Who’s In Your Baby Name Squad?
Naming a baby — or a pet, fictional character or video game avatar — is a very personal process. What matters most is that you find one that resonates with some deep part of your soul. But that doesn’t mean that seeking it has to be a solitary act.
And so here’s our question of the week: Who’s in your Name Squad? Who do you throw your name ideas at? Who do you discuss possibilities with? Hash out pitfalls involving your last name or a tricky ancestral namesake?
For many prospective parents, the Number One member of their Squad is a romantic partner or a co-parent, usually the only other person with final veto power. But there are a lot of other possible collaborators: Your own parents or in-laws, your siblings, close friends, even neighbors.
People who are planning on raising a baby alone might have a completely different setup. Not to mention all of you out there who are obsessed with names even though there’s no baby on the horizon at all. Who do you chat about names with?
And regardless of who’s in your squad, how do you collaborate? Group text? Facebook thread? We hope the Nameberry forums and links are a big part of the process, no matter what!
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on August 22nd, 2017 at 3:20 am
No one is in my squad.
My friends aren’t into baby names, and when I’ve forced name conversation on them, we totally aren’t on the same page as they start talking about your average Tom, James, Chloe and Ava, when what I want to talk about is more along the lines of Cymbeline, Tarquin, Euphrosyne and Dido – the type of names they’ve never heard of, but all hate. So I don’t try with them anymore.
My mum is no good either. I hate my own name, and she fancies what I consider to be dull, dated and cheap choices like Bradley and Cheyenne. Plus, while I do repeatedly try to talk to her about my names, she gives me weird and outdated criticisms like: “Don’t use Lucille! She’ll be bullied because of that Kenny Rodgers song!” – a song released in 1977 which, as a 90s kid, I’ve never even heard of. Case in point, talking about names with her is irritating and pointless.
And as for my boyfriend… he is so extremely NOT a name nerd that, when asked “what’s one name you like?” he literally can’t answer me. He cares about names so little that he’s pretty much just left me to compile a list of my names, and he’s happy to pick and choose from that with no name-input on his part. Which is a dream come true for me, but also kind of frustrating because I long for and crave deep, meaningful name discussions about aging capabilities, images and appeals, meanings, etymologies etc. And all he’s capable of saying is: “Yes, I like this name.” or “No, I hate that.”
So my squad consists of just me. Unless you count my pet boa constrictor, who has to deal with listening to me verbally testing out names every time I’m alone in the house.
on August 22nd, 2017 at 6:53 am
I am TTC, but I’m not sure I’d want anyone in my squad other than my partner.
My mom and I like the same names. I think asking her for input might be opening up a Pandora’s Box. I don’t want to be butthurt over something my mom doesn’t like.
As far as everyone else goes, I’d probably tell them, “We haven’t picked yet.” I’m always in amazement of very pregnant women telling strangers and family members, “Oh yes, it’s a boy and we’re naming him (name).” How do you know? What happens if you tell the sibling that their baby’s name is going to be x and then you decide to change it?
Aldabella, mine is like yours. He’ll say yes or no to names, but he doesn’t truly care. He’d rather pick from a list I compile.
on August 22nd, 2017 at 8:37 am
My main squad member is my husband. He is the only one other than myself to have final say in the name. But when asking for advice I ask my Mom, sisters, and in-laws. Get some ideas about family names I may not have known about or their opinion on if the name we are considering has any bad connotations that they can think of we missed. (That helped out in naming our first born as my sister who is a teacher came up with a bunch is mean nicknames she heard with the name and her students.)
on August 22nd, 2017 at 9:13 am
Just my hubby. The last few babies I’ve told my older children the names, mainly though to test them out, not really for their input. I’m mean they’re free to tell me what they think about the names and some times I do ask their opinions of a name if I’m undecided on whether to add it to the list but dh and I are still the main collaborators.
on August 22nd, 2017 at 9:16 am
My name squad used to be quite broad, but since some of my friends have used some of my favourite names I won’t actually tell them my top10 any more (they get names I like but am unlikely to actually use as a first name).
I only tell my real top pics to hubby and my sister-in-law.
