Baby Naming Blues

by Jackie Hershwitz

couple reading a bookSelecting a name for your baby is among the first decisions you'll face as a parent. Whether you're focusing on a special meaning, family tradition, searching for a unique or old-fashioned name, agreeing can be a real bonding experience or can feel like you are setting up for a WWF wresting match!

As a quest to discover how the naming process goes for our Pregnancy.org families, we invited members to vote in our poll: "Choosing Baby Name: Smooth sailing or...?" Here are the results:

• 11% had their names picked before the egg was fertilized!
• 33% worked it out -- easy, peasy
• 46% tussled a bit, but came out unscathed.
• 14% agreed to create a baseball bat, rolling pin free zone...
• 1% waited for him/her to leave the room and quickly filled in the paperwork

How did you and your partner decide on a name. Share the technique that kept you in the "easy-peasy" set.

Our Members Share

Baby naming qualifies as a hot topic! The comments continue flowing in! Everyone eagerly shared their experience. Here's a sampling from each option:

1. Before Conception: A notable number of parents-to-be evidently fit the slot "ultimate pre-planners." These couples had dreams and schemes before their little one was even a sparkle in mommy's or daddy's eye!

"We had our name picked before the egg was fertilized! A few years before I met my husband, I read Sophie's World by Jostien Gaarder. When we got together and started talking about kids, I let him know that if we ever had a girl, it was too bad for him cause I already had a name picked out. Since children seemed to be a ways in the future, he brushed it off and never really mentioned it again. Well, we got pregnant and it was a girl. End of discussion! He already agreed!" ~cindyanns

"We had our girl's first name picked out way before she was even a serious thought, about five years before! On our second or third date we were talking about life stuff and almost at the same time we said we always wanted a girl with a "J" name...maybe Jade. We answered simultaneously and that's the one that stuck!" ~natesangel

2. Easy-peasy: Couples hope they'll come to an easy agreement. While pregnancy hormones and emotions can complicate negotiations, nearly one-third of our members found naming their baby simple and enjoyable.

"We like short simple names. I don't think we had any fights, arguments, or any stress over baby names. Finding out the sex gave us plenty of time to concentrate on just one name!" ~tooth35

Hubs and I have always been on the same page as far as names go. Each of our kid's first and middle names come from books, movies or shows that mean something to us. We're still tossing around ideas for this little one, but I know we will come up with something together! Each time it's just clicked and we agreed!" ~MrsShepp

3. Tussle, no casualties: garnered the most votes in our poll. Most couples choose a name with a bit of give and take, perhaps combined with heated "negotiations" (sounds better than strong arm tactics, right?).

"There were quite a few "discussions" while deciding on a name. If my husband knew somebody by a name and didn't like him (even if it was from 20 years ago), the name was off the table! Drove me nuts!" ~alwayssmile

4. Declared war-free zone also received quite a few nods, but we're really not quite sure our members grasped that it was a baseball bat / rolling pin FREE zone! While not topping the poll, those choosing this option were the most inspired to share:

"Naming the baby was a very rocky road for us. I think I got so upset because it felt like my husband and I were sharing this very intimate experience of having a baby and then he blind-sided me by inviting his family into the discussion. I felt like they didn't belong. Maybe I was being sensitive but I really felt like an intimacy was violated." ~jaimelr

"THIS BABY we have agreed on a girl name already but if it's a boy world war III might occur at my house. I really don't like the name he wants and he seems to be standing firm!"~MrsRiggert

5. Resorted to naming at the hospital: While most members didn't completely circumvent their partner's wishes by going behind their back to fill out the birth certificate (or at least aren't admitting it), many did leave naming until after their baby's arrival:

"We made a list of names we both "could live with." But we didn't agree. In our state, they won't release a baby from the hospital without a name. I got mad, literally threw the pen at my husband and told him just to pick one! He must have felt bad, because he picked the one that was my favorite!"

"It gets harder with every baby! Our last wasn't named until a week after she was born....." ~boilermaker

Ultimately, this exciting, and at times, agonizing process will give your child a name for the blank spot at the pediatrician's office, school and on driver's license (eek!), college / job applications and marriage certificates (ack!). In time you won't be able to imagine your child by any other name!

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