OMG you guys, I’ve been having some conversations around baby naming lately and I have to throw my two cents into it. First off, naming a child is really hard. The main thing you have to keep in mind is that you’re not actually naming a baby…you’re naming a person. You have to think of this baby as a child who’s learning how to first pronounce his name, as a teenager who may have to explain her name, as an adult who is introducing himself for the first time to someone new. The name of your baby is one of the most important things you can give to them. It’s their title if you will. Now, there may or may not be nick names associated with the name you choose, that’s up to you on how to handle that. I know that when I was pregnant with my first, and we found out I was was having a boy, that’s when we started to toss around names. Unless you’re carrying on a name for tradition or in honor of someone, then you have your work cut out for you. A few ways to deal with the naming of your future prince or princess:
Make it fun! We had a whiteboard (really a large white piece of paper taped to the wall) when we were naming our kids – everyone was encouraged to chime in on their names and add it. For our second, I even had a list going at work and whenever one of my co-workers would think of one, they would happily give their opinions. Some of the names were great, some not so much, and some were all out jokes, like when my older son said he wanted to name is brother “tomato” (gotta love that kid!). It’s fun to hear why people choose the names they do, and it’s fun when the baby is born for your friends and relatives to see if any of their names were chosen. I even kept our lists and put them in the boys’ memory boxes so they can see what their name suggestions were.
Think outside the box – I think we all know kids with interesting names. I live in a hipster neighborhood so really, anything goes around here. When we were naming our kids we didn’t go for unusual (object, color or food), we wanted to go with unique and uncommon. We also had a hard time choosing just one name so our boys each have 4 names and 1 number, (not including their last name) in their full names. Yep, you read that correctly, multiple names and YES a number. The same number for both. 23. Why? Well, it’s my husband’s lucky number and he wanted it. And guess what, it’s something you can actually do, and when you get your baby’s birth certificate, it will all be there in black and white. It’s their full legal name. Note: their social security card will be a different story though because there is a character limit on that document.
History: If you come family that historically goes the traditional route, there’s sometimes the suggestion of naming the baby after grandpa or grandma. Including special names in your child’s name is a nice thing to do and remember, you don’t have to do it as the first name. This alleviates being at Christmas dinner where all the boys are named Joe and when someone calls their name they all answer. Does that even happen anymore, or only in my parent’s house?
Say it Out Loud: Take that name for a test drive! If you find a name you like, use it in sentences for a few days. Toss it around in conversation with friends, see how it feels to say. A lot of times that can be the deciding factor in naming a person. I happened to love the name we ultimately picked for our oldest, and at the time, my husband wasn’t loving it. A few weeks before he was born we went to dinner with a good friend and I mentioned the name, which he loved, and at the end of the night when we were parting ways, our friend used the name in a sentence. After my husband heard it out loud, and in that context, he was hooked. So thanks Barry for helping pick his name!
Keep it to yourselves!! This is of course entirely up to you to do but as an observer, friend and person who has named 2 kids, I wouldn’t tell the final name until the baby is born. I’m cool with discussing names, getting feedback, watching other people’s expressions when you throw out a name they don’t generally agree with…ya, know, that kind of thing. But at the end of the day you’re the one’s deciding on the final product. It’s ok if some people don’t like it, trust me, once they see that baby with that name, they’ll forget they even had that thought. If it’s a name you love, stick with it, don’t be swayed by other people’s opinions – they can name their own babies!
So if you’re currently naming a baby and need some help – ask away, you might find one you never even considered before!!