Would you wait to name your baby?
As this Fatherly article points out, bureaucracy is a bully. It’s easy to believe that we must name our children before leaving the hospital. Except that’s not really true in most of the US, and there may be good reasons to take a moment and consider your options – even if it means being perceived as a little different.
I’m not sure how to think about this. On the one hand, I can see that it would help a great many families who aren’t really ready to choose at the moment they believe they must make an official, binding choice. And yet … sometimes more time really doesn’t help, either.
So would you prefer to take your child home from the hospital nameless, and make an official announcement a few weeks later?
Or does that seem like one more thing to worry about when you’ve already got your hands full with a new little one?
Because nautical names aren’t just for summer babes, this list of sea-inspired choices from the Art of Naming is worth a read. Which reminds me: Sea didn’t make her list, but it’s been on my mind lately.
This letter to Swistle is yet another example of how naming your second child can be tougher than naming a first. Their older daughter is Eleanor Blue – Ellie Blue for short. They’re considering Mia Black for their second daughter, but, as Swistle points out, the names sound like they’re from completely different storybooks. I’m rooting for Mia Mae instead.
I love how very, well, British, the birth announcements found here can seem. There are brothers called Alfred and Rufus for starters. Every week brings more gems.
This list is, far and away, the most read article I’ve shared this year. Maybe it’s because we really do like short middle names, but know that there are options beyond Grace and Rose.
Want to see the fastest rising girl and boy names over the last fifteen years? Find the lists here. But note that the story chalks much of it up to celebrity – an easy story to tell – and ignores other trends and influences that shape how we name our children.
Just for fun: unusual names in Sonoma County, California. Sure, Top Tens are great. But it’s the bottom of the list that always intrigues me. Nancy shares both here. Some great word names, like Evening, Castle, and Summit, along with a few I can’t place, and some that are surely familiar, if only I knew the right language or reference.
That’s all for now – as always, thank you for reading – and have a great week!
In Jewish communities, baby boys’ names are not traditionally announced until the circumcision ceremony, usually on Day 8 (and for girls’ names, after reading the Torah, but that happens a couple of times a week). Granted this is generally only a little bit longer than the hospital time, but if the baby is ill and cannot be circumcised for weeks (or months, in the case of one little guy I know), he can go without a known name for
a while, although obviously the parents may register the name in advance and just not share it.
Thanks, RL. That’s interesting. I can see it would help in two ways – first, there’s just a tiny bit of extra time, which might help parents feel like they’ve settled on their final choice. But also, there’s a public announcement and celebration that solidifies the name. I wonder if that helps parents feel more settled in their choices?
I did bring a baby home nameless. We named her about a week after leaving the hospital. The extra time didn’t exactly make the already tough decision easier, but I had wished I had known while in the hospital that I could just go home and and give it about a week. At the time the feeling that deadline approaching to leave the hospital whilst being no closer to a decision really took away from the experience of just enjoying our new baby. If you’re having a tough time making that big choice you should be aware that more time IS an option so you can take a break and relax before you head home with a newborn.
Thank you, Renée – so good to hear that you were able to do so! It can feel like they won’t let you leave without filling out the forms, I think. (Or that you’re somehow irresponsible for not just picking a name already.)