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Why We Chose Not to Share Our Baby’s Name

When I was pregnant with my first baby, I really didn’t like the idea of settling on his name before he was born. Mostly, because I couldn’t picture assigning a name to a person whom I didn’t even know yet. My husband and I had a long list of baby names assembled that combined my desire for an offbeat, unique name with his desire to hold onto his family’s traditional, heirloom names. Whenever I was asked what we were considering, I would spout off some of my personal favorites: Atticus (this was before the minor controversy that accompanied the publishing of Go Set a Watchman), Patrick (“Oh, that’s my brother’s name!”), and Phineas (“Like Phineas Gage?; the guy who survived having an iron rod driven through his skull?”).

Photo credit: Ashlee Stuckert

It seemed that every time I shared my name ideas, I left the conversation feeling less enthused about my selections. My husband and I therefore decided, that we would wait until the baby was born; until we officially met him to decide on his name. After laboring all of Christmas Day, Charles “Charlie” Davis was born at 2:22 am on December 26. Charles, for his Daddy, and Davis, which was my maternal Grandma’s maiden name. She had just passed away and I was more than a little heartbroken that she would never get to meet her great-grandson. The name was filled with sentiment and anyone who has ever met our sweet boy would attest that he is 100% a Charlie.
However, the experience of sharing my name preferences with family and friends stayed with me when we discovered we were expecting our second child. Everyone had had an opinion on what our baby’s name should (or shouldn’t) be and it infuriated me. Why did anyone feel like they should have had a say in naming our child? As long as we weren’t naming him Lucifer, shouldn’t our opinions be the only ones that mattered?

Why did anyone feel like they should have had a say in naming our child? As long as we weren’t naming him Lucifer, shouldn’t our opinions be the only ones that mattered?

This time around, we still compiled a long list, with the girls’ side considerably longer than the boys’, as we were convinced we were having a girl. We went to our 20-week ultrasound and- SURPRISE! Another boy was about to join our family! Although we were shocked to learn of his gender, I knew instantly what his name would be and though it took my husband a teensy bit longer to warm up to and accept the name, he eventually fell just as in love with it as I did. We decided right then and there in the ultrasound room that we would under no circumstances, share this little one’s name until he was born. We loved his name, and I was not ready for skeptical eyebrows, or comparisons to existing people who shared the name to damper my enthusiasm.

Although our closest family members did eventually wear us down and strong-arm the name out of us, we’ve held fast to not sharing with friends and acquaintances before Baby 2.0 comes along, and quite honestly, I don’t regret it for a second. It’s something that feels like ours. It’s made me feel closer to this baby, which is important to me because I’ve always felt a little bit disconnected during both of my pregnancies. It allows us the freedom to change our mind. Most of all, it allows us the opportunity to actually meet our baby boy, and get a sense of who he is before we assign him the name that will stick with him for the rest of his life.

So what do you think? Are you in favor of waiting to make an official name announcement? Or did you share your baby’s name prior to their his/her birth?


***Editor’s Note:: Contributor Kaity welcomed Crosby Loren to her family on Labor Day, the irony of which is not lost on the mama who was overdue at the time of his birth.***

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4 Responses to Why We Chose Not to Share Our Baby’s Name

  1. Emma October 5, 2016 at 10:32 am #

    The first time around we shared only our top three. I like to think that the opinions expressed didn’t have an affect, because little e’s name fits her so well. This time around we’ve been sharing the list of the names we like, but it is completely disheartening when someone expresses disdain for the one that I feel might be right. Naming a person is hard work!

    • Kaity S
      Kaity S October 6, 2016 at 7:28 am #

      So true! I’ve tried to be much more conscious of how I react when someone else shares baby names with me. Even if it’s something I don’t personally care for- it’s not my kid!

  2. Amanda Bumgarner October 7, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

    We knew what R’s name was going to be the whole time, and we only told our parents and siblings. We have a boy and girl name ready to go for our next baby, whenever that is, and we will only be telling our immediate families again! I like the surprise aspect of people not knowing what the name will be and I just don’t really care to hear anyone’s opinion about the names we’ve picked. I don’t know why anyone would regret not sharing! I think it’s fun to have it be a secret 🙂

    • Kaity S
      Kaity S October 8, 2016 at 10:14 am #

      It really does make the initial birth announcement a lot more fun when you get to share their name for the first time 🙂