To tell or not to tell?

I was just wondering–how many people here discuss their favorite names with family members and friends? Who chooses not to? And how important do you think their opinions are?

My husband and I decided not to tell anyone (besides all of you!) our favorites–we don’t want people saying “oh, don’t name the baby that!” Also…we decided that while we really don’t want our families to hate the name we choose, if we really love it, we’ll go for it.

My advice is too NOT TELL. lol. I say this because as soon as you find a name you love you can bet there will be at least one family memeber or friend that swears it’s the most terrible name ever…trust me on this one. There will always be people who can find something wrong with something including names plus everyone has their own tastes. If you love the name and you think your baby will too then go for it! You ca always tell people but be prepared for their comments lol…positive and negative.

Great question! I can’t wait to hear what everybody has to say!

I’m not pregnant yet, and have never had kids (We’re hoping to start trying soon :), so I can’t speak from personal experience. I do have close family and friends who have told the names they’re considering, and it seems like sometimes all the comments do kind of make it harder. My thought (as of now) is to wait to tell the name once the baby is born, except maybe to very close family. I don’t like the idea of everyone already knowing the sex of my baby, and the baby’s name before he, or she, is even here. It seems like it sort of takes away from the surprise! :slight_smile:

Can’t wait to hear everyone’s advise on the subject! : )

I agree with the not telling. I also have not had children yet, but I know we will not be telling when we do. Families can have very strong opinions. We feel that it is OUR baby, therefore WE will make the decision…
I have had friends, though, that tell what the baby’s name is before it is born. To each their own, I guess :slight_smile:

My husband and I decided not to tell anyone names we were considering. I was appalled by the rude comments his sister received when she was expecting and shared names with the family. My opinion is that no one will say “[name]Eleanor[/name]??? That’s the ugliest name I ever heard” if you present them with a baby named [name]Eleanor[/name]. And if they do say it, then it’s clear they are rude and out of line. It’s harder for people to know what you expect if you’re sharing names in advance–do you want brutal honesty? do you want every personal connation that name evokes? do you just want them to point out something you may have overlooked (like bad initials or the flow of a name accidentally sounding like a different word–think [name]Ben[/name] [name]Dover[/name], etc). But many people will ask what names you are considering, and it is sometimes hard to NOT share when it is on your mind a lot. Of course I didn’t know about nameberry when I was pregnant!

With my first I shared the names I was thinking of and had the worst comments!!

This time, we are trying to keep the names under wraps, and to appease the questioners I give names that we have taken off the list. I am glad with this as it has given us some space.

It is just to hard to have people say awful things about names I love. And I am sure once we present baby “name” they wont say a word.!

I only tell my sister, and she doesn’t tell anybody! I also like to double check that I’m not going for a name that she’s had her heart set on for one of her own.

With most people these days finding out and announcing baby’s gender early on I think it’s nice to at least keep one surprise left for the main event!

…that said, I’ve known a number of friends in my wider circle of acquaintance who have pre-announced a name as a way of calling dibs, for example when a number of us have been pregnant at the same time…it tended to be the ones who were due last and opting for popular names. This irks me a bit!

I tell immediately so it’s very clear its “MY” name among close family and friends. It’s very hard to step up and say HEYYYY THAT WAS “MY” NAME… when your sister or best friend uses it… and well, you didn’t say anything, so how where they to know?

I say tell… if someone steals it, they’ll always know it was your name first and you’re free to use it as well :wink:

I don’t have any kids, either, so I might not be one to comment on this subject, but I seem to have a very different opinion from the consensus. I would tell!

I know it isn’t nice to “call dibs” on a name and all, but I’d rather have my choice known and out there rather than name my child and find out that my sister or best friend wanted the name or named their child the same thing! It would bother me. This might be selfish, but I feel like it keeps everything a bit more civil if you pre-announce a name. Then, you have time to work out any difficulties with “name-nabbing,” should such problems arise…

I see that many people say they chose not to announce to avoid the negative comments of family and friends. Here, I disagree again. I’d rather know going in that my parents, siblings, or friends absolutely hated my child’s name than wonder forever what they felt about it. I don’t think I could stand naming my child something that my family felt so strongly was terrible - I’d feel like they would have such a reaction every time they looked at or though about my child, too, and I couldn’t live with that. It might be an extreme view. I think, in pre-announcing a name, you give yourself and your family and friends the chance to talk about the name (or names), sharing opinions and advice, and perhaps even arriving at new conclusions. Perhaps something you say about your favorite name convinces your family that it is a great choice, or maybe your mom points out some problem with the name that you hadn’t considered! I think putting everything out in the open gives the chance for discussion, which, though difficult, seems to be the best way to solve problems and work through decisions in my opinion.

Best wishes to everyone!

well if you choose not to tell, when you are pregnant and decide on a name, I suggest you don’t say, “Well, we have a name, but we aren’t sharing.” Unless of course, you also aren’t sharing the sex. This response just rubs me (and a lot of people I know) the wrong way and kind of comes across as smug. But I totally understand not wanting to share your list of favorites, I probably won’t either!

