There's nothing that bothers older female relatives more than when you refuse to tell them the name you have chosen for your baby pre-birth. I have chosen the way of secrecy with both pregnancies; although, I've been a little more lax the second time around than the first (with the first I told no one... the parents know this time around).
Why the reason for the lock-it-up-and-hide-the-key mentality? Well, I'll tell you. Telling people before the baby is born will result in one or more of these consequences:
1. You will receive unsolicited viewpoints about the name: "I knew a so-and-so back in high school - she was the most irritating person ever and had a clicking knee." or "I don't like that name, have you thought about naming the baby after a family member?" Both of these scenarios leave you in a very awkward place in a conversation, and you can't get those kinds of remarks out of your head, plaguing you with doubt about your choice.
2. Uncreative name stealers. Oh yes, people do steal other people's baby names. It happened to my very own mother who was supposed to be Margaret until her mother spilled the beans about the name, the name got stolen, and then my mom ended up with the name Nancy (good thing too - because she doesn't look like a Margaret). There was no way I was going to tell my carefully-selected name to a name stealer! I worked much too hard to come up with something unique, but not too unique. Once the baby is born and the name is announced, everyone is obligated by Baby Law to say they love the name, regardless of what they mumble under their breath to their partners because there is nothing they can do or say to sway the outcome.
Here is the second piece of very helpful information when it comes to naming your babies: Consider the rhythm and flow of the syllables. All three names should have a different amount of syllables to have the best sound. My first has a 2 - 3 - 1 flow. My second will have the same. Try putting three names together (or 2 with your last name), and see how it sounds. Example: Elizabeth Rose Anderson (4 - 1 - 3). Sounds good, right? Now think about this: Will Don Smith (1 - 1 - 1). Sounds bad, right?
Thirdly, please try to think through the possibilities of bad names that children could come up with when it comes to your child's first name. What rhymes with it (I mean, obviously with a last name like Frick, our kids are doomed regardless of their first names)? What nicknames could people make the name into, and are you okay with them? One of my friends named her son Jacob and hated the shortened name of Jake. I hate to say it, but someone is going to end up calling him that eventually.
All I'm asking is that you think very carefully about what you name your child. That poor little person will have to live with that name forever; it will define him or her. Try not too get too weird creative (Iike a baby book I read that said you should look in your refrigerator for naming inspiration - "Okay Ketchup, let's go to the park!"), but do try to step out of the small box of the top 5-10 names of the year. I mean, you could be lazy and go that route, and yes, he or she would probably not have an issue finding a novelty key chain with their matching name on it, but there will just be a plethora of other kids with the same name, making them feel less special than they really are. And once you've found that perfect melodious, rhythmic, creative name combination, protect that secret with your life, lest you have to go about the process all over again when someone steals it!
Image Credit: DrFrankLipman.com (http://www.drfranklipman.com/repeal-the-laws-you-live-by/)
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