Question of the Week: Did you change your name choice when you met your baby?

Our Question of the Week:  Did you make a last minute name change once you met your baby?

Did it happen to you that after months of pondering, discussing, eliminating, perhaps sharing with other berries, you finally narrowed the options down to the name you loved most—and then oops—it just didn’t seem the right fit for your baby when she/he arrived?

Did you have an alternative choice in mind—or a whole list of names in reserve?  Or did you have to go back to Square One?

Did you decide to stay with your original choice,  knowing how much newborns can change?

In any case, have you been happy with your eleventh-hour decision?

Or had you avoided this by waiting until you saw the baby before settling on a name?

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28 Responses to “Question of the Week: Did you change your name choice when you met your baby?”

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Alecia Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 1:10 am

With my son, we had it narrowed down to two names but decided to wait and see which fit him better. As soon as he was born, they lifted him for me to see and I thought he looked more like a Callum than an Asher. My husband agreed and that was how his name was decided.

Jaron Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 2:02 am

I had his name picked out, but figured I’d meet him before making my final decision. I ended up feeling like it was really hard to tell what he, as a newborn, would grow into, but I went with my initial choice. I don’t think I had any really solid back-up names though, anyway, just some ideas.

Labmama Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 9:50 am

When we went to the hospital, we had a name picked out for a girl (Willow Allegra), and a name picked out for a boy (Solomon Lennox). We had a girl, and called her Willow, and we actually love our Solomon combo so much that now that we are thinking about baby #2, we still plan to use that name. We are trying to come up with a name for a future baby girl. I’m not really sure if I think a baby can ‘look’ like a certain name fits over another name. So we only had one name chosen, and will do the same in the future.

ycw Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 10:11 am

Our daughter did not look like a Hannah Jane when she was born. She didn’t look like a Rebecca either. I toyed with changing our choice to Mara. In the end I figured that kids change, and in time she’d seem like a Hannah because she was my Hannah.

Now I can’t imagine her as anything else. She doesn’t look like a Mara or a Rebecca. She does look like a Hannah.

Main Line Mom Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 11:19 am

We had 2 names picked out (we knew we were having a girl), Katharine and Sarah, and when she arrived she didn’t look like either name. We has a list with back-up names, but forgot it in the rush, so we named her Amelia on the fly (no pun). When we got home and looked at the list Amelia wasn’t even on it – Clara was the number 3 pick, which we totally spaced. Now I can’t imagine her as anything else but our sweet Amelia!

Lyndsay Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 11:43 am

We said we weren’t going to pick for sure until we met him, though my husband was basically set on Dashiell. Well, he was born and I was knocked out for 6 hours before I met him, and my husband was calling him Dashiell that whole time. I thought he looked exactly like my grandpa, and therefore an Earl (definitely not our style, lol!). He also had such bright eyes and I tried to think of a name meaning bright eyes, and all I could think of was the band… I was thinking the lead singers name was Colin, so I wanted to name him that (a name we had never even vaguely considered). My husband insisted that he was really a Dashiell. Good thing I ended up agreeing, because the lead singer of Bright Eyes is really named Connor… what a terrible naming story that would have been! I do still think he could have made a good Colin though, but he is a perfect Dash!

frf1537 Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I had my daughter’s name picked out before we knew the sex, so I had been calling her Jocie for most of the pregnancy. So the name totally fit when she arrived, probably because I already associated it with her and all the ultrasound pics (her 3d ones were pretty clear). I can’t imagine her as anything else and actually find it weird to call her Jocelyn which is her full name because she is such a spunky child.

jwalling Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

We had two names picked out–a blonde/redhead name and a brunette name, when we went to the hospital. My husband and I both have brown hair but my sister is strawberry blonde so we wanted to be safe. Our daughter was born with brown hair, as we’d expected, so we named her Helena. (Also contributing was the fact that the wonderful delivery nurse was named Ellen.) The backup “light hair” name would have been Flora. We liked the idea of having a name picked out that we expected to use, but also a backup in case she just really didn’t look like a Helena.

corsue Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

My husband and I barely discussed names before delivery for either of our boys. We called our first Skeletor before he was born (the ultrasound made him look like a skeleton). When he was born my husband thought he looked like Darth Vader, but we decided to go with Jason. It fits him much better than the other two. For our second we didn’t decide until we were in the wiating room before I was induced. We thought we were going to do Brian or Scott, but ended up going to back to a name we had eliminated many months before, Travis.

