No One Wants To Steal Your Dumb Baby Name So Stop Being So Secretive About It

nameIt seems like almost every week there’s a new pregnancy announcement on my Facebook newsfeed. There must be something in the water, or maybe it’s just the fact that people in my age bracket (around 30) are starting to go hard when it comes to reproduction.

Since I’ve had two kids and am totally and completely done, I’m way more interested in who, what, when, and where my friends are having their babies. (Pre-baby, I didn’t give a shit!) In my humble opinion, one of the highlights of pregnancy—and I really don’t think there are many—is choosing the baby’s name.

Full disclosure, I was the type of freakazoid that had all of my baby names picked out in eighth grade. Of course, my tastes changed drastically over the years, and my original baby name list was burned in a super-secret midnight ceremony so that no one could mock my strange choices. But I really, really enjoy the art of baby naming, and I’m always chomping at the bit to hear what all of these new bebes will be named.

For my own two kids, my husband and I picked out a boy and a girl name, almost from conception. I’m crazy like that, and I like making lists. So when we went in for the gender ultrasound at 20 weeks, we were at the ready to text all of our family members the gender announcement plus the decided baby name. (We had two boys and went with Elliott Liam and Jonah Reed, if you were wondering.)

Maybe I’m missing something, but many parents in my social circle (i.e., Facebook) don’t seem to share my baby naming enthusiasm. Or maybe they’re just keeping their cards close to their chests. Whatever the case may be, many expecting parents choose not to announce their baby’s name until they post a birth announcement on Facebook. I’ve also known a few parents that have waited several days or weeks after the baby was born to decide on a name.

So what is really going on here? I’m wondering if these parents are either indecisive or afraid that their super-awesome baby name will be stolen. My second son was born in 2013, and I’ve already seen two other Jonahs among my Facebook friends following his birth. I’m not bothered in the least because I love the name and still think it’s unique enough that there probably won’t be eight Jonahs in his class.

Maybe I’m a baby naming fanatic, but I just couldn’t keep my baby name roster to myself. Indecisiveness kinda makes sense for many parents since this is a name your baby will be stuck with for the rest of their life. (No pressure!) But if anyone purposely stole my unborn’s name, I wouldn’t cry about it.

(photo: Getty Images)

You can reach this post's author, Bethany Ramos, on twitter.
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    • Dr. Apothecary

      I’m currently overdue and am sort of wishing that I didn’t share my kid’s (likely) future name with people. My husband and I had decided on two possible names for a boy, and there is one that we prefer and will likely use. But I have been very specific that I don’t want to name the kid until he’s here, hence, referring to him as “kid.” However, my co-worker always calls my fetus by the one name we will probably use and also gave us a blanket with that name embroidered on it!

      If I’m crazy enough to go through pregnancy again, I am so not sharing the kid’s name.

    • SC Belle

      My oldest two were named after family and are very traditional and beautiful names: Christa Elizabeth and John Martin. I got all kinds of flak regarding those names but I was all “you named your kids, I’ll name mine.”
      But my third child was supposed to be Lucas Caden. My SIL heard the name, said “I don’t like Lucas at all” and then proceeded to announce she was naming her son Luke. So, we decided Taylor Caden was a good name. Then my good friend decided she was naming her daughter Kaiden. Different spelling, same name. AHHH! My husband did not want his son to be named after “a girl”. Even though it was “our name first”, sweet Kaiden was born 2 months before our son. Again, we found a new “perfect” name. Taylor Christian. Stupidly, we told people. Guess what Luke’s middle name became? Luke, my nephew, who was born 5 weeks before my son? Yep. Luke Christian. Now I was not changing it again. We decided to flip the names so it was Christian Taylor. My husband thought it was better with Christian being the first name so it wouldn’t look like he “stole” Luke’s middle name. So Christian Taylor was born. Going to be called Taylor. His 4 year old sister, the aforementioned Elizabeth, decided she didn’t like Taylor and began a campaign to have her brother called Christian. Who listens to the 4 year old? Apparently we do. My husband, who was deployed at the time of my son’s birth, met his third child for the first time when the baby was 4 months old. “So this is Taylor?” He asked, kissing his son. We-ell…. yeah, we kept numbers 4 and 5′s names to ourselves. I didn’t want to ever go through that again.

