20 Moms Share Sweet Stories of How They Named Their Babies

Maressa Brown | Nov 8, 2018 Pregnancy
20 Moms Share Sweet Stories of How They Named Their Babies
Image: bowdenimages/iStock

moms with their babies

It's not a secret that many of today's parents are choosing to steer away from tradition when it comes to naming their babies. But does that mean the newest generation have little to no meaning behind their names? Absolutely not. In fact, millennial parents seem to be taking an especially thoughtful approach to the baby-naming process. 

Whether their chosen baby names are based on their favorite title from classic literature, nature, family, their geographical roots, or history, young parents are leaning on a variety of colorful, meaningful sources of inspiration for baby names.

And although this generation of parents has a rep for leaning toward eyebrow-raising, quirkier choices, the vintage baby name trend is alive and well. Consider options like Alden. At the same time, they're choosing names that may be anything but traditional and/or sport unusual spellings but pay tribute to a loved one or have their roots in a classic book from the 20th century. 

No matter where a baby name falls on the uniqueness scale, there's nothing like telling a heartwarming story about where the choice came from. After all, that "origin story" is what ultimately will makes a name feel so special. 

Parents shared the cute, inspiring, and personal connections behind their name choices with Baby Name Wizard and CafeMom. Here are 20 sweet name stories that are guaranteed to trigger awws galore. 


    babies with moms

    "I named my 3-year-old Juliette after my very best friend. My friend, Julianna, and I have been friends since the age of 1 and we lived next door to each other up until high school. Ever since grade 2 she went by 'Jules,' and when I found out I was pregnant with my third girl, we knew we wanted to honor her. We did not want them to have the same name, because she now lives a few streets away and we hang out multiple times a week. So, we went with Juliette, and we call her Jules, just like my best friend." -- Baby Name Wizard

  • MISTY 

    baby sitting by lake

    "During my parents' honeymoon at a lake cabin, they watched the sun come up over the mist on the lake and decided to name their first daughter, my older sister, Misty. I always thought her name was very sweet and romantic because of the beautiful story attached to it." -- Baby Name Wizard


    baby reading with mom

    "My favorite book as a child was The Boxcar Children. I like literary references in names, but I don't really want to use the children's first names -- Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny -- either nicknames, or I already know young children with the names Henry and Violet. However, their surname [Alden] is a more subtle nod to all of them; it feels very grandfather-ly and bookish to me." -- Baby Name Wizard 


    baby girl

    "In 1948, Mom and Dad named me Evanne by combining the name of my maternal grandmother 'Eva' with my paternal grandmother 'Anne' to form 'Eva-Anne' or Evanne. Evidently a few new parents from my hometown, Seymour, Indiana, liked my name, and so, named their daughters Evanne, a compliment to Mom and Dad's creative naming!" -- Baby Name Wizard


    Orbon Alija/iStock

    "I have a daughter named Halyn, and her sister's name is Nylah. Halyn is Nylah spelled backwards, so both names are the mirror image of each other." -- Baby Name Wizard

  • BANJO 

    baby boy with headphones

    "I named my son Banjo -- born 2012. His father and I decided on the name before he was even conceived, because I am a banjo player and his father is a drummer. We are both great lovers of music and both enjoy the newer styles of bluegrass and bands like The Avett Brothers, who use a banjo a great deal in their songs." -- Baby Name Wizard


    baby boy happy

    "We named our son -- born 2012 -- Felix, and people keep telling us that they weren't so sure about it when we announced it, but that it's the perfect name for our smiley, friendly little guy. Then, we tell them we picked it because it means happiness! It's turned out to be the perfect choice for our family." -- Baby Name Wizard


    baby girl fishing

    "My husband and I always liked the name Bailey. He is a huge fan of the Chesapeake Bay and is a saltwater fisherman. He came up with the spelling on his own [Bayleigh], because he liked how it had 'Bay' in it, and I thought it was sweet." -- Baby Name Wizard


