All About Babies

Ch-ching! Would You Pay Someone $29,000 to Name Your Baby?

Some parents are paying consultants exorbitant fees to choose their baby names for them.

Some baby-naming companies are charging parents up to $29,000 to name their baby. Shutterstock
There's been a lot of mom-shaming this year over the way people choose to spend their money while pregnant. Back in February, the Twitter haters came out in full force over Chrissy Teigan's announcement that she'd hired a baby nurse. And who could forget Kim Kardashian's million-dollar push present plea and it's inevitable backlash?

Truth? I hired a baby nurse for three weeks when I had my second kid, and I received push presents—though not the million-dollar variety—after having both of my munchkins. So at the time, I didn't really get all the judgemental nonsense. We all do what we gotta do, right?

But when I heard that some parents are now paying consultants as much as $29,000 to pick out their baby names for them, I hopped right on that mommy shame train.

That's right! According to Bloomberg, "expert" baby-naming services like My Name for Life in New York and the Switzerland-based Erfolgswelle are now a thing, with parents dropping anywhere from a few hundred dollars to what pretty much amounts to the price of a mid-range car for someone to basically "brand" their child.

What do you get for this price? Two to three weeks of stuff like baby names data analysis and a check to ensure that a particular moniker has not already been trademarked. Oh, and historians will also vet your name to make sure it doesn't have "an aggravating past."

A what?

Look, I get it. I named my daughter "Emma," a designation I loved while pregnant. Still love it. But now that she's older, I realize it doesn't really "fit" her personality. Is this something a baby naming profesh could have predicted? I'm not so sure.

Still, research has shown that what you call your child can determine everything from their future career success to their popularity. There's even a book called The Baby Name Report Card: Beneficial and Harmful Baby Names that ranks possible monikers based on four categories: ethical-caring, popular-fun, success, and masculine or feminine.

For example: "Polly is not a heavyweight," said the book's author Albert Mehrabian. "Polly gets a very high score, 98 percent, on 'ethical-caring,' 87 percent for 'popular-fun,' which makes sense, it's joyful. But it gets a 12 percent in success."

Good to know. I mean, my name's not Polly, but it does rhyme with it. Does this mean I'm doomed to a lifetime of failure? And would I pay someone $29,000 to make sure that didn't happen to my own kid?

If I had it to spare? Probably.

Then again, I could always just plug my prospective name into one of those baby-naming report card sites at no expense. Or have Jimmy Kimmel take a stab at it for free by posting a pic of my newborn with #jimmykimmelnamemybaby, a service the late-night host offered when talking about this crazy expensive baby-naming business in his monologue last night.

Then I could take all that money I just saved and use it to send my kid to college. Or, you know, go out and buy myself another push present.

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and a mom. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and then follow her on twitter at @holleewoodworld.