Once I am actually having kids I am sure I will allow some extras into my squad again – if only for some outside opinions, or ones from those who aren’t name nerds.
on August 22nd, 2017 at 9:53 am
I’d say my SO, my mother, and my four best friends. SO and I have probably the same vintage/classic/traditional taste in names, and my mother and I have the same penchant for honor names. Good thing my friends and I don’t have the same taste in names!
on August 22nd, 2017 at 10:19 am
At my age my family and friends would probably think I’m bonkers (moreso than I am) if I started talking about baby names. I don’t have anyone in my name squad, but that’s why I love coming on here! 🙂
on August 22nd, 2017 at 11:02 am
I’ve always been my own squad. Although I of course included my husband in on the discussion, it became evident pretty quickly that he liked names I found to be either too popular, or too down market. (The name he wanted for a daughter literally called to my mind a stripper! Not that there’s anything wrong with being one; it’s an honest living. I just happen to have higher aspirations for my children.) He agreed that I was the person who was more interested and invested in names, so I got to make the final decision. Amazingly, for our now young adult son, we found a name we both loved, and are still happy with.
My mom likes about ten names. (Insert eye roll here.) If it’s not Elizabeth, James, John, Katherine, Julia, or any other classic name, then it seems “weird” to her. I would bounce names off her, but quickly grew to realize that she has very set ideas regarding what constitutes a good name. The name we gave our son is an ethnic variation of a classic, and while she had reservations as to it’s “weirdness” at the beginning, she eventually complimented me on what a nice choice it had been.
I definitely am the only name nerd in the family, and I try to keep myself updated as to what’s popular, what’s trending, and which old but wonderful names have been overlooked. I still do so, even though my childbearing years are behind me. It will be hard to keep my opinions to myself once grandchildren start to arrive, but I will do so, because I had my chance to name my own!
on August 22nd, 2017 at 11:27 am
I don’t have many people I talk to about names. DH is very opionated without actually providing any suggestions. So he ends up just saying yes or no to a name which isn’t always what I’m looking for.
I tried throwing some names at my mom and while she likes my style for the most part, she can be extremely negative and harsh about names she doesn’t like. I mentioned Ruby while pregnant with DD and she literally said she would never call her granddaughter by that name. Little does she know we’re seriously considering it for #2!
The best person I have is my SIL who seems to like similar names I like and she provides honest unbiased advice. Still, I can only talk to her for a few minutes at a time about names before the conversation moves on to something else.
Thank goodness for nameberry and all the wonderful berries in the forums!
on August 22nd, 2017 at 12:40 pm
My partner is my #1, for obvious reasons. We’re years from TTC, but she gets (without judgement) that it’s a fascination of mine, and finds it fun when I know random trivia about names and etymologies. She’ll tell me interesting names that she encounters at work. She’s also a fiction writer, and turns to me for ideas and feedback when naming her characters. Luckily, our tastes overlap significantly, but she is also the only person whose opinion can actually change how I feel about a name.
My mom is the only person I know who actually likes discussing names for their own sake (although not to the same extent as I do). She works with babies, and we’ll often discuss names she encounters at work or that we see in birth or baptismal announcements. We try to guess what family and friends will name new babies. We don’t always agree, but we both know the difference between “that’s not my style” and “yikes, what an awful name.”
My two best friends know I’m a name nerd and will participate in a limited amount of discussion, but I don’t think I’d consult them when naming a child.
on August 22nd, 2017 at 5:41 pm
My best friend is the only person who I talk to about names, and I only do it sometimes. She gets annoyed when I bring names up too often. Other than that, sometimes I’ll ask my mom for input but I’m like @myosotis in that people will get concerned if I start talking baby names at my age (18).
on August 23rd, 2017 at 2:14 am
My squad consists of my mom and sister. Right now, since I’m not anywhere close to having kids yet, I’ll only tell them my favorite name combos, as I know my sister won’t steal my names, and my mom can give me helpful input as to whether or not a certain name I come up with would work well for any of my future kids.
on August 24th, 2017 at 11:10 pm
We’ve got a 1-year-old, and, before getting pregnant, I often discussed names with my mother, sister, and best friend. I bounced ideas off my husband too but mostly to get a hint as to whether a growing favorite would ultimately get vetoed. Once I was pregnant, however, name discussions were only between my husband and I until we were confident in our top three, about 2 months before birth. I then let those names out a bit to various friends and family, though their opinions didn’t ultimately sway our decision. I’ve started asking more extended family about various family names–why were they so significant? are there ones out there I am unaware of?–to get a few more ideas for any future children. So, to summarize, I’d say I use an extended net of friends and family to generate ideas, only my husband and I do the deeper considerations, then, maybe, close family and friends do a bit of validation.
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