Baby Name Advice
Category: Baby Names Advice
They’ve found the perfect name, but it breaks all the rules. How can they reconcile using the name they love with their long-held preferences?
My husband and I are expecting our first baby, a daughter, in May. We have finally found “the” name, but I feel like a hypocrite! We spent years carefully compiling and editing our name list, only to find that our little girl’s name was never even on it. I like Lucille, Sybil, and Marceline. My husband likes Winifred and Violet. But sweet little Jay will be given her daddy’s middle name, and it feels incredibly easy and right. We knew it was her name the minute we said it aloud. We love the simplicity of it, that it FEELS so good, and I love naming her after her dad. But Jay is a boy name!
While I certainly support the new gender neutral naming trend, I often feel that what people perceive as genderless is actually anything but. It’s odd to me that naming daughters things like James and Elliot is so trendy right now, but these same parents wouldn’t necessarily name a son Sarah or Jennifer. Seems like a one-way street of “boys” names for girls, but not “girl” names for boys.
How can I make peace with bestowing a traditionally “boy” name upon our daughter, when our taste is otherwise feminine and vintage?
The Name Sage replies:
They have a favorite name picked out for their son, but some have dismissed it as a dog name. What does that mean, exactly, in 2017? Should they choose another name, or stick with their first choice?
We are expecting our first baby boy in just a couple weeks and still haven’t decided on his name.
Hipster baby names are big where we live. I love most of them, and prefer “old man” names for the most part.
The middle name will be John, another family name. Our last name starts with a T and sounds like tunes, so names ending in a T don’t work well, and I tend to think names ending in S don’t sound very good, either.
Our current frontrunner is Murphy. My husband is a surfer, so the meaning – sea warrior – is perfect. Plus, there was a comic strip from the 1960s about a little surfer dude named Murphy, drawn by one of my husband’s favorite artists.
Also, lots of people call it a “dog name.” Which I’m really sick of on the whole. I always seem to like all those so-called dog names. Who cares if people named their dog a GOOD name? Does that mean we should just turn the name over to the dogs indefinitely?
Thanks for any advice you have. I want to just fall in love with Murphy, but I can’t shake this feeling that I’m not all the way done looking yet!
The Name Sage replies:
Naming twins offers double the opportunity to use your favorite names, but it also multiplies the potential challenges. Rhyming pairs like Stacey and Tracey, Phil and Bill are (hopefully) a thing of the past. Instead, parents should seek to balance both names, creating a harmonious pair. After all, that’s exactly what most parents would wish for the twins themselves!
Every day it seems like there’s a brand new baby gizmo, pregnancy gadget or totally techy item that you absolutely, positively have to buy — like, right now. Your baby still has a few more weeks (or maybe even months) to cook, but you’re already on the hunt for the latest, greatest gear. Before you start stockpiling everything with an “e-” slapped on the front, take a moment to think about how much you really, truly need it. You may actually end up using that space-age baby monitor everyone’s drooling over — but you should know which e-items will just end up being expensive dust-catchers.
YOU WON’T NEED…
1. Wipe Warmer: This isn’t exactly super-duper-fancy high tech, but it’s probably a step above what your own mama had for you. Do you need it? No. Seriously, this is a waste of a baby shower registry pick. Unless you’re all about buying yourself a TP heater, skip the wipe warmer. If your home gets cold enough that the ambient air temp will chill baby’s wipes to the point of freezing, you’ve got bigger concerns.
2. Crazy-Fancy Video Monitor: Believe it or not, there used to be a time when the shrill cry of a newborn woke Mom up in the middle of the night. (Oh yeah, that was yesterday.) No one is saying that you shouldn’t know what baby is up to: When they’re in their crib, you don’t want to wonder, “Gee, are they okay?” At the same time, you don’t want to create your own sleepless nights by gluing your bleary eyes to the video screen. (It’s a crazy-maker for new moms.) The regular ol’ audio-only version will totally alert you if there’s an issue. If your room happens to be anywhere near baby’s, you might not even need that.
3. Movement Monitor: Sure, this is a completely necessary gadget… for some households. If your baby has a medical condition or another issue requiring constant monitoring, your doctor may recommend one. But if your baby has no problems it’s a bit much. It’s cool that you can download an app to check out how much your baby is moving in their crib, but this type of high-tech monitor won’t replace your watchful eye or safe sleeping standards (such as placing baby on their back and keeping fluffy, puffy, quilty items out of the crib).
4. Care Timer: You say you want to set up a schedule for those oh-so-essential care activities? This gadget lets you program in diaper changes, sleep times and feedings. But do you really think you’ll forget to change baby’s diaper if there’s not a beeping, blinking alarm telling you to do it? Probably not. That magical aroma coming from your kiddo’s bottom will do much more than a timer ever could.
5. Formula Dispenser: You already have a set of measuring cups, right? Chances are that at some point you felt enough like a grown up to buy yourself this kitchen staple, even if you don’t cook much (or ever). Pressing down a button and getting the just-right amount of powdered formula dispensed into a bottle sounds nice, but it’s not at all necessary. Especially if you’re nursing!
YOU’LL PROBABLY WANT…
1. Breast Pump: We’re not talking about just any old breast pump here. The super low-tech kind that uses some sort of suction-y, hand-worked arrangement isn’t exactly effective. If you don’t have time to spare (and who does?), you won’t be able to make the most of your pumping sessions without a more tech-savvy version. If you’re looking for a crazy-easy, amazing pump, this spring brings you Willow. It’s a wearable breast pump that fits into your bra without external tubes, cords or bottles dangling from your boobs. Bonus: It’s got a tracking app!
2. Paci-Thermometer: (shown) Your newborn will not open and say “ahhhh” when you try to take their temp. They can’t hold your grown-up thermometer in their mouth, and even if you do it for them, they certainly won’t keep their lips zipped long enough to get a good reading. That means… well, you know where the thermometer has to go. A pacifier version is much easier, for everyone involved! It’s one of the most inexpensive baby gadgets out there, making it a must for new mamas.
3. Your Phone: Don’t go asking for a new one on your registry or anything, but your smart phone is THE go-to piece of baby tech, with something like a zillion uses. There are apps galore, for everything from playing white noise to getting a quick reference cheat sheet on infant safety and first aid. That’s not to mention the wealth of info available online through that tiny computer in your hands. Along with apps and access to the internet, your phone also has that very necessary camera for taking photos and vids to share straight to IG and FB.
What’s your must-have baby gadget?
Erica Loop is a freelance writer living in Pittsburgh. When she’s not busy creating kids’ activities for her blog Mini Monets and Mommies, you can find her trying to hang out with her teenage son, being chased by her two Olde Boston Bulldogs or teaching a children’s karate class (she’s a third degree black belt!).
They found a great family name for their firstborn, but now they’re stuck finding something every bit as meaningful and stylish for their new daughter.
We are now expecting a second girl and are at a stalemate. We feel compelled to give her a family name as well, because we love having that connection. My husband’s mother, Brenda, is deceased and so we’d love to honor her. But Brenda (and similar names Brenna, Brianna) just don’t resonate with us.
We’ve come up with a few names that start with B to honor her, but nothing is really exciting us yet. We are also considering Annabeth Claire (a mashup of our three sisters’ middle names) but aren’t quite sold on it yet. Any suggestions?
The Name Sage replies: