What Did You Name Yours?


Today Net Mums released the official top baby names from the last 12 months. The list doesn’t surprise me at all, after all I’m probably working in the one profession where I am at the forefront of hearing these names within minutes, often seconds of delivering a baby. During my career I have heard it all when it comes to naming your baby. I’m not going to name and shame but there have been some interesting moments in the delivery room when the new parents have revealed their baby daughter’s name. ‘So how are you spelling that?’ is often my polite answer. You get the idea.

Now I’m no expert at naming babies, I’ve had 2 girls of my own and I do think girls names are much easier than boys names. I hate being put on the spot and I have been asked by new parents to pick between two names for their child. I have also had a baby girl named after me which was a lovely surprise.

So here is my top tips for naming your child

  • ALWAYS consider your child. You might like a certain name because it’s supercool or unique, but remember that it is not you who needs to go through life with this name. Do you really want your child having to explain herself to every single person who needs to write her name? Trust me my name has 10 letters in it. Not much space on the page to fill them all in ,hence why I shortened it.
  • Pregnancy hormones can play havoc with your sense of humour and emotions. Naming your child after the character you saw on TV may not be such a great idea ten years down the line. I once met two sisters called Cagney and Lacey.
  • Consider all possible nicknames and names that rhyme. Kids will always find a way to tease other kids especially when names are involved. The day one boy at school realised that Clemmie rhymed with Flemmy was the day I started calling myself Sarah.
  • Research the meaning of the names you like. You don’t want to realise after you’ve named your baby Claudia, that it actually means lame.
  • Say it out loud. Like lots of times. Say it with your surname, call it across the park (to see if any dogs come running). We never realised how similar my daughters name Marnie sound like Mummy. It still gets confusing.
  • And write it down. Lots of times just like you did when you wrote down your boyfriends name age 16 all over your homework diary. You’ll be surprised how instantly you love it or hate it.
  • Think about the initials especially if you’re using a middle name. I knew someone with the initials BJ. His surname was Madick. Enough said
  • Negotiate with your partner. I worked really hard on my second daughters middle name Violet. I figured as I was pushing our baby out of me I could pretty much call her what I liked. Amazingly it worked.
  • Be careful who you tell. When you’re pregnant people LOVE to ask (guilty) ‘Have you thought of any names?’ And if you choose to reveal a few be prepared for odd looking faces or negative comments. When I was pregnant with my first daughter I told a certain member of the family a girls name I had fallen in love with. The member of the family very quickly made her feelings known about that name. I haven’t quite forgiven her.
  • Never ask your teacher friends their opinion. I have heard countless times ‘Jack is always a naughty boy name’. Also feel sorry for your friends if they’re both teachers. Naming their child must be an impossible task.
  • You don’t have to love your child’s name. As odd as it sounds your child grows into their name and you can’t imagine them being called anything else. Both our girls are often called by their nicknames or their full names.
  • And lastly, once you revealed your child’s name, stick to it. I once knew a couple who changed their sons name when he was 5 months old. It was confusing especially for the baby’s 3 year old brother.


11 thoughts on “What Did You Name Yours?

  1. I think the same consideration could be given when choosing a very popular name. I grew up always being one of at least 5 different ‘Sarahs’ in my school/work and it drove me nuts! We gave our daughter an unusual name (I checked the ONS report and it doesn’t even show up which means less than 3 people called there daughters that last year!) but it has many options to shorten it. Her name is Leontine, we call her Leon but she could choose to be ‘Lee’ or even ‘Tina’ if she wants 🙂

  2. I am obsessed with names so I have loved this post so much! I was checking the list when it was published to make sure my daughter’s name wasn’t on it! Her middle name (Elsie) is but Gwenn isn’t (although it probably is more popular in Wales)

    I’m always amazed at how rude people can be when it comes to questioning name choices.

    Apparently, whenever my sister-in-law was pregnant (I didn’t meet her until she had all three children) and she mentioned some names she had in mind, our mutual mother-in-law would say whether she liked them or not. I wonder what would’ve happened if my SIL had chosen one of the names my MIL hated? Would she have pretended that actually she did love it and pretend the previous conversation never happened?!??

    I’ve always been of the opinion that if you don’t care for the name, “Oh, lovely” will do and move on!!!

    • It’s so rude the way people make these comments before you have the baby but wouldn’t be so rude once you’ve given birth. My MIL told me when she was pissed one Christmas that Marnie’s name took some getting use to! Charming!

  3. Point no. 2. Oh god, yes!! There was a point when I was seriously considering the name Jesse for Rory, after watching one too many episodes of Breaking Bad. …although, to be fair, it could still be a contender for baby no. 3 (when that happens!)

  4. This is a great post! Our children’s names are a little unusual but not too ‘out there’ that they will be ridiculed. They have both grown into them and they suit them perfectly. Naming children is such a huge responsibility x

  5. If I’m honest, while I hated that people mispronounced or misspelled my name \ (pronounced sun-ay) as a kid in primary school, I have always been a little smug over the fact that I don’t know anyone else with my name, and love that my parents chose a unique name for me. My MIL has already expressed her distaste for most of the baby names my partner and I like and I’m not even pregnant yet! It came up in conversation when my SIL was pregnant, and I was shocked that she thought it was okay to use the word “hate” for a name that both me and my partner love!

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