When do you name your baby and why?

Such an interesting conversation yesterday! You all had such great thoughts! I’ll be definitely be musing on this for a while …

I have another question for you all today! A mama I did a consultation for recently who’s expecting her first baby asked:

I’m also curious about the differences in naming a baby before he’s born and naming him after you see him. In some ways, I’m anxious for him to have a name, but in other ways I keep thinking I need to see him to know what his name is, you know?

My husband and I have always decided on our babies’ names during the pregnancy, and then that was the baby’s name, so I didn’t feel like I had a great answer for her. But I know it’s really common to wait to see the baby before deciding on a name, so I’d love to hear especially from any of you who waited to see your baby before deciding on a name. Did you have two (or more) finalists that you intended to choose between based on which seemed the best fit for your new baby?

For those of you who thought you had the name nailed down, only to meet your baby and decide it wasn’t quite right at all — what was that like? Did you have a backup name just in case, or did you have to scramble and start over?

Do you have any other advice for this first-time mom?

64 thoughts on “When do you name your baby and why?

  1. My husband has always been insistent on finding out baby’s gender before she (we have girls) is born. I was pretty ambivalent about this and was fine with doing that, but then realized that as soon as we found out our kids were girls I wanted to name them immediately. I like that we and the rest of our friends/family can refer to the baby by name while she’s still on the inside. It makes me feel like we all know her a little bit and she’s not such a stranger when she arrives!

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  2. I have never understood the whole “he just didn’t look like X name” thing. In my experience, babies just look like babies and no name fits them until you get used to saying it over time (it takes a few months for a name to be natural to me). We named our kids before they were born but don’t find out the sex so we have a boy name and a girl name and that’s it. I’m not pregnant but already know the next two girls names we would use and the next boy name and I can’t imagine changing them. Hopefully we’ll have the chance to use them.

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  3. We knew our first child would be a boy, so my husband and I had it narrowed down to two names and had agreed to make the decision once he arrived. Upon meeting him, we looked at him and still had no clue which of the two names to use. We didn’t have an “ah-ha” moment where we knew. I liken it to my wedding dress experience. Never once did I say that I “just knew” that I was in my wedding dress like so many other people I know because so many of them seemed beautiful to me. At the hospital, it took 7 hours before we came to a decision and I really hated not having a name for the child in our arms up until that point. For our second child, we decided to not find out a gender, but went in with a pre-determined boy and a girl name. It was great to have a name right away and we know now that for us, it is better to decide the name before the baby is born.

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  4. We’ve gone into birth with about 2-3 names for each of our boys. We like seeing the baby first. There was a top contender each time, but I think we only ended up using it once (we did use the first runner up from #1 on #3!).

    Most of my friends are appalled and say they are way too out of it after birth to have naming responsibility! I get it, I’m just not really comfortable settling on a name and sharing it before we lay eyes on the baby. It might be that my parents had Nicholas picked out for me because they were certain I was a boy!

    All that being said, it would take something pretty big to keep me from naming my first girl after my beloved grandmother, so if I have a daughter, I will have negated everything I said above!

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  5. I’m not a fan of the “meeting the baby” before naming them idea. And my husband absolutely can’t stand the idea of calling people to tell them we’ve had a baby and not being able to share his or her name.

    Like the friends of the poster Ashley above, after some of my births I’ve been a hormonal mess I can’t imagine trying to finalize the baby’s name and teach him or her to nurse at the same time.

    Also my 7 newborns all have looked remarkably similar so I have a pretty good hunch what they will look like. I’ve joked that if I waited to name my 2nd child till I met her I would have had to name her Paul because she looked just like her older brother.

    Ideally I would like to have a name selected when we find out the gender at the 20 week ultrasound. Unfortunately some times I haven’t been able to make a final selection till the very end.

