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Category: baby name disputes

danstealing

You’re several months pregnant, when the conversation turns — as it often does — to names.  You don’t have a name picked out yet and you say you’re considering several options.  So your friend or sister-in-law or neighbor says, “Just don’t use Sophie or Sadie or Benjamin or Nathan.  I’m reserving those names in case I have another baby.”

Well, as it happens, Sophia is on your list.  And so is Nathaniel.  You may want to use one of them, you may not, but you certainly don’t want to be forced to take them out of consideration just because someone else calls dibs on them.

Should you stand up for your right to use whatever name you want, no dibs allowed?  Should you just quietly go your own way as if the claim had never been laid down?  Or should you back away from the newly-reserved names?

That’s our question of the week: What’s fair in baby-naming?  Can you reserve a baby name?  Should you respect someone else’s “claim” on a name?

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fingers_in_ears

Recently we asked the Nameberry facebookers (Have you joined yet?  Better hurry on over there) to tell us which baby names they’d loved that their partners nixed.

The question prompted a flood of comments, with 65 (and counting) berries weighing in on which beloved names their partners banished from consideration, and why.

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Colette Weston

Ohio mom of two Kristen Hunger had an easy — make that ecstatic — experience naming her first two children, Colette and Weston, pictured above.  But this time around?  She can’t find a single name she loves….and she’s afraid she knows why.

It was bound to happen. After two pregnancies during which I fell madly, unwaveringly in love with two names, I find myself pregnant again.  Except this time I’ve come down with a severe and I fear terminal case of Baby Name Desensitization Disorder.

What exactly is BNDD?  It is when you not only feel unexcited by any and every name, but you also feel apathetic and numb to the whole naming process!  The disorder is aggravated by my background as a nanny, childcare employee, Sunday school teacher and nursery coordinator at our church.  I have heard every name and know someone – or know someone who knows someone – who’s used it.  No matter what I do, I can’t find a name that excites me the way my daughter’s “Colette” or my son’s “Weston” did.

When I discovered their names, I was instantly ready to get everything monogrammed. I didn’t even look at other names or ask random people their opinions!  It was so easy to envision Colette and Weston as spirited youths growing into successful and thriving adults. Holding steady jobs and contributing to society.

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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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alicetiptoncrying

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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