I think it’s definitely better to tell SOMEONE - like here, for instance, just in case we could hear something terrible that didn’t occur to you.

I also think at least in my family, people have some ok opinions so I would tell. My mom is harsh, but occasionally just has a bad association, and knowing my mom, would not get past it. I wouldn’t want her holding that against my child. So, I’d rather know if she didn’t like it (then she can just get used to it), or really had a personal aggravation with someone with that name. She works in a high school, so this, I’ve found with my nephews especially, makes it difficult. She also has a weird taste in names, for instance, when my sister was pregnant, I got to hear what my mom thinks of the name honestly, and her ideas, like for instance [name]GAVIN[/name]. What. the. F. I don’t know where my mom came up with that, and I suppose it’s one of those new-ish kind of names people like, that I don’t particularly like. She fought my brother on his son’s name and it went in the middle because of a boy at school, and perhaps she’s right. They live in [name]California[/name] though, so it might fit in better. I think she didn’t like this kid (sometimes teachers and staff actively hate students in their schools, you know) and also saw that he was open to a lot of teasing on his name, that it was quite interchangeable with a girl’s name, if you see what I’m saying. She was totally disgusted with that name, so I would want to hear her out if this applied to my child. She just plain doesn’t like my sister’s kid’s name too much, but that didn’t stop my sister, and my mom is living with it. Sometimes I think my mom doesn’t know what people are doing these days that makes some names ok again to younger generations, but then come up with [name]Gavin[/name], which confuses me. A [name]Felix[/name] or a [name]Jasper[/name] might kill her.

I really think it depends on the family - have you discussed names with your family for a long time (as if you all were name nerds just talking about it a lot)? Then you are aware what people like and what you think they won’t hassle you about too much. I really think springing a name on them after the baby is born is unfair, especially if you think they would criticize. I also think if you have friends of the same age and child-rearing stage as you, you should probably stake your claims carefully. If 2 people aren’t related, there is probably greater risk of them taking a nice name from you revealing it, but if they like a lot of the same things you do, they are probably finding some of the same names you like anyway, and using them before you have a chance to tell them it’s yours. Telling people does give you some idea how your child him or herself will be received when they introduce themselves. I know one woman who didn’t tell anyone because she said she wanted her baby to be the first one to hear his name, and then it was something like [name]Christopher[/name] or [name]Michael[/name] that nobody would have torn their hair out over.

The only other thing I can think about is how much we here point and laugh at someone else’s ridiculous choices and weirdo combos that don’t make any sense and seem to make life difficult for a child - and wish they had told their friends or listened to them anyway. Sometimes this is a matter of taste - not everyone thinks it’s best to name your child something unusual, but sometimes, it looks a bit more clear cut and you wish the same for yourself - please make sure this isn’t going to go on a list of crazy names that gets passed around the internet, as if that’s the least of your worries - that kid has to get a job and move out of the house someday. If you are dead set on using something completely out of the ordinary, or for instance, using a name that older generations like your parents only associate with old people (who don’t realize this is fashionable again, or get how jaunty it’s supposed to sound, or don’t really get what a “hipster” is or why they like weird things) - I think you ought to give them fair warning, hold your ground, and also run it past an impartial committee (like us), to make sure it doesn’t make any weird initials or awful puns, don’t like some name like Lucifer and nobody ever told you that’s the devil’s name or something.

DONT TELL!!! Hahaha i only say this because my parents are very controlling, and if i walked up to them and said hey mom, dad were gonna name the baby [name]Everly[/name], she would freak and be all over me saying “oh god dont name her that!” and i actually think most friends would do that too. I think when you start telling people it becomes a attempt to please everyone cause nobody wants to hear their friends and family bash their favorite names. I mean the way i see it is, its your child, not theirs, your parents got to name you and you get to name your children. Asking for opionons makes things very complicated. And once the baby is named, it will take a few hours to a couple days MAYBE for them to stop giving you crap about it, while if you tell when your 6 months pregnant they have 3 months to try and change your mind. I wont tell. haha. maybe my closest friend, but other then that probably nobody but you all:)

Well the “lemon” and the “peach” think alike because she wrote nearly exactly what I was thinking! I’m not a mother yet but I’ve already put some names out there to my family and close friends, not to claim them as my names, but to hear objections and issues they bring up sooner rather than later. It can also help in narrowing down the list as other new babies arrive: for example, shortly after I made my list public, I found out a relative was pregnant, and realized that the name our shared grandmother was on my list. It was not my first choice but I did not want them to think they could not use the name, when it was they not me who needed to choose a name. So I wrote them a note letting them know I was taking grandma’s name off my list. They have chosen to keep their name choice private so I don’t yet know whether they will use the name but either way I’m glad my list is up for discussion.

