As soon as my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first child, we started our official “Name List”. From magazine bylines to movie credits, city names to seasons, we jotted down every potential name we came across that at least one of us loved. Since we decided not to find out the gender of the baby, we soon had a growing list of both boy and girl names. We continued to add to and veto names from the list throughout my pregnancy until we had narrowed it down to two girl names and two boy names. But one thing we never did? Share this list of baby names with friends or family. Here’s why:
1. Unsolicited opinions
When you share potential baby names you are considering, friends and family feel free to offer their two cents, and it might go something like this:
“Reeve? Like Keanu Reeves? Ugg, I hate his acting.”
“You can’t name your baby Dean. Mean Dean? Kids will tease him!”
“Thom? Who spells Tom with an ‘H’? People will always be spelling his name wrong.”
“Jackson? Really? I had a dog named Jackson.”
Keep-it-quiet benefit: No one ever talks crap about the baby’s name while they are holding your adorable, cooing newborn. Introduce the name when you introduce the baby and the two will seem like a perfect fit.
2. Family pressure
Of course your extended family is excited about your pregnancy news, but some families may put pressure on the parents-to-be to continue family traditions such as naming a son after his father or using family names as the child’s first or middle name. If you aren’t into following the tradition or don’t want pressure from great-aunt Ethel to pass on her namesake, then forego sharing your name ahead of time. You can say you’re still “considering different options” or “haven’t quite settled” on the final name. Or my personal favorite (and what we actually did) — “We want to wait to see the baby before we decide.”
Keep-it-quiet benefit: Prevent any parental backlash by asking for forgiveness instead of permission. Who can stay mad while looking at that adorable, drooling face?
3. Stolen names
Have other friends who are pregnant at the same time? It’s tempting to want to swap naming stories, but beware — they are on the hunt for the perfect name too. I’ve heard too many stories of someone sharing their perfect name only to have a friend or acquaintance who has their baby first snag the name. Hard to blame them — it was an awesome name choice. But you can prevent the problem altogether by keeping quiet.
Keep-it-quiet benefit: Save your friendship — and your perfect baby name — by keeping it a secret until your baby arrives.
Did you share your baby name ideas before the birth or keep them a secret?