    baby girl with mom

    "I have a daughter named Delphine! I love its soft and tailored sound and French vibe. I also love that its roots go back to Ancient Greece and Delphi, the place the ancient Greeks believed to be the birthplace of the world. The flower connection with delphiniums is fun. We live by -- and love -- the beach, so the connection to dolphins works for me too." -- Baby Name Wizard


    baby boy

    "I named my son Seneca after looking through a genealogy book from my mother's side of the family. There were several generations of male Senecas. In fact, in the mid- to late-1800s, it was popular to name your child after famous Romans. I love the name, though most have never heard it, I know it's historic, not new and trendy!" -- Baby Name Wizard


    little boy dancing

    "My husband and I named our third child Ceili -- with the traditional accents over the 'e' and second 'i' -- after one of our favorite memories. We were vacationing in Ireland on the lonely Dingle Peninsula at dusk, when we came across two hitchhiking girls. It turned out that they were delightful college-aged girls who were on the peninsula to study. They were trying to get to Dingle Town to a pub in order to attend a ceili, a big folkdance party -- and they invited us! That night turned out to be one of the most fun nights we've ever experienced. The ceili was amazing, such a blast! Ceili reminded us of that wonderful night we spent in Ireland on the Dingle Peninsula." -- Baby Name Wizard


    baby boy coloring in a nursery

    "Johnny is named after his Grandpa John, who passed away a few months prior to his birth. Apollo comes from the Greek god of music, law, art, and poetry. Also known as the Father of Light. Gramps was a lobbyist and my husband writes and plays music." -- Jeanetta G. 


    baby boy

    "Huge C. S. Lewis fans and the main character in one of his books is Ransom. Then we found out my husband has a grandfather, five generations back, named Ransom! It was meant to be and the name holds so much meaning for us. James is a family middle name." -- Kaylin C. 


    baby girl
    Hope Connolly/iStock

    "My first is named Jeniveve. I wanted it to start with a J like my name [Jessica]. I'm not sure where I first heard it, but I've always loved it. I tell her I thought of the most beautiful name in the whole world, and that's what I named her." -- Jessica C. 


    baby with mom

    "I have always had an obsession with Gone With the Wind. At one point, I had a fake Facebook profile as Scarlett O'Hara. When I met my husband, I wanted nothing to do with him other than a fling. I told him my name was Scarlett O'Hara before I agreed to go out on a date with him. Within a week, he was head-over-heels smitten. I told him ... that we 'weren't going there.' He never gave up. Our Facebook status eventually became him in a relationship with Scarlett. Within months, he wanted to marry me and have a baby and name her Scarlett. That was 6+ years ago. Our daughter, Scarlett, is 2 weeks old." -- Sonni L. 

  • LILY 

    baby girl with butterfly

    "I named my daughter after myself, when I was little I couldn’t say my name properly and would say 'Kimblily' instead of Kimberly. Lily became my nickname in my family ... Once I got older, I always said I wanted a Lily for that reason, and when I got pregnant I had zero second thoughts as to what her name would be!" -- Kimberly K.


    little girl in bed

    "My husband wanted his grandparents' name/family name, Bell, as our daughter's middle name, so I got to choose her first name. I've always loved the Northern Lights, so we went with Aurora. She goes by Rory Bell. She's almost 3 and has no idea her name is Aurora. Everyone's always just called her Rory! When I share her full name, I'm often asked if I like Disney, but neither name is after a princess!" -- Kaysea M.


    baby girl with guitar
    Weekend Images Inc./iStock

    "For my daughter I wanted something different, but not Apple different. I love music, so we went with Cadence." -- Kelly B.


    baby boy winter

    "I was reading a historical fiction book with a fifth grade class and came upon the character name Silas. The book took place during the Revolutionary War in Boston. I remembered the name two years later. Both my boys coincidentally have ties to early American history which makes it more special to me." -- Betsy C.


    baby girl with ladybug pillow

    "Sidnee Jean has a lot of meaning to us. My deceased mother’s name was Denise, so we scrambled the letters to spell Sidnee. And my mother-in-law’s middle name is Jean." -- Caitlin D. 

More Slideshows