Another issue has to do with (particularly grandparents and siblings) getting used to unfamiliar names; When I first told my mom our top picks for a girl, and for a boy, she said she didn’t like them. But after 6 months or so of getting used to them and learning why we like the names she likes them too. I is also helpful to remember that it can be much easier to like, accept, and make new associations with a once disliked name once the darling baby has arrived. Personally, I don’t want to feel like I have to hide an important decision like a name from my family but I understand why some couples make that decision. I just hope it doesn’t become a “trend” not to tell names in advance just because that’s what other people are doing! Maybe we’ll keep the gender a secret instead??? Probably not :slight_smile:

This is my 4th pregnancy, and I am only just learning not to tell! Well, that’s b/c everyone loved the names we gave our other children. With this pregnancy our family is all over the place with names, some ppl like them while others despise them.

My mom is the worst - she is set on one specific name… [name]Riley[/name]. And anything else we bring up she actually makes fun of or tells us we had better not name her that! I have refused to tell my mom any names we are seriously considering, and when she asks, I tell her names that I know she’ll hate. I figured she deserves it.

Back to you… family and friends can easily sway your decision on a name. If you absolutely love a name and don’t care about any one’s opinion, then [name]DON[/name]'T tell!!! But if you really want your fam and friends input (some can knock some sense into you when you’re thinking about using a not-so-cool name), then by all means, tell them. And each pregnancy might be different, just like mine.

Good luck!

My strategy was sort of in between - I did tell before the baby was born, but only after the name was decided and no longer up for negotiation. I did not tell while I was still deciding. This way, even though the baby wasn’t born yet, it was more of an announcement, and less of a - what do you think?
Some people still felt that it was fair game to say what they thought, positive or negative, but I gently, yet firmly reminded them that I hadn’t asked for their opinion. The upside was by the time the baby was born, everyone was happilly calling her by her name.

My husband and I told everyone what we were thinking of naming our baby when we had our first. We caught a lot of flak from my dad and m-i-l. The second time around, we didn’t tell my m-i-l what names we were thinking of. My father was dead by then. I did tell my sister about our name ideas, and she gave me a lot of unwanted advice. It’s probably best not to tell, but I’m kind of a blab.
Now that my father is dead and my m-i-l is psychotic/demented, I appreciated the way they used to be so much more. My husband and I love to talk about the things they used to do and say. We think their responses to our names for our first child are very funny. We say wasn’t that funny when Faddles (my dad) said, “Oh, no, don’t name him [name]Peter[/name]. That’s the name of the man who sweeps at the donut shop. His name is Sneaky [name]Pete[/name]!” Then we laugh. My father ended up loving our son’s name [name]Peter[/name]. [name]Even[/name] my m-i-l loved the name [name]Peter[/name] just as soon as he was born. She bought him a [name]Peter[/name] Rabbit blanket and stuffed animal.

I have to say that this is kind of a hard question - with my DS we did tell our list of names and people were sure opinionated about them, but i don’t actually regret telling them the entire list only that we had 98% decided on his name - [name]Dash[/name]. I mean i recieved emails questioning if this was the best for my child…what if he is president? my mother in law asked? what if…he will be fine. We heard a lot of snarky comments so much so that my DH was questioning our choice. After he was born, not one single person said a word except that htey thought it was a cute name…

With this baby, I will probably leave our list out there just so people can get used to some of the names and whatever but will not be telling them our decision until the baby is born. I have one close friend and my sister that I will discuss our names with when my DH gets sick of the name game but they are they only ones and only bc we have the same naming style.

so i guess let the people see a few of the names you are considering just so they can get an idea of the name but will not “reveal” the name until the baby is born.

[name]Hi[/name] there!
Not sure if this is no longer an issue for you as you may have already had you child, but I think you should definitely keep it to yourselves - I have relatives who have been absolutely devastated when they’ve fallen pregnant and picked out the perfect name only to have someone they know use it before they can. I think it’s better to play it safe and tell everyone once the baby is born what the name is.

Congrats and good luck!

We do half-and-half.
We tell close friends and family our final choices but have them keep it under wraps. We like to make sure we aren’t missing something important (like initials spelling something bad), and it’s good to have some sort of a grounding factor to make sure we aren’t entirely off our rockers. :slight_smile:

We are thankfully blessed with really supportive family and friends who don’t protest our unusual name choices, despite having much more traditional tastes themselves.

It also helps when we don’t let them in during the “discussion” part of naming. We asked for more input this time around and no one voted for the name we have now chosen! Oh well! :slight_smile:
Like I said, they support us anyway and that is awesome!

Thank goodness for Nameberry, where I can share my naming thoughts all the way from the drawing board to the birth day without fears of name-stealing or ridicule!
This site is a lifesaver for me! :slight_smile:

We kept our son’s name to ourselves. We thought that was the best way to prevent any opinions, sour faces or other suggestions for us to consider. We kept telling everyone we couldn’t decide, and for those that were pushy and wanted to know some names we were considering, we would just give names that we had liked but nixed from the getgo just to get them off of our backs lol