Baby-Naming Pressure

The heat is officially on, my friends. Yes, the H is O. We need to get serious about picking out a name.

When we finally made it to the hospital to have The Baby Eventually Named Roy, we brought a notebook with one page full of potential names. Between contractions, we took turns crossing one off, eventually whittling the list down to three: Royal, Vincent and Sid. We figured that when he came out, we’d have a good idea of which one best fit him.

We didn’t.

In the meantime, I checked my texts. A dear friend had given birth to a boy that very morning! Yay for the birthday brothers! His name? Vincent. Love it, of course. At least someone was on the ball.

We kept waiting, expecting the answer to appear magically. The longer we waited, the more pressure we felt. Naming someone is a really big deal. It’s often the first thing people learn about you—sometimes the only. And one has different preconceived notions about a person named Blaine than a person named River, or Zeb, or John. Not that I’m a fan of preconceived notions, but they do exist. Seems your name can, to some degree at least, affect your social life, your love life, your hire-ability and more. Picking out that one, defining lifelong identifier that we had total control over while also fumbling around with post-labor pain and breastfeeding and, oh, the impending task of leaving the hospital with a helpless baby for whom we were forever responsible… it was too much.

But I refused to leave without a name. Rather than attempt to squat and therefore have the hospital staff forcibly escort us from the building, we made a gut decision: Royal. It’s an old, farm guy name, and Clint and I both have old farm guy ancestors. Likely we’d just call him Roy, a simple one-syllable name that’s familiar, yet uncommon. Kind of like “Clint.” When paired with Thomas (his middle name, after my father), we had an optional RT in there. He could decide to use his full name when he was older, if it happened to suit him, or let it exist solely as a parental seriousness indicator. (When said sternly, “Royal Thomas Buckner” totally sounds as if you mean business.) Done.

He’s grown into it beautifully, as I imagine they all do. Roy is most definitely a Roy.

Now, on to his little sister. We have a few names we agree on in the hopper, and I’m hoping to have it locked down within hours after her birth—none of that annoying back-and-forth we had with the boy. My fellow blogger Paula, of In Name Only, just posted some awesome help in figuring out some possible names for her—check it out if you want a little more background on where we’re headed. Nosy me, I’m wondering: How did you name your child(ren)? Still happy with your choice(s)? Have any suggestions for me?


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  1. by Menzel

    On December 8, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    Ours involved a color coded excel spread sheet. I was convinced we were having a girl. We agreed on a girl name. No boy name was ever agreed on. Every once in a while I would find the spread sheet up, and would just shake my head. Once he came out I was so shocked I told my husband he could name him whatever he wanted. Our boy also ended up with an old school farm name, common to where we live, but very uncommon everywhere else, and it fits him perfect.

    I’m grateful how things turned out. I’m now not a fan of our girl name!

  2. by Eileen

    On December 8, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I still LOVE my (grown)kids names…Niles, Sam, and Greta. We had the last name Baranowski to deal with so I didn’t want any y or i ending names also didn’t want nicknames. Also had to sort of go with the Polish last name. Greta was the hardest name because I guess I never really believed I would get my girl and she was a month early. When Niles was 4 months old I had a ‘vision’ (sleep deprivation) and saw a 4 yr old Niles playing with a one yr old little brother and ‘knew’ it was Sam (not Samuel). Hey Berit, how about the name from The Girl with Dragon Tattoo? Lisbeth? or even the actress Noomi?? You will find just the right name for your little one…I’m sure : )

  3. by Kelly

    On December 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    We named our daughter Amber, and fortunately my husband and I had no disagreement. I had only three requirements for my baby’s name:

    1) I wanted a pretty name that can not be shortened (as in “Allie” for “Allison”, etc.)

    2) I did not want my child named after anyone else that I knew, or after any celebrities that are readily recognized.

    3) I did not want one of those newer, trendy baby names like “Chloe” or “Teegan”. Not that there’s anything wrong with these names, they just weren’t for us.

    Aside from that, my husband and I sat around one night during my 20th week of pregnancy and just threw some names out there that we liked. Any that we both agreed on, we wrote down. “Amber” was the hands-down winner!

  4. by katie d.

    On December 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    I have names I have been hanging onto for forever, in secret. Every time a celeb uses the name (Harper, for example), good-bye name! I grew up with one of the most popular names for my age group and I will do whatever I can to save my kid from the same fate. . . but I don’t want them to have a weird name either. It’s so hard! And I haven’t even named one yet! (I love Roy’s name, BTW.)

  5. by Jessi

    On December 9, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    We hadn’t picked out a name when I delivered. Even after we picked one and started telling people we were still debating it. In the end though I think they grow into the name regardless.

  6. by Jill Cordes

    On December 9, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    This is a tough one Berit, and I’m in the same boat as you. I just posted a comment on Paula’s blog in regards to some of the names she suggested. It’s so hard. We too, went to the hospital, armed with a huge list of names and widdled and tweaked them down. But even then, it wasn’t until 2 1/2 days later that we finally decided. Our Icelandic friends have it much better. They take the baby home and after 3 weeks or so decide on a name and have a baby naming party. Maybe your Norweigan roots should think about that! (kidding, since the whole court process here is such a pain). Anyway, will be anxious to hear what you come up with. Final stretch for us both!

  7. by Aunt Ardith

    On December 10, 2011 at 7:09 am

    Berit…..I only got to help name one child…Clint’s cousin, Trent. He came 9 weeks early, we sort of had a girl’s name picked out. No boy’s name. The nurse brought us a baby name book and we found it in there. Simple, one-syllable as you said and he also seemed to fit it. His middle name is Lewis, my maiden name. Good luck with your new baby, know Iowa Grandpa & Grandma are excited about a girl!

  8. by cori_ally

    On December 14, 2011 at 8:59 am

    I have a unique name that’s uncommon but not too wacky… I’ve always gotten compliments on it & always loved that no one else had my name–so we wanted to give our daughter the same gift. I didn’t want to pick anything trendy; although I like some of them I didn’t want her to be one of a zillion “Madison”s or “Kayleigh”s. We had an ongoing list but the one that we picked as the winner was something I came across in a novel I was reading (not a character’s name but actually the name of a constellation). I asked my husband what he thought of it & he loved it, so that was that. We’ve gotten so many compliments on it and most people say they’ve never heard it before. I’m hoping it doesn’t catch on & become popular ;)

  9. by Sarah

    On February 2, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    When my boyfriend and I found out I was pregnant, we sat down one night and threw names back and forth. I was deadset on Eleanor Constance for a girl (my grandmother was Constance Eleanor, plus we could call her “Hella Ella” when she plays soccer or does something awesome), and basically told Steve that he had no choice in the girl name. In about two hours, we’d decided on Owen Mitchell for a boy, unless we felt differently when we saw him. When we found out it was a boy, I started calling him “Maybe Owen,” and even wrote a book for him called “Maybe Owen and His Many Blankets.” Needless to say, he’s Owen, though for awhile, he was “Definitely Owen.” It suits him, and has suited him from the minute he (thankfully) exited my body.

  10. [...] I’m in the same boat as fellow blogger Berit. We are both due in 2 weeks and trying to come up with names for our babies.We have enlisted the [...]