The Case for Sharing Your Baby's Name (or Not)

After months of consideration, you’ve settled on the perfect name for your baby and you can’t wait to share it with your friends and family.

But should you?

Choosing a name for your baby is one of the most fun and exciting parts of pregnancy. It’s a first step toward getting to know the new person you are bringing into your world and a deeply personal decision. All parents wants to choose the name that is just right and share the choice with the people around them.

Chances are, your family and friends have asked you about the names you’re considering and offered lots of suggestions of their own. These conversations may have been really helpful—especially when you’re first brainstorming names and are open to ideas. (You hadn’t considered the fact that one of the names you initially liked could easily be condensed into a not-so-nice nickname.) You might even learn interesting facts about your family history. (Great-grandma had a twin sister!)

Opinions, however, vary and your idea of the perfect, just-right name may be very different from your family and friends’! Share your perfect name with your mother and you may hear a sigh of disappointment because she really wants you to name the baby after her father. Your best friend may muster a week smile and remark, “It’s a little old fashioned, isn’t it?” And your coworker might note, “I knew a kid in high school with that name. I never liked him.”

Whether you choose to share your baby’s name or not, there are a few important things to remember.

1. Be Diplomatic

Remember your loved ones are eager to welcome baby and they want to be part of your experience. If you opt not to share the name you’ve chosen, remember their feelings. Gently explain your reasons, smile, and ask for their support.


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2. Be Definite

What do you think? Do you like it? Questions evoke answers and they may not be the answers you want to hear. If you’ve chosen a name, be assertive. “We’ve decided on Brunhilda. We love it, and we’re very excited.” Most people will politely keep their opinions to themselves if they know you’re set on a name.

3. Be Prepared

Whether you share your baby’s name while you’re pregnant or wait until after she’s born, expect a reaction. Negative reactions can sting, so prepare yourself. “I’m sorry you don’t love the name Brunhilda as much as we do. You can call her Hildy if you like.”

Be Excited

You’re not choosing a name for your mother or your sister or your best friend: You’re choosing it for your baby. Don’t be nervous—be excited! You don’t have to please anyone else.

4. Be Patient

Your friends and family are going to love this baby no matter what you name her. If their initial reaction isn’t what you’d hoped, give them time to come around. Remember what Shakespeare said: “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”