    • SarahJesness

      I don’t even like kids and I STILL like hearing about baby naming. When my friends start having kids I’d be a little bit saaaads if they didn’t want to share potential names with me.

    • Athena A

      Yea when I have a child I’ll wait till it’s born to mention the name. I’ll probably tell my parents though, as I value their opinion and my mom has sort of the same taste in names anyway, so there shouldn’t be too much hate on my choices :)
      I think it’s better to wait to tell it to most of the family, someone’s always going to give a comment that will make you doubt. There’s always going to be a few people who dislike the name and some of them won’t be shy about stating their opinion.
      I mean, I and several family members disliked some of the names my cousins picked for their kid, but we’re not tactless and the kid was already born, so we all smiled and said ‘great name’. Unless someone’s naming their kid Satan or Poopiehead, or something along those lines, it’s better to just keep your negative opinion to yourself.

    • Lackadaisical

      We chose the names early but kept quiet because as soon as you tell people the name you plan for a bump people tell you why it is wrong but if the baby is born and named already they have to be polite and tactful. We made the mistake with our firstborn of telling people we were thinking of Nicholas or Charlotte and people pulled a face and said things like “oh no, not Nicholas, it’s far too long. You can’t call him that” or would tell us that one of the names was unsuitable because they once met someone they didn’t like of that name. Seriously, Nicholas got a lot of criticism and grimacing as a name. It isn’t as if we chose Zebulon and Trickiewoo. We ignored them but decided not to tell with the other pregnancies. People assume that when you say the name you like that you want a debate on it and they can be as rude as they like before trying to convince you to pick a name they love (and you secretly hate) but you know they would feel bitter if you chose and they became pregnant and decided they should have saved it for theirs. I did cave, forgetting the first time, and once mentioned two names we were considering for my youngest and was told “You should choose Christopher and not peter because Christopher sounds like a lawyer and Peter sounds like a sandwich seller”. Actually, no, neither name is posher or more educated than the other and a bump is to young to plan careers from.

    • K

      Jonah was out boy option for #3! And, we’re one of those weirdos you’re talking about. We don’t find out the gender, and we don’t share baby names. For one thing, when it is just a hypothetical people are a lot more willing to be nasty about a name. Once it is a attached to a sweet new baby all the snark fades away. Also, it is fun to have a secret between you and your partner! I loved it, we did it all 3 times.

      • Bethany Ramos

        That is sweet! I am just intrigued by your kind. ;)

    • EX

      We didn’t tell anyone for several reasons. None of them were fear of someone stealing the name. Our reasons were as follows: 1. We’re pretty indicisive. We changed our minds a million times and no name was set in stone until baby arrived. 2. Definitively naming a baby before it’s birth (and calling it by it’s name) always seemed a bit like tempting fate. 3. My family is opinionated and obnoxious and I did not want their input.

    • Kay

      We didn’t share names of our second child for many reasons, and not a single one was for fear of the name being stolen. We had a hard time agreeing on a name for baby one, but when we decided that name was pretty much set in stone. The naming process had been a treacherous process, and I am pretty surprised our relationship survived. :D
      When we shared the name of our first born it was HEAVILY criticized by all of our family members. Everyone had something negative to say about it. A close friend of the family supported us and said that once baby was born the family would be fine and the baby’s name and love it since it was the baby’s name.
      So when we had our second we kept a tight seal on any name. I ran some name combinations by friends on Facebook, but never said whether any of those names would be THE name. (They weren’t.) We didn’t end up fully deciding on a baby name until 2 weeks before the birth. Even then we kept mum. We shared the name when baby was born and were able to skip criticism. .

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    • Liz

      With my first baby, we told anyone who cared to hear about any name we were considering. My SIL in literally cried at Christmas dinner over 8 different names we liked because they were the names she had “claimed” for her unconceived kids (and somehow, we were supposed to know that. Also, she has no intention of having 8 kids, but anyhow…) My MIL HATED our girls name, incessantly complained about it for months, came up with countless horrible nick names for it, put other family members up to complain about it, gave us lists of ‘approved’ names, didn’t understand why we were being so stubborn and hurtful in ignoring her opinion, and flat out said she would never use it, she’d make up a different name and call her that instead!
      With our second one, we told only a couple people, none on my husbands family! When either my SIL or MIL asked, we just refused to talk about it.
      So far, we’ve had two boys. But if this third one is a girl, that name is still in the running!

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