Naming Your Baby Can Be a Dramatic Experience, but It’s Also a Joyful One

Naming Your Baby Can Be a Dramatic Experience, but It’s Also a Joyful One

The problem with naming a baby is that everything – or at least most of all – concerns you.

Who you want the baby to be. Who you are and who you want the world to think you are.

Because of course, you call pretty much blind. Even if you wait until you make a final name decision until you meet the baby, you still can’t really say if this newborn will grow up to be calm or wild, an artist or actuary, a Millicent or a Maverick.

Defining the eternal identity of your unknown child is just one of the extremely important jobs that a baby name is supposed to take on. (Or two names, or even three if you do like royals. But it’s always a lot of pressure for a few words.)

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Your child’s name also telegraphs to everyone, from your Instagram followers to your grandmother exactly who you think you are. An appreciator of Jane Austen with deep ties to your Greek family but a contemporary vision of gender identity? A nature lover with the attitude of a rock star? Or, OMG, an unimaginative loser who couldn’t even choose the right thing when it was free.

And then, potentially, the child’s other parent may insist on bringing their own identity issues, hopes and dreams for your baby to the naming table. And these ideas could be at odds with yours.

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Even if you manage to agree on a name or five with which you can both live, there is the inescapable fact that a baby name has great responsibilities and great fears. Choose wisely and your child will feel good about himself and grow up to be president. Choose poorly and risk a lifetime to present yourself as the mother of other Henry B.

Aside from choosing an overly popular name, the number one cause of name regret, is often much more horrific in theory than it is in real life. On the one hand, at the time your Henry B. is old enough to spend time with several other Henrys, his name will no longer be the only thing you know about him. He could be tall and honeycombed, kind and a fast runner with a wild laugh. Its name will have taken the place which belongs to it as one of its characteristics, and not very important in this respect.

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For another thing, your Henry B. may very well like being part of a gang of Henrys, so any regret you feel for having chosen a name which has proved to be too common (or too unique) will be replaced by your child’s own feelings about his or her name.

At the same time, the identity that you tried to encapsulate so perfectly in your child’s name will be replaced by the one that he seeks to define himself through his interests, his friends, his studies, his travels – perhaps even a new name.

And this name that you worked so long and so hard to get the right will take its place, with the vitamins of pregnancy and your birth plan, as a vestige of life before: before baby, before parenthood, before you can understand that your child really should be a separate person from you. Before you understand that you would still love everything from them, whatever their name is.

Read on for stories of baby names that really hit home – from horrified grandparents to moms who want to (gasp!) Nothing to do with their child’s name in the first place – and prove that everything works. the end.

Baby-Naming Adventures

A “stole” relative to the name of the baby I have chosen

My family hated the baby names I chose

I let my partner choose the name of our baby without any contribution on my part

I changed my baby’s name after 10 days

Grandparents hate trendy baby names

These are the most popular baby name.

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