In my last post I talked about the different criteria by which you could choose a baby name. Here, I will talk about the different ways in which different people decide.
How I chose my children's names
My husband likes to live a life of logic. Choosing names for our children did not escape this methodology. We avoided discussing names for any hypothetical children we may have throughout the years that we were dating, engaged and even married. Even in the first few months of both my pregnancies we didn't really discuss it. I think I may have been a bit nervous that we weren't going to like the same things and it might get difficult (we both tend to avoid conflict at all costs). When we did finally start talking about it we started firing names at each other. This didn't last for long before I bought a couple of name books. We then sat for several evenings reading through the book alphabetically, name by name. If neither of us objected to a name we would write it down. The main criteria for not objecting to the name was by the way it sounded. We didn't really go into meanings at this stage.
When we had finished the book we both took the list and made a short-list of ten each. We then compared these two lists and found that about five or six names were on both lists. We then had to choose between those few. Funnily enough, the first name that we ever wrote down, before we started our very logical process, was the name we chose as our daughter's first name.
Choosing a middle name involved a little more negotiation. My husband said he didn't see the point in a middle name. I love middle names and would have had two if I had been allowed. In the end we decided that the point of a middle name was to have a family name. We chose my sister's name, which made it easy and pleased her very much indeed!
When I found out we were having a boy as our second child the choice of first name was easy. First time round we had chosen a boy's name as back-up in case the expected girl took us by surprise. We chose the name of my uncle, who himself was named after one of his uncles. Again, we had more discussion over middle names. I wanted to use my father's name and my husband's middle name. I felt we had used a lot of family names from my side and wanted to remember his family in some way. His middle name was his grandfather's name. We didn't make a decision about the middle names until I was in labour, in hospital. I said I was never going to do this again - so we would use all the names I wanted. My husband didn't argue (he couldn't really, in that situation) so my son has three names. I like that - I think it sounds distinguished, and the farming families from which I am descended often use three names for boys.
The perpetual nick-name
I heard of a family once who could not decide on a name for their daughter. When the six weeks had elapsed by the end of which the birth had to be registered they still hadn't decided. Rumour has it that they put any old name down on the birth certificate and called the child by a jokey nick-name forever afterwards. She's now about twenty and still goes by this nick-name.
Changing your mind at the last minute
Some people are set on a name for months, or even years, but doubts start to creep in during the last week or so of pregnancy. Maybe they notice the name getting more popular, or doubts about the possible shortenings emerge.
To discuss or not to discuss?
It seems to be the fashion now-a-days not to discuss possible names with anyone but your other half before the child is born. I remember talking to my uncle and aunt about what they would call my cousin before she was born. Someone said the name 'Daisy'. I was only ten but I said 'You can't call her that, it sounds like a cow'. I remembered this conversation when I was choosing names for my children. I didn't want anyone sowing seeds of doubt about my choices, as I had done years before.
You can view my Pinterest board with loads more articles about baby names here.
Next time I'll talk about my own very personal response to my daughter's name in the wake of her birth....