the time I was in the market for one -- actually two at the same time -- the pressure to pick fantastic names that took family into account, sounded adorable but not pretentious, flowed on paper, didn't lead to unintentional obnoxious nicknames, were equally creative and interesting was beyond overwhelming.

While we're going through the process, it seems we divide into opposing camps. There are The Talkers. The folks who tell everyone -- literally everyone -- they come into contact with the name of their unborn child as if to lay claim to it. Then there are The Steel Traps who won't reveal even an initial until the baby has a full set of stats to go along with it.

The pros of the share-nothing route is that you can blithely stick to your guns and not be dissuaded by friends' grimaces, underwhelmed shrugs, or regrettable "sounds-like-a-stripper-to-me"-type comments. The bad part is ... the same. You get no feedback! And making arguably one of the most important decisions of your life in a vacuum can be tough. Would you want to pick your wedding dress without your friends around to tell you that a mermaid silhouette is really not for you?

I went with the floating-a-few-possibilities route. So did Hilaria Baldwin a few days ago on the Rachael Ray show. She said that they change their minds daily, but at the moment Alec Baldwin is partial to the name Massimo. She also said, "That's a very big name for a very little baby." I think baby Baldwin could probably pull it off, but it is a lot of pressure. (There's some feedback for you, Hilaria. You are welcome.)

By telling other people you get to hear how it sounds when you say it and see if you're still committed to it even if -- and especially if -- you have to defend it. No doubt some comments will be ridiculous, have nothing to do with you (ex. "I went to day camp with a girl called X and she threw up on the bus every day"), and/or possibly freak you out (ex. "That was my ex's name. He was a cutter."). Still, if you love the name despite the insults, isn't that a great way to tell if it's The One?

Did you share your baby's name before birth?

Image via sabianmaggy/Flickr

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mande... manderspanders

We haven't picked a name yet, because we can't agree on any boy names. But when we do, we WILL NOT be sharing the name until birth.  Because we are looking at mostly standard, traditional names with NORMAL spellings, there isn't anything that we need to defend.  In fact, if you *need* to defend your name choice that badly, then it's probably a *really* horrid name.

Announcing the name at birth leaves little room for opinions... you present the baby with the name, and that's that.  I don't care what others' opinions are.  This is our baby; and he will have a nice, normal name.  And at this point, that's all anyone needs to know.

nonmember avatar Stephanie

My youngest son has a middle name that some do not like, Sage. I agree that it is my child, my business. I think his name is great, Steven Sage. My other son also has a great name, Charles William. But of course I think they are grest names because me and my husband picked them!

peanu... peanutsmommy1

nope, we told people his gender but not his name because I didn't want months of reasons they liked or hated the name.

Stephanie Caldwell

had we shared our daughter's name we would have had to "defend" it--but its not a horrid name, it is however the female form of her fsther's name (something I said I would never do) and people call him by the female form in jest. We didn't share because we changed our minds weekly, and we weren't sure if Josephine would truly be her name once she arrived. We didn't want to confuse everyone or have someone offer a monogrammed gift.

Rachel Kroll

I shared the names we chose for our first 4 but with number 5 I kept it on the down low because people were being negative about her name which caused my husband not to like it as well. I didn't care what people thought so I stopped sharing it....

the4m... the4mutts

I did not reveal my kids' names before they were born. I didnt WANT feedback from anyone except their dad. I only discussed 1 childs possible name with my mom, and ended up changing it without telling her, or anyone except my (now) xh.

I couldnt care less what people think of my kids' names.

mande... manderspanders

@Stephanie Caldwell: Josephine is a beautiful name.  I don't think that's one that *needs* defending... it's almost like saying they hate your husband's name too, which is ridiculous.

Angie Bugaj Stickley

I did share my thoughts on our second daughter's name with a few people and got some negative response which caused me to have second thoughts so I went a different route.  Ended up with a name that became more common that year.  Wish I would have gone with my gut because I really liked that name and turns out it would have really suited her and she says she would have loved it also (so much so that she's thinking of using it for her own possible daughter some day).  Oh well, I ended up using it for my Yorkie 10 years later but still have some minor regrets.

doodledo doodledo

Nope we did not share and I am happy we didn't.

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