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  6. I’m with mandi- I don’t really get how a newborn could look like one name over another. We’re 2/2 for announcing the name within a few weeks of finding out the gender. The names we have chosen have been very meaningful to us (for saints/family members) so I think that plays into it- maybe if we chose names based more on the sound and our preference, we would wait longer? Or if we are less sure about it- for both our girls we’ve had one name we kept coming back to as the right name. (I suppose #2 could change technically since she’s not born yet but I feel like now we’ve announced and we’ve been calling her that for 2+ months it’s extremely unlikely we would change it!)

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    • It’s not that a newborn so much looks like a name, but that for some, seeing their face, holding them, helps them to personalize the process more. I can’t relate to the idea that all babies look the same. My babies (from my perspective) have unique personalities obvious to me in the womb and when they arrive, their faces look unique to them. My son and daughter, while clearly siblings, we’re not the same in facial features, size, or personality even at birth! And I feel that way about neices and nephews too. It does take time for any name to “stick” after choosing it. We name more with adulthood in mind. But I can look at my new babies and simultaneously dream about their future too… So I don’t think parents are naming for the moment just because they wait until birth, but more making the process more personal to that baby and them based on how their process life events like this. Fwiw, I also was the girl who knew which wedding dress was “mine.” Yes, they were all pretty, but they weren’t all mine :). Much of this is probably related to temperament and how a person or couple tends to process things! For us, naming a baby after birth gives us more time to kick people out and give us privacy with the new one too ;).

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      • Our names also have stories and meanings behind them too. But saying I want to honor St. Anne with a particular baby doesn’t mean her name will be Anne. There are just so many options and ways to tweak… That is what is happening at birth!

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      • Sarah–yes, definitely related to personality/temperament! I am a planner and don’t like last minute decisions. I also tend to second guess myself, so it helps to decide way in advance to some degree. Maybe because our name choice is so personal and unique to us as a family, it doesn’t matter in my mind quite so much what the baby looks like, as she will be joining our *family.*.. if that even makes sense? I’m having trouble trying to put it into words haha. And I’m only pregnant with #2 so I’d imagine my thoughts on this will change as more babies come along (God-willing)!

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      • And I didn’t mean to say names chosen at birth aren’t as meaningful! But–to use us as an example– with our first I definitely wanted to name her for St. Anne, but my husband didn’t like Anne/Anna as a first name and we didn’t agree on any variation/combo names, so that left Anne for the middle. Once we’d more or less settled that, and after some prayer we felt strongly about naming her for Our Lady and for my husband’s sister/baby’s Godmother: Maria. So Maria Anne was just the *right* name even before we met her!

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      • Oh I can totally relate to being a planner!! We spend 20 weeks having to think and ponder about the name and hash it out. I could never START discussing the name at birth. It would drive me crazy! I find it interesting some folks can do that, but I think the norm is to discuss names earlier, then some will settle on a name prior to birth and others will settle at or after birth. I am pregnant with #3, and who knows, maybe out discussions will be easier having named a boy and a girl already, and we could name the baby prior to birth. I am definitely not against doing that. But so far, for whatever reason, we have had to wait to finalize!

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      • This is so interesting! I never felt I had any idea of my babies’ personalities when they were in the womb! They all seemed about the same to me! It’s possible my 1st and 3rd babies were a bit more active in utero, but I attribute that more to size, placenta location, my own weight, etc. It certainly hasn’t played out that my 1st and 3rd children were more active as toddlers or on into childhood than my others (in fact, the opposite may be true…)

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  7. We had names picked out pre-birth for all three of our kids, and only changed #2’s middle name after he was born. He is a junior, and we had originally planned on giving him his own middle name, but when it came time to fill out the birth certificate, I (being completely hormonal, of course) decided that he absolutely had to share his father’s middle name, and that was that.

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    • Oh I don’t think people who wait to name until birth (me!) wait to start the discussion until after birth! We started discussing names almost 5 years before our first was born! We just didn’t settle on one, which is funny because I’m a planner, too. But we also didn’t call people right away or have anyone at the hospital with us, so we could take a little time.

