In Name Only

Natalie Portman Says She'll Wait Until Baby Is Born to Choose a Name

Does Natalie Portman's approach to naming her soon-to-be-born baby make sense to you, or seem too risky?

natalie portman one shoulder white dress Matteo Chinellato/Shutterstock
Before each of my kids was born, I picked out their baby names. I was so sure of my choices, I had announcements printed out for one child, and purchased a piece of wall art with the name on it for another.

But I'll admit part of me wondered, "Um, what if the baby name doesn't suit the baby?" Like, what if she popped out, and she looked nothing like the name I'd felt so sure about?

Pregnant Natalie Portman must share the apprehension I managed to force into my subconscious, because when asked if she and her hubby Benjamin Millepied had named their soon-to-be-born second child, the star of Jackie told a reporter on the Screen Actors Guild Awards red carpet Sunday evening, "You got to meet a baby before. Gotta meet the baby and then figure it out."

Despite Portman's claim that she hasn't picked a name, I have to believe the actress has a few ideas. And I'm guessing the 35-year-old won't go with a popular baby name, since her first son is named Aleph. According to Nameberry, Aleph is a Hebrew name, meaning "chief" or "number one."

Perhaps she'll consider another moniker that hails from Israel, as she does. Avi? Levi? Ruth? Sarah?

Jewish Baby Names

It's worth noting that, in the Jewish tradition, a baby name (which often pays homage to a relative) is kept secret until a ceremony is held to announce it to family and friends.

No matter the cultural or religious reasons, Portman's logic about waiting to name a baby until he or she is born makes a lot of sense; far more than my way, which was to obsess over the perfect name throughout my pregnancies, and put undue pressure on myself to pick the name before the baby arrived. I guess it was about the planning aspect; just wanting to feel like things were settled, since welcoming a new life brings so many unknowns.

I can't say enough that admire how the Oscar-winning Portman has the patience and discipline to wait!

What is your approach to baby-naming?

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.