Can’t Find A Name You Love? Maybe you’ve got BNDD

Can’t Find A Name You Love?  Maybe you’ve got BNDD

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.

Now, no matter how hard I try, every name I encounter leaves me utterly apathetic. I obsessively search lists, posts and blogs. I eavesdrop at playgrounds and libraries trying to overhear other children’s names. I rent movies just to watch the credits! And nothing! NOTHING!

After I found out we were expecting another boy, I casually mentioned the name “Calvin” to my husband.  He loves it. LOVES IT!

For me: meh. I have no reason not to like the name Calvin (although it does mean “bald” or worse “short and bald” and baldness just so happens to run on both sides of the family).  However, I have no reason to love it either.  I hear about other expectant parents whose lists consist of multiple names for boys or girls, and I am envious that their shopping cart is so full while my little basket contains just this one little and not very exciting idea.

Is Calvin a great name I should try to love, like a decent spouse in an arranged marriage? Should I trust my husband’s judgment since clearly, CLEARLY, mine is impaired? Where is the secret bin of baby names that will cure me of my BNDD?

Or have I become a baby naming prima donna? I swear my baby name requirements are few and reasonable.

1)      Can’t end in “er” because our last name ends in “er” and it sounds real sing-songy.

2)      Would hopefully come with a nickname – in fact, the thing I like best about Calvin is that it can be shorted to Cal.

3)      Should be strong and gender-specific.

4)      Ideally has two or more syllables.

That’s shorter than the list of requirements I had for a husband, and I managed to marry my Calvin-loving man within a year of our first date.  Is there a name out there I could love too?  Is falling head over heels in love with a name three times asking too much out of life?

Our regular Berry Question of the Week will return next week, with a North Carolina mom hunting for a name for her third baby.  To send in your own question for consideration for a future post, write to  Sorry, we can’t give individual name consultations, but if your question is chosen, we will comment!

About the Author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry and Baby Name DNA. The coauthor of ten groundbreaking books on names, Redmond is an internationally-recognized baby name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show, CNN, and the BBC. She has written about baby names for The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and People.

Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show, and its sequel, Older. She has three new books in the works.