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  8. We currently have 2 girls names picked out, one being a Marian name, for a baby due any day. In the past we have had everything picked out. My husband prefers it that way. Our last daughter was born on a Marian feast. I would have liked to have used a Marian name, but the girls name was already set. This time around I want to be more open to the liturgical calendar when it comes to naming. We have switched out middle names to correspond with feast days. Do feast days influence your readers naming? I know historically that is a popular Catholic thing to do.

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      • We’ve definitely had a substitute name lined up if our baby came on a particular feast day!

        I was torn between a few names last time and when baby arrived on a Saturday it did help push me towards the Marian choice.

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      • This is how my mom was named!! My grandmother (named Dolores) had planned on naming my mom Mary Beth. But then my mom was born on September 15, which is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (aka Mater Dolorosa), and so she was named Dolores! (She doesn’t particularly like her name, but I have always found it fascinating that she was named in this way!)

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    • I haven’t explicitly done that, but my fourth baby was going to be named after St. John the Baptist, and we were excited when he was born the day before the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist!

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    • On the other hand, we do celebrate saints’ feast days as a sort of second-class birthday in our house, and our little John having his saint’s day just one day after his birthday may be kind of sad for him during childhood. Such a loooong time to wait until he gets a special day again. Almost like having one slightly longer special day, whereas the other children all have at least a few months between birthday and saint’s day.

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  9. With our first, I knew for sure she’d be Kateri if it was a girl, but we had two top contenders as boy names and were going to decide when the baby popped out if he were a boy. I think it’s totally a mom instinct thing to want to wait to see their face before naming them! Or maybe just a genetics thing, because my name wasn’t supposed to be Hannah until I was born & my parents quickly changed their minds. 🙂 I’d say if the original poster is worried about deciding on a name before birth not to rush into anything – wait and see the baby if you want!

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  10. All of mine have had a name prior to birth (even if that was just moments before-lol). With that being said, we never find out the sex of the baby ahead of time, so there is always a boy’s and girl’s name that are brought to the operating room. I always have to feel inspired about a name but haven’t had to see the baby to confirm that inspiration.

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  11. I have loved reading all of these comments. I do not have any babies yet (and won’t for a while most likely) but I love hearing everyone’s experience.

    My advice, if someone were to ask my opinion that has zero backing given my lack of children, would be to just go with the flow. If you choose a name before the baby is born, awesome! If you don’t, you’ll find one eventually. People put so much pressure on themselves to find the absolute perfect name, and I feel like sometimes that could make it harder to find a name that works for their family, especially then if you add in the pressure of the time crunch.

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  12. So interesting to read the opposite perspective from what me & my husband have found to be our “naming routine.” We have 5 Littles, and starting with our eldest, we did not find out babys gender and had a 1st place name and a 2nd place name all picked for a girl, and a super 1st place name with a 2nd kinda-like-it for a boy. Our daughter arrived and she just Was. Not. That. Person. Neither of our names fit her. I tried saying the name aloud and it was like someone singing really off key.

    Samuel was our boy favorite and my husband had been reading the Old Testament story, and off hand said, “I really like Hannah, don’t you?” I did, and he joked about it being a name for our 3rd or 4th girl since we were so set. Turns out, Hanna is our eldest.

    We used the 1st choice girl name on our next daughter, but we still had to see her. Same for 3rd and 4th. We had a list (maybe 3-4 first name contenders and up to 10 middle names, drawing from saints we love, things that happened during pregnancy, gut feelings we both had) as birth approached and within an hour, we had calmly discerned the baby’s name.

