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Category: Navigating Name Problems and Disputes

5 Routes to Baby Name Happiness

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In our best fantasies, here’s how we name our babies:

MOM-TO-BE — Darling, I just love the names Susannah and Henry, don’t you?

DAD-TO-BE — Oh, yes, dear.  And I might also suggest Jane, after your mother, and John, after my dad.

MOM — What excellent ideas, sweetheart.  So if it’s a girl, we’ll name her Susannah Jane, and a boy will be Henry John.

DAD — Perfect.  Now why don’t you let me rub your feet?

In reality, discussions go more like this:

MOM — How about Susannah or Henry?

DAD — Blech.  I hate those kind of frilly names; if we have a girl, I think we should name her something cool, like Harley or Parker.  And if we have a boy, my mother says we have to name him after my father.

MOM — Your mother’s not naming our baby.  And your taste in names sucks.

Usually, after nine months or possibly ten, the parents manage to arrive at a name they both can live with.  Why does baby-naming inspire such deep feelings and strong arguments in a couple who may have an easy time getting along in so many other ways?

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It’s the moment you’ve been both waiting for and dreading: Introducing the baby to Grandma – your Grandma.  Sure, she’s going to be thrilled to meet her new great-grandchild, delighted to discover that the infant has her late husband’s dimpled chin and her own dark eyes.

The potential for dread comes in when you reveal the baby’s name.  A lot of names today are going to feel unfamiliar, confusing, ridiculous, or downright stupid to Grandma.  If you choose one of the following, you’re going to have a lot of ‘splaining to do.

BrooklynBrooklyn is the place (to her mind, the dirty, stinking place) her family settled when they came over from the old country, certainly not a name for a baby.

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Baby Name Regrets: Got A Few?

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Nameberry was quoted last week in news stories all over the world about a new study that claimed 10 percent of parents regret their baby’s name. The reports ranged from this one in the Huffington Post to a piece in Britain‘s Daily Mail that found its way to the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera and on to Jezebel.

There were many questions on whether the 10 percent figure could possibly be accurate, though a story last year put the figure even higher, at 20 percent. So we decided we’d bring it back to you with a poll of our own. Any regrets about your own name choice? And if so, why?

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Today’s Question of the Week was inspired by a suggestion from anniebee:

What iffy reactions have some of your choices gotten from non-name fans?

Have you ever gotten a quizzical look, a raised eyebrow—or worse—in response to one of your faves, a name known and loved on Nameberry, but which others out there in the nonberry world might never have even heard before—or else find hopelessly old-fashioned?

What is the most extreme reaction you’ve received to your name choice either while you were still considering it or after you had already used it for your child?

What was your response to their response?

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Lying awake making name lists in the middle of the night.

Finding a name you love, only to have your neighbor use it for her dog.

Dealing with a partner who has no baby name ideas of his own, yet shoots down all of yours.

Writing one name on the birth certificate, only to change it a week later. And then change it back.

Have you been a victim of baby name craziness? Our message boards and comments are full of crazy, funny, and sometimes heart-breaking stories of baby name obsession, battles, indecision, procrastination, and yeah, sometimes all out insanity.

Has it happened to you? A little, a lot? Did you embrace the craziness or did it hit you unexpectedly, like a tsunami? Did you drive your partner — and maybe your family and friends — crazy about names, or were you the victim of others’ craziness?

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