Why We’re Waiting to Name Our Baby

June 10, 2013  |  

If you’re like most American couples, then you probably decided on a baby name in the second or third trimester of your pregnancy. You chose your name and shared it with close family and friends with all the great excitement, certainty, and joy that comes with a named child.

In my first two pregnancies, I guess you could say I fit that bill. With my first daughter, I decided on a name at 13 weeks, before even learning of her gender! With my second daughter, our family helped pick out her name around the 20 week mark.

“On time,” “prepared,” “punctual” were terms that could describe my husband and I in our first and second pregnancies. Right alongside shopping for baby gear at huge baby gadget-filled department stores, picking out and deciding upon baby names was always the most exciting part of our pregnancies. And of all the tasks that came with preparing for a new baby—between choosing a pediatrician to deciding upon breast pumps—the naming part felt the most meaningful and purposeful.

As a new mom, I marveled in creating those handwritten lists, you know the ones written in pencil on scraps of notebook paper? Yes, I loved that. And I loved hearing and saying hundreds of equally beautiful names aloud and imagining my life with a child who responded to the name contenders with a loving “Yes, mommy!” Oh, and I liked narrowing down those lists to two or three names and then deciding on a perfect name and then vacillating between the top two before committing to the one I named as perfect first.

Ah, yes, those were the days.

But now pregnant with my third child, I think we’ve changed. Now at 30 weeks pregnant, with, ideally 10 weeks to go of this pregnancy, we have no baby name picked out for our third child.

I know. By most American’s standards, we’re running behind, way behind. I should have an excuse for this, something about us being busy with two toddlers or about a third pregnancy being so different from a first or second, but I don’t. We don’t have a name for our third child because we don’t want to choose a name yet. So, we’ll wait this time, likely until after birth and arriving home from the hospital to decide.

I wouldn’t say we’re “winging” it this time around as parents. But, uh, well, to an outsider looking in at our sparse nursery, the infant car seat covered in dust in our garage, and the general way we’re doing this pregnancy, we are kind of “winging” it, or going with flow, yes, that’s it. We’re going with the flow and giving ourselves time to savor in this particular moment of our pregnancy and children’s lives because we can.

So when others ask if we have decided on any baby names yet, we always say this and that we’re in the small minority of parents who waits until their baby is born to decide on a name. We will wait maybe a few hours after birth or perhaps a few weeks. We want more time, I guess, and since we haven’t had much time between our two other children to put much thought into this child, we figure that after birth when we can hold and see our baby, the whole naming thing will make more sense.

I never would have imagined that I would be this kind of parent, or the kind of parent who is so patient with such a big decision. But, and perhaps it’s age or maturity or some combination of both, I actually am. I am calm with this decision of ours. We’re waiting and I’m actually kind of excited about it.

When do you pick out a name for your baby? What factors went into your decision for choosing a name?

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