    With our 5th (Lucie Christine–still so new!) We had 3 girl contenders as 1st names and probably near 15 middles that one or both of us liked. Boys were tougher, maybe 2 and 4 in reserve. Since Lucie went to the NICU, we didn’t get much time together to discern her name. It was so hard for me knowing the nurses didn’t have anything to call her except “baby girl.” My husband gave the greatest insight into how naming goes for us: “She has a name, and God knows it. He just hasn’t told us yet.” It was the most consoling thing to tell me in that moment. It was tough (on us) to be telling family “It’s a girl!” And then have them wait from 5pm on her birthday until mid-next day for a name, but I still wouldn’t change it.

    I just love how every family’s naming process is so different. I used to think that finding out gender/naming in advance in some ways “took away a surprise” but then….Mary knew she was having a boy & knew what she was going to name him. Same with St. Elizabeth and John the Baptist. So now, I like what works for me & my husband, but sometimes I’m jealous of those who know who is getting stronger each day in their wombs and who can talk to their children by name.

    For the new mama, I’d say it’s okay to evolve in how you name! I know some families who for their 1st did the surprise at birth and chose a name after meeting, only for subsequent ones to find out at ultrasound and name the baby at that time, and it took a process to figure out what worked best for them. So, start with what you think works best for your style, your marriage, your child, and it’s okay to adjust if it wound up not being your favorite. I totally thought I’d be a choose-a-girl-name & choose-a-boy-name kind of person and instead, we go to the hospital still talking & praying about names and pulling up the list that we’ve kept on our phones.

    Sorry such a long comment, but the process is such an exciting thing!

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  13. This is a great question. During our first pregnancy, I thought we needed to narrow it down to a couple final contenders and then decide upon seeing the baby. My husband thought that was total insanity. His view was that babies just “grow into” the name you give them. We did not know gender and it turned out that we really only had 1 boy and 1 girl name that we liked. We had a boy and his name was very meaningful to us (my maiden name for a first name and my husband/FIL name for a middle) so we never considered anything else.

    We are now expecting our second and I’ve accepted having it narrowed down to 1 boy and 1 girl name. Our latest debate was whether we needed to start over with girl names (my opinion) or just use our girl name (husbands opinion) from the first time. We keep talking about girl names, but still love our original girl name the most. We are at a total loss on boy names (I should probably email you about a consultation!). It has driven me crazy when family members call to announce a babies birth and don’t have the name so one way or another we will have it decided when we go into labor. However, we never ever share baby names with anyone until after baby arrives.

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  14. I always thought I’d have a name picked out long in advance, especially because we made the decision to find out the gender half-way through. We’d had a girl’s name picked out for years, and if it was a girl, well, that would’ve been the end of the story.

    Except, it wasn’t. We WERE having a girl, and both of us got cold feet about our original name choice. But since it had been THE name for so long, we’d literally never discussed alternatives, so we ere starting from scratch. And we were busy, and it was a strangely awkward conversation, and we got as far as a nickname we both agreed on, and another name we didn’t both immediately discount, and then we were busy, and I started a new job, and we were finding a new place to live, and moving house, and we were busy, and I was tired, and then suddenly there we were, in the hospital, with this baby, and we realized we kinda sorta need to pick a name. At that point, I capitulated to my husband’s suggestion (which would give us the nickname we liked) because I kind of liked the idea of the daughter of the professional onomast mom being named by her dad. It’s a bit more special, that way. (Also, I found out later that my name was chosen by my dad!)

    So, we always expected to know the name long in advance, but the world did not end when we didn’t pick one until after she was born. 🙂

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  15. We always find out the gender beforehand because we are just too curious not to–and because deciding on a name tends to be more of a process than it probably needs to be. That’s what happens when you are a name geek and your husband used to be a professional namer. (Of products and companies, not babies, but still. Old habits die hard.) With our daughter, we had a first name picked out fairly early pregnancy that we were very attached to, so when she was born it wasn’t even really a question. With our son, we had a name that we had really liked for a long time but reluctantly vetoed it because we thought it sounded too “made-up.” The problem was, we just couldn’t think of any boys’ names we DID like. We went to the hospital like, “well, I guess Victor’s not a HORRIBLE name.” Then he was born and we were like, “nope, that’s a Corwin. That’s for sure a Corwin.”

