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Should We Reveal Our Baby-Name Choices?

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Mom-To-Be: Since I've been pregnant, I've been routinely asked three questions by family, friends and even strangers:

1) "When are you due?"

2) "Do you know what you're having?"

3) "Do you have names picked out?"

The first two are easy to answer. ("January" and "No, we don't.") The third question, though, has been a little tougher, especially when it has been asked by close friends and family. The truth is, we've had our names picked out since we found out we were pregnant. And we made a decision that we would not tell anyone.

If it had been up to my husband, we would have revealed them. He's a lot more open and forthright than I am. I worried that the names would be judged like contestants on "Dancing with the Stars." Somehow, people -- even those closest to you; maybe especially those closest to you -- feel that pre-baby, they have the right to tell you their horror stories attached to that name. "Oh, I knew a so-and-so in high school. She was a real (insert expletive)." Or, "I dated a so-and-so, and boy, was he a LOSER!" I also didn't want to have to deal with the silence I might hear after revealing the names -- the look that said, "I hate the names you've picked, but I don't want to tell you."

So we haven't told. And it's been hard. At first, we said, "No, we don't have any names yet." But with the due date fast approaching, it seems crazy that we wouldn't. So I've started saying, "We do, but it's going to be a surprise." My feeling is that, after our little boy or girl is born, no one is going to look at his or her little baby face and judge the name we've chosen.

At least, I hope not ....

next: 'Mommy Thumb' On the Rise
13 comments so far | Post a comment now
Aprilcot26 December 15, 2010, 1:40 PM

Keeping it secret is the way to go. My husband and I didn’t share our baby name for those exact same reasons. We gave a few vague hints which made it fun for friends and family to try and guess. By the time our daughter was born, everyone was so glad to finally meet her and and hear her name there was no judging.

ss December 15, 2010, 3:55 PM

Keeping it a secret also gives you the option of changing it. I know so many people who announced the name then felt like it didn’t fit once they saw the baby. By then the had tons of clothes and gear with the baby’s name on it and felt obligated to keep their original name rather than change it to what the felt fit more.

Amanda December 15, 2010, 4:05 PM

I felt the same way. I didnt want people judging or adding unwanted comments about the names we chose. I had my husband agree to tell people we were still thinking it over. Once the baby was born and the name revealed no one had anything to add about the name they were too busy cooing over baby.

Cathleen December 16, 2010, 7:52 AM

When I was pregnant with my first I told anyone who asked what his name was going to be. With the exception of ONE person, everyone hated it, and no one was shy in telling me so. Seriously? Well, maybe I don’t like YOUR name, lol. In the end, I changed his name a few minutes after he was born. My next two pregnancies, I didn’t tell ANYone the names because I didn’t want to hear anyone’s opinions. By the time the babies were born, no one felt bold enough to say what they really felt, and now their names are just that…their names. I’m expecting again and my husband and I decided to tell people the baby’s name. What did we get in return? All kinds of negative comments, or, as you mentioned, awkward silence. Why do people think it’s OK to trash a person’s name if the person isn’t born yet? At the very least, isn’t that offensive to the parents? Maybe the next time someone has a thing or two to say about my baby’s-to-be name, I’ll have a thing or two to say about theirs!

Kelley December 16, 2010, 8:56 AM

We told….and really didnt care if people liked it or not, but it’s been hard that even though my babe is almost 8 mos old now, my mom still doesn’t like baby’s name! But, she wasn’t super original with her choice of “Kelley” in 1979…so I try to let it roll off f my back.

???? December 16, 2010, 9:10 AM

You probably don’t want someone to tell you they hate the name.

Jessie December 16, 2010, 9:55 AM

I can understand that. We told, but 1.) we found out what we were having, and 2.) we had had our first boy and first girl names picked out since before we even started trying to have kids, and we weren’t shy about sharing that information. We wanted to start calling her by her name as soon as possible after we found out she was a she. :-)

Carol December 16, 2010, 2:11 PM

I would keep it a secret until the baby is born than way the aby being here takes presient over the name.
My family has a habit/custom of having family names. Every generation has a Francis (Frank), Thomas, Michael etc. That’s on both sides. So if there’s been unhappiness when boy wasn’t named after a grandfather or father. The girls don’t suffer the same fat but my grandmotehr went to hr grave not being happy that either of her children named a daughter after her mother - Gertrude.

Anonymous December 17, 2010, 11:41 AM

i made the mistake of telling my friend the name i picked for my son befor he was born while she was expeckting her kid was born first and she used the name i had picked

Anonymous December 17, 2010, 11:58 PM

That’s terrible. It really is. Stealing another person’s name like that. Did you still use the name even though your friend’s baby had it?

I would keep the name a secret. There’s too much pressure and judgement and, as another person pointed out, family can get prissy if names aren’t passed on. My husband’s family couldn’t give a toss about that kind of thing, but my own mother always treats everything as a competition. If I did choose a name from the other side of the family simply because I liked it, I would be EXPECTED to choose one from ours next. Incidentally, my brother and sister both have a middle name from my family. I don’t. My middle name was chosen at random. I hate it too.

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