LadyCap Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 2:17 pm

My husband wanted the baby to pick out it’s own name, but I thought he was crazy (and I like doing the research), so we went in with two long lists of names, had a favorite for each gender, but left things open ended. After the doctor announced it was a boy, my husband and I took one look at our son and both thought “not Oscar,” which had been our top boy name. We spent the next five days trying names out and driving the medical records people crazy. We narrowed it down to Emerson and Gabriel. I was hesitant because Gabriel is usually in the top 25, but my husband said he just couldn’t call him Emerson and I admitted I was holding back only because of the name’s popularity. Even though Gabriel had not appeared anywhere on our extensive list, we had both come up with the name independently because our son just seemed like a Gabriel. Since then, when I tell people that my son’s name is Gabriel, they look right at him and say “yes it is!” Turns out my husband was right: sometimes babies do name themselves.

Malk Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 2:46 pm

For my DD I had two names chosen, Rowan, which we had loved for both her brothers if they had been girls, and Calla which had popped up along the way.

I saw Calla as a blond, curly haired, very girly, light-hearted sort of child. And Rowan as a darker, more serious, gentle and quiet sort of child.

She was born with a head of dark hair and a very serious expression. And we named her Calla because we had both come to love the name so much.

She’s got curly, light brown hair now and is a little imp, but still has a serious side to her, so maybe we were right.

And though i love the name Rowan I’ve gone off using it because it’s more of a boy’s name in the UK and I have a male name and I hated all the problems it’s caused me as a woman, so glad we went with the feminine but still strong name.

klcalder2 Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 4:44 pm

I love Calla! What a fantastic name!

My daughter was named shortly after we found out we were having a girl. It was one of the few girl’s names that I really loved and wanted to use. It was the only one on my list that my husband would even humor me with, then when she was born he knew any other name wouldn’t fit for her. She looked like a little girly girl already, so Arabella fit her to a T.

For our boy, however, we thought we had a name chosen before my dad and his mom ruined it for us. We picked another, but I kept our original choice (Asher) in my back pocket. I thought we’d go back to it, but when he was born Asher just didn’t feel right. He certainly looks more like a Jude than an Asher.

rollo Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

For our first we had the names picked out before we went to hospital. Well almost picked out as I couldn’t decide on whether to name him Miles Paul or Paul Miles. I ended up in ICU and when I woke up after the operation my husband told me we had a son. I just said to him, “What’s his name?” He said, “Miles Paul”. And that was one of the best decisions we ever made.

The final decision on our daughter’s name was made when we were having a lunch of fish and chips at the beach minutes before I was going to hospital for the scheduled C section. I love her name – Jacquelyn Kate.

Mary Kathryn Chenoweth Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 6:47 pm

When I was pregnant with Emmalin “Emmi”, we thought we were going to name her just Emma, but then I started looking at variations of Emma. On our list were Emory & Emmalin . My husband loved the name Emory, but I liked Emmalin. I decided to go with his choice, as long as he promised me that I could name our second child. At the hospital, when Emmi was born, we looked at her and did not see an Emory, we saw an Emmalin.

Now, Emmi is getting a little sister, Olyvia. I’m worried that we’re going to get to the hospital and she’s going to look like something other than an Olyvia.

Finally, I met this girl named Willa the other day and she didn’t look like a Willa at all, maybe a Sarah or an Alexis, but NOT a Willa. This makes me stress the importance of naming your child what he or she looks like.

Lola Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 6:51 pm

It’s funny, Leo’s name was in stone before he was born, but Simon should
Have been Simeon. he just didn’t look as adventurous as a Simeon should. with Josephine, We went in with a list of 7 names/combos and played around with them until she was almost 12 hours old. That’s when we finally hit upon the pairing she’s got!

Lola Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 6:52 pm

One more thing, I haven’t gotten an email from Nameberry in four days! Anyone else?

Stephanie Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Yes. We’d narrowed it down to Jackson or Miles, and initially thought Jackson would work. But after spending more time with him he just seemed a little softer and gentler– more of a Miles. 🙂

Mary Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Well, I don’t have kids, but that happened to my aunt. Her and my uncle had planned on Trevor for a boy and Jamie for a girl, but when he (my cousin) was born, my aunt thought he didn’t look like a Trevor, so they named him Jamie. Thank goodness for that too, he is not a Trevor.

h Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 9:54 pm

I had my heart set on Sylvia Clare and my husband was dead set on Charlotte Siobhan. The second thing I said to my DD (after “you were worth all of that”) was “you’re not a Sylvia!” She wasn’t a Charlotte either – but she IS a Clare Elizabeth. For the next baby (due November) we’re composing a short list and we’ll figure it out when we meet him.

Leslie Owen Says:

July 13th, 2011 at 10:21 pm

Both of my children looked exactly like the names we had picked — Kate was Kate (until she started calling herself Kitty, lol) and Tom was Tom. But my sister and her slightly odd husband had picked out Rurik for a boy — DH being Russian — and when my nephew was born, he looked like Peter, according to my sister. So my nephew is Peter George, thank goodness. Rurik would have been very hard to say in kindergarten.

dancer4life Says:

July 14th, 2011 at 9:12 am

Hey, Lola, I have the same problem! I haven’t received mine for about a week and a half now. I can’t figure out why, but if someone could figure out how to fix it that would be great. I love those e-mails.