    We have much more of a problem with middle names. We’re the people the hospital registrar keeps calling because we just can’t make up our minds! (Although technically I think you have 10 days or something to legally decide.)

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  16. We have found out the gender both times and had names prepared by the 20 week ultrasound. We love having a name to call our little ones, and we encourage others to use it too. We also name our kids after saints and then ask for those saints intercession during the pregnancy.

    We’ve found naming early to help us bond with the baby and it has opened really interesting conversations with others about how it’s actually truly a tiny human from the very beginning.

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  17. We’ve gone to the hospital 2/2 with a front-runner name, and it wasn’t so much that we needed to see our babies first, but that we needed to test using the name for real. That said, we’re due on Sunday with #3 and are still working on the front-runner this time!

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  18. I like hearing the stories of people who do wait/have waited to see the baby, because I can’t imagine waiting myself! We haven’t found out the sex for either of our two before delivery, so we pick out one boy and one girl name, and then sex and name can both be announced at the same time as “baby is here!” With my first I remember loving being able to answer the nurse’s “What’s her name?” confidently/immediately when she was born. It takes almost all my patience to wait for that surprise (sex) in the delivery room; I like having the names nailed down early.

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  19. With both of our boys, we have found out the gender, but chosen to keep our name discussions private. Partially, because we want to be sure that it is the “right” name. But, also because we love the surprise factor. My husband really enjoys calling family and telling them who has joined the family!

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  20. We are kind of mix. We find out the gender at 20 weeks because it WILL take us 20 weeks to settle on a name. We need to not only hash out the different names we like/feel called to for that pregnancy but we also do need to meet the baby. It’s not that a newborn face will tell us everything we need to know, but there IS something to finally meeting that little one on the outside. Also, I think it makes it much easier for my husband. With our son, we had two finalized names picked out. Dh felt strongly that out son with tons (like so so much) thick dark hair looked much more like one name over the other (and the chosen name was my pick, not his original pick).

    My daughter, I *thought* we were going to do the same thing. I thought we had 2 names. Turned out my husband’s feelings once again changed at birth. It took us 3 days to name her. I don’t think any preparation during pregnancy could have shortened that process. We had to meet her as a couple.

    I also do kind of like that the name is sort of the final surprise, the final big reveal in the pregnancy/birth process. It’s just special to figure out the name and announce at arrival. Also makes it easier to put off nosey folks who want to give opinions on a name prior to birth ;). It’s easy to say truthfully, “Sorry, no name to share!”

    I too was named at birth. My parents had a name picked out and to their shock had two girls instead of one. Took them a week t name us. But I feel like my name is special and like they really matched it to me.

    It’s equally lovely to choose prior to birth, I am sure, but this is where works for us and is almost a tradition in our family.

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  21. Lol I’m single and not likely to have any babies any time soon BUT I already have like 13 full names picked out, so… I can’t imagine not knowing the gender or the name before birth. (I also like that my friends would have a name to call the baby, which also reinforces that YES this IS a real person even though s/he is still in the womb.) So I guess one of “musts” for potential suitors is that he needs to agree with my baby names. 😉 😉 😉

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  22. We have 8 and have done it both ways.
    Our first little girl was named right then at the 20 week ultrasound.
    Our second was a hubby pick and I was hesitant, so we didn’t officially name him that name until we met him – and even then I hesitated but hubby loved the name so much that’s the name he got. I adore his name now!
    The third baby was named through divine inspiration – a name that neither of us were keen on but God said that was his name, regardless. Lol.
    Our fourth’s name was decided before he was born.
    Our fifth was born with three names in mind, and we decided when we looked at her.
    ***Our sixth was born with a name, and I’m so glad because if we’d have waited, her story wouldn’t be very amazing. 🙂
    Our seventh was born at 26 weeks, nameless. I let hubby choose his name when he met him. I was a bit traumatized. Eeks.
    And our eighth had her name chosen for her before birth, but because she was a homebirth, we had months to actually fill out the legal info and I waxed and waned on her middle name, and whether we wanted to give her a double middle or not. We didn’t. It just didn’t fit her.

