Everyone is sure to have an opinion about your choice of name for you baby-to-be — but when you’re pregnant and your hormones are raging, sometimes you just don’t want to hear it.
Mom Emily says, “I live in the South and everyone has an opinion. I wanted none of them, not even the facial expressions or sounds that come out of people when they try not to react. We told our families that we would be introducing our baby’s name with our baby.”
But holding out and not sharing your name takes a lot of guts and strength, which are two traits I didn’t have when pregnant. I was also curious about what people thought of our boy’s potential name. When I told my dad about our name pick he said, “Give him a more substantial name!” Keep in mind, he was being named after my dad!
Similarly, mom Alexandra decided to name her baby after a relative, but when she told him during the big name reveal at 39 weeks, his response was quite negative. “He was like, ‘Please don’t. I have always hated the name and don’t want him to have it,'” she says. “I started crying and was going to do it any way but then the point of giving him that name was ruined so I had to start over a week before the baby came.”
But the worst-case scenario has to be hearing negative comments once the baby has already been born — and named. Mom Angie says, “I actually changed my baby’s name because of someone’s comments to me. We were going to have Ezekiel as the name and my grandma said, ‘They’ll get called Zeek the Geek!’ I love the name Ezekiel but couldn’t get that comment out of my mind!”
Mom Evie chose not to tell her own mother her name pick, but was met with resistance. She says, “She was so upset and could not believe I would deny her this knowledge in advance. I just said over and over that we weren’t telling anyone because we didn’t want any kind of reaction until it was a done deal. New parents second guess themselves enough and get enough unsolicited input. Let them have this one decision for themselves.”
Agreed. I personally would never say anything about someone’s potential name for a baby-to-be and offend anyone, but I don’t always have control of my facial expressions! Plus, these days there are some interesting names out there since everyone wants to find the most unique name for their child — so there is a chance you’ll see me squirm. In any case, maybe staying tight-lipped is just the way to go when the baby name question comes up.
If you want to stay strong but aren’t sure how, here some great responses from moms when family and friends around you pop the baby name question:
One way to avoid giving up your baby name is politely responding, “We’re still deciding,” even if you’re not. Mom Melissa-Jane says, “We told everyone who asked and I completely regret it. We didn’t change our baby’s name once she arrived, but comments like, ‘Oh, that’s very floral,’ just bugged me. And really, I didn’t care whether people liked the name we’d chosen or not, but I didn’t need to hear those comments. I’m pregnant again now and will not be telling anyone. If people ask, I’m planning to say that we have a few names in mind but we haven’t decided yet.”
Just Say No
For six months, mom Ciarra just said “no” to everyone who asked her about her name choices. She says, “On repeat. No regrets. I had no interest in opinions or even approval, especially from strangers. Once the baby is here I feel like the name curiosity and questioning plummets.”
Make It Sound Worse
A more interesting way to avoid negative reactions about your baby’s name is to make the potential name sound worse. Mom Michelle says, “I’m a hippie and we were planning our second home birth. We’d picked a quirky name for our daughter — but I wanted my family to think we were picking a really strange name, so when they heard the quirky name, they’d feel relieved and happy. I told my mom there’d be an apostrophe in the name! And the fake name I had in mind was D’joba. Her real name is Bliss.”
Use A Fake Name
Mom Kate says her family usually gives out fake names for babies in utero like “Otto, Fred and George. Everybody knows it’s not the real one, but it shuts down a lot of the nosiness.”
Mom Evie adds, “Oh also, whenever family members or friends asked, we’d say ‘Steve Miller Band.’ They’d ask, ‘You’re naming the kid Steve?’ and we’re like, ‘No, Steve Miller Band.’ They stopped asking.”
Give Them A Bone
“We found out the gender for each of our kids and shared that info. So we said we wanted to keep the name secret to have at least one surprise for everyone. That seemed to work well,” mom Katie says.
Honesty was the best policy for mom Lavon. She says, “I was simply honest and said, ‘We’ve decided on a few names but we’re not telling anyone.’ And if they asked why I’d say, ‘Because our family is too opinionated.’ Plus everyone has an opinion and I didn’t want to hear about how someone you didn’t like in third grade had the same name.”
No matter what happens, people will always have their opinions about your baby’s name. Though, with the right response, you won’t have to listen — well, at least until your baby arrives and he or she is so adorable and sweet that it just won’t matter.
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