Mcmom Says:

July 14th, 2011 at 10:30 am

We waited to meet both our children before naming them. The instant we saw our daughter, we both knew immediately that she was a Cecilie and only a Cecilie. As she grows she only confirms our choice 🙂 With our son, NEITHER of our two short-list names seemed to fit him. We reverted to an early-on favorite, Asher, which is absolutely who he is–“blessed, full of joy.” Now struggling with naming #3 due in Dec. Boys’ names are so much more difficult, I think!

GME Says:

July 14th, 2011 at 1:23 pm

I had an extensive list with no clear favourites going in to my first birth and during the haze after an emergency c/s, I mumbled “his name is Ezra”. My mum (my birth partner) said “why don’t you wait a bit?” and I did wait about 48 hours before the perfect choice presented itself in the middle of the night – Tate. Ezra seemed so edgy (I do still appreciate that it is a strong, biblical, uncommon and ‘real’ name, ‘real’ as opposed to ‘invented’!) and I remember thinking that we both needed something more gentle. Tate had made my list and I had found it in an Anne Geddes baby calendar.

I wanted Rafferty, with the nickname Raff/Raph, for my second son and my husband wanted Lenny. I had considered Lennox because we could use Lenny as a nickname and it would fit with the surname-style of Tate, whilst reflecting my father’s Scottish birthplace. Going in to hospital, I still preferred Rafferty. I did not wait to name the baby – ‘wait’ being another way of saying ‘battle it out’ and prove that he had Raffish qualities – this time around because I was so thrilled to have achieved a natural childbirth, I just let my husband name away! So we have a Lennox/Lenny. Rafferty would actually suit him well but he is thoroughly enjoying tearing around as Lenny.

Sabrina Says:

July 16th, 2011 at 3:28 pm

We decided to call our son Tyler as soon as we found out we were having a boy. We told everyone that was his name, and some of our family even made him gifts that said “Tyler” on them. However, when he was born, he did not look like a Tyler. So we ended up calling him Alexander.

Baby number 2 was a girl, and we decided immediately to name her after our grandmothers — Madelyn Esther. Now I’m sorry we used Esther for her middle name because we are having another girl and I would love to call her Esther! This time we have one favorite name (Isadora) and several backups, in case we change our minds. And we haven’t told anyone the name yet!

Reeny Says:

August 11th, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I don’t have children yet but since I was about twelve (fifteen years ago) I found the name Isla. When I saw it (in print) I wasn’t even sure how to pronounce it. My dad told me how to pronounce it. This was well before Isla Fischer became famous! It was very uncommon.

Then, not long ago, my brother had his first child. They named her Isla. Her middle name is also the exact middle name I had paired with Isla (an old family name). My husband and I were dumbstruck. I think I even cried!

Now, however, I am so happy that it got to be used within our family. I possibly wouldn’t have used it now anyway because of its immense popularity, so I am pleased it didn’t go to waste, so to speak.

I still search names that will offer a similar compromise on Isla. I haven’t found the perfect replacement yet – but this blog makes me think that even if I had the opportunity to make use of it I may change my mind completely anyway! 🙂

brelee07 Says:

August 18th, 2011 at 11:25 am

Hi Sabrina, I was reading your comment posted in July 2011 about wishing you hadn’t used the name Esther for the middle name of your first baby girl because you would have liked to have used it for the first name of your second daughter. The same thing happened to my friend. She already had 2 sons and then a girl who she had named with the middle name Danielle. She wasn’t expecting to have a 4th child, a complete surprise, and she found out if was another girl. She poured through baby name books trying to find a name she liked. But the only one she liked was the middle name of her first daughter, so she used it anyway! It hasn’t ever been a problem, and the 2 sisters are very close and love the fact that they share in the name Danielle.

emilymaryjane Says:

December 16th, 2011 at 7:36 pm

My mum did she was originally going to call her second daughter Sophia but she did not look like one she ended up being called Jacqueline instead but had Sophia as a middle name but she is more of a tomboy

ThadsMom Says:

July 19th, 2014 at 4:04 am

Definitely happened to us with the first. We went to the hospital thinking he would be either Rowan or Davis depending on what fit him best. When it came down to it I loved Rowan and hated Davis while DH felt the exact opposite. We started over at square one and settled on Thaddeus which hadn’t ever been on any version of the list previously.

The second time we wanted to go in with open minds but never came close to agreeing on any other name but Ira, so Ira was Ira partly for lack of other options, but he definitely feels like an Ira now.

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