    ***This baby was named for my beloved deceased great-aunt, Sister Mary Camillus. Baby’s name was to be Marigold Camillus. She was due Oct 28. In August, I asked my family when Sister Camillus was born and when she died, mostly because I was wondering if Marigold would be born in the same month. When I was told that Sr. Camillus died October 17, I had this strong intuition come over me and I told my hubby “Baby will be born on October 17.” The day of October 17, I woke up, NOT in labor, and called my mom to let her know baby would be coming today! There were no signs of labor all day long, but I remained convinced that she was going to come.

    I went into labor at 9:30 pm and she was born at 11:56 pm. So knowing her name was Marigold Camillus all along made it really awesome to me – rather than naming her that after the fact. And then later we find out the marigolds are the flowers for the month of October.

    I just LOVE her name story.

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      • lol….
        Alex@ndra Ruthm@rie
        C@ssian Willi@m (prn Cashen not Cassy-en)
        Killi@n Mich@el
        Bennett J@meson
        Anneliese Fr@ncesca
        M@rigold C@millus
        Miles Jon@s
        Sylvie Regin@

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      • (Did everyone notice that each child’s first name has the same number of letters as his/her middle? Amazingly well done!!) (Also, I’ve told so many people about Sylvie Regin@! I just love it!)

        Like

      • That was a mess! Maybe Kate can delete the first one. Here we go again:

        *Alex@ndra Ruthm@rie*

        *C@ssian Willi@m* (pronounced Cashen not Cassy-en)

        *Killi@n Mich@el*

        *Bennett J@meson*

        *Anneliese Fr@ncesca*

        *M@rigold C@millus*

        *Miles Jon@s*

        *Sylvie Regin@*

        Sylvie is a nod to Our Lady – Salve Regina. 🙂

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      • Okay, LOVE your names! I have a cutie niece named Sylvia “Sylvie”, so that just seals the deal (and paried with Regina.. amazing)… gorgeous family names!

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      • (Did everyone notice that each child’s first name has the same number of letters as his/her middle? Amazingly well done!!) (Also, I’ve told so many people about Sylvie Regin@! I just love it!)

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    • This story gave me chills! And tears in my eyes! Also Marigold is one of my favorite names!
      My fourth baby was named in the same way as your third. His name is John, still a name I don’t “love”, but that was his name! The end!

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  23. We didn’t find out the gender and had two girls and two boys names going into the birth. We did want to see our babe first but I also think we still kind of had a front runner for each gender. To me it’s just such a cool and important responsibility to name our kiddos and while we still did not have a moment of “oh he looks like a _______” it made me feel better just getting to know him for a few hours before he was named. We just found out we are pregnant again and the two girl names from the last pregnancy are still the front runners if we have a girl. The name we didn’t use for our first boy is prob what it will be should be blessed with another little guy. I’ll def be asking for a consult soon though because various factors make it hard to decide this time around if we do have a girl! haha Maybe she will look very distinctly like one of the names we’re choosing from 😉

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  24. We are expecting #3 any day now (not due until Aug. 23, but #1 came at 39 weeks and #2 at 36 weeks + 4 days… and #3 has dropped, so I think a week, tops!). This has been a fascinating read!

