Pregnancy // Baby Name Talk...

April 04, 2019

What's in a name?!...

For a lot of people, once they know the sex of the baby {and even before!} they can’t wait to find out what you’re thinking of for names. Ben & I have always said from the very beginning how we won’t share any names we’re considering/have decided on with anyone before the baby is born. Because everyone has a big opinion on baby names or something or somebody they associate that name with. We didn’t want any pre-judgements or negative opinions, we want to introduce our baby with their name once they arrive and if people don’t like it at that point, it’s too late/not really relevant! I also find that when people hear a baby name announcement, even if they recoil at first, on seeing the baby/letting it sink in for a day or so they can’t help but think it works or at least accept it because you love the baby regardless. 

Ben’s Mum was a teacher for many years and everyone knows that teachers are notorious for having a big say on names. She’s actually more concerned with the name than finding out if it was a boy or a girl and is constantly asking us for clues and trying to guess or saying ‘I hope it’s not...’ but we won’t budge. My Mum is just as opinionated to the point we’d never tell her any name we were considering but has been much better at respecting not wanting to find out until the day than I expected her to. Likewise, friends and other family members have tried their hardest to get us to spill but we've stuck firm! 

There’s so much in choosing a name, don’t you think? To carry your teeny baby through to adulthood, people seem to pre judge a person based on their name. And you wouldn’t want to give them a name they might hate you for one day. A quirky name might indicate quirky parents wanting to stand out. But equally you don’t want something too popular for risk of a whole class full of that name at school? It has to go with your surname, and then do you add in a middle name or even two? You should think about their initials briefly to make sure they’re not some awful combination. Do you go for a family middle name? Or something powerful/meaningful/more bold than a first name? Or just something that sounds nice with it and your surname. A lot of people don’t have middle names at all but Ben & I both do and find them more distinguishing, so it’s something we wanted too. We decided not to go with any of our parents middle names as we didn’t love any of their names and feel we could choose between them. Grandparents names are often nice though. Mine is Violet after my Grandma {Mum’s Mum}. 

Although popular, Ben & I didn’t go through any name books when creating an initial list. We’ve had a list of names for a while, before we started trying for a baby, but only one of them made it onto our ‘ok we’re actually having a baby let’s think about names list’. The rest were just ones I had from childhood daydreams I think. We talked about in the car over a few journeys, looking briefly at lists online and talking through them. I feel like you have to go through a small batch at a time to consider or they all start to blur into one. Also, at what point do you stop looking? I guess throughout pregnancy you’re always going to be open to considering names you hadn’t thought of but equally we felt happy with the options we had and didn’t feel the need to actively search anymore. I really like looking up the meaning of names, not that we’d choose a name solely based on meaning {a lot of people do which is really lovely} but it’s nice to know the story behind a name to confirm it’s right for you and your baby. The name nest on Instagram has some beautiful names and illustrations and mini stories to accompany them. 

Eventually we had a shortlist for both boys and girls, and then the day we had our very first scan in London a few weeks before Christmas, we felt so ecstatic after seeing our baby for the first time that we were in Covent Garden after and both suddenly wanted to narrow our list down. We looked at it together and agreed to both write on our phones the name we thought we should go for for both boy and girl, then show it to each other to see if we both agreed! To my delight, Ben went for a much stronger boy’s name than I’d expected he would and the same girls names. It felt so good to both be in such strong agreement. Granted, there were a few girls names I liked which he had discounted to start with {that luckily I wasn’t too attached to to fight about or insist on}, but in the end we both had a few we were more than happy with. I know a lot of the time it can be a big battle if one of you is set on a name the other hates! 

My grandparents kept saying to me ‘I hope you’re not going for one of these new ridiculous names like River’. But we would never choose a name just to please our grandparents, in fact a tiny part of me wanted to be controversial on purpose. This was our baby and time for us to make the decisions. 

For a few months we had a boy’s name, including middle name, set in stone and two options for girls. Sorry to be a bore and not share them but we want it to be a surprise and keep any spare names we’re not using for future babies! Then, once we found out that we were having a girl, decided there and then on which out of the two it would be. There was a strong sign which helped to make it clear to us too, which I’ll share when the baby is here. 

All week whilst we were in the Maldives we got used to saying the name out loud and talking to the bump with it, knowing we’d have to be careful when we got home not to let anyone hear us! I think we’ll go back to baby bee for a while. 💘

Are you one of those who chose a name before your baby was here or did you wait on meeting them to decide? My Grandpa actually took my Dad to get registered and changed his name at the last minute, much to the shock of my Grandma when he got home! Would love to hear your experiences.

Will share an Instagram post today to make it easier to comment on.

R <3 xx 

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  1. I don't have any babies and I personally find it odd that some parents have decided on a name but don't tell anyone after the baby is born. If your daughter's name is for example Rosie, what's wrong with sharing it before the delivery? During her life you'll have to stay by your raising values and behaviours every day, as everyone will have a say in how to feed her, dress her, what school, etc. Why calling her "baby" and having your family which is her family too after all treating her in such an impersonal way?

    Of course this is just my opinion, your child, your rules :-)

    1. For us, it’s to avoid people giving their opinions or trying to sway us before she’s here. I also think it’s quite nice to keep some things secret to announce on the day she’s born after we’ve announced the gender already etc

    2. We decided not to tell anyone our son's name when we were pregnant and I would do the same again if we had another, partly for the surprise factor as everyone already knew he would be a boy, but also because it meant if he didn't suit the name when he was born we could change it without any fuss x


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