    We never find out gender ahead of time – I say it’s my incentive to do a good job at pushing 🙂 but it surprises all our friends because we’re both such planners – so we wind up considering boy and girl names each time. We start by looking at which saints have feast days around our expected due date (initially a narrow window, and then it widens a bit the more we talk). We consider any other saints/names we’re particularly drawn to (we recently learned about saint whoever, a family name, etc.). They all wind up on a boy or girl list. As we get closer, we tweak the lists by removing, adding, trying out combinations. With #1, we went to the hospital with two girl combos and two boy combos. Within a few moments of seeing her, we both felt sure that Elizabeth Rose was for her. Our son (#2) surprised us by his early arrival, so all we had done was read through the lists we made when expecting #1… and my husband had made a separate list of some additional boy names when he didn’t have the earlier list with him. We knew that, if it were a boy, Robert would be involved somehow (after my dad), so after a little discussion (between contractions, pushing, and initial bonding), we settled on Jonathan Robert within an hour of his birth at most. Fortunately, he was born in the middle of the night and we weren’t making any phone calls until at least 7am, so we didn’t have to worry about telling people we had a baby with no name yet. For #3, we made certain to have plenty of name discussions prior to 36 weeks, just in case! We have three girl combos (but friends just had a girl earlier this week and used one of our potential first names… though with a different spelling… so perhaps we’ll go with one of the other two – duplicate names among friends is one thing, but within a week or two is another, in my mind) and a handful of boy combos with no clear front runner. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see! The list is all packed, and we’re not worried, since we’re a lot closer than we were the second time.

    I have to say, I probably considered the whole naming thing from a few more angles this time, since I’ve been reading Sancta Nomina! My husband tends toward more syllables in the first name because our last name is short, and I’m all for Marian or relatives of Mary names… but this time, we’ve thought about other things like biblical nature (OT vs NT) and potential saint days to celebrate and how girl names would “go” together (a Marian first name to go with Elizabeth) or boy names would “go” together (a David to be friends with Jonathan). It’s so much fun to think about!

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      • We went with Benjamin Daniel (Daniel is Daddy’s middle name) as #3 ended up being a boy. Good thing we discussed names well ahead of time – it was another short labor, this time in the middle of the day! If we’re ever blessed with a #4, I suspect the girl list will remain the same as it was this time around. Only time will tell… We got married after 30 and I’m not as young as I used to be! 🙂

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  25. We’ve always waited and and ever find out baby’s sex. Sometimes we’ve had it narrowed down to 2-3 names for one sex and still had a long list for the other, three times we were nearly 100% certain for one sex of at least one name (Blaise’s first name, Urban Paul, Mary ________ ______ (Mary double name with middle name).

    The why isn’t very compelling, but it seems to work for us! My husband is a twin and started his marriage and family before we did. They found out sex and picked names for baby #1 and it was great, then did the same for baby #2 and it totally didn’t fit her at all! This was pre-internet so they had to grab a book and start over! She ended up with a beautiful name that is, IMO, pretty in a way the original pick was not. We talked and decided we didn’t want to find out and didn’t want to be stuck like that (we had 2 babies pre-internet naming sites, pre-internet in hospital 😊) so we just had a long list for boys and a long list for girls and worked off of those winging the middle name(s) once the first had been chosen. The longest it’s taken us is 24-36hrs to nail it down!

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  26. We definitely name in advance…way in advance…usually before the child is conceived. Except with our third child, we had a very hard time with a boy’s name (good thing she was a girl), and with our fourth, we’d had this boy’s name for almost a year before he was conceived but no girl’s name until a few days before he was born (at least he was a boy!) As far as finding out gender, we’ve done it both ways, but we never tell the gender beforehand either way. We also never tell the name beforehand, AND, I never call the baby anything but “the baby” until he or she is born! When I’m pregnant, I usually find that things tend to seem pretty theoretical until that baby is there in my arms. I guess I’m not a big in utero bonder. But I have loved having a name picked out in advance for each of them. It’s kind of like the reverse of what some people say (the “he doesn’t look like a John” thing). For me it’s more like, “So THIS is what a John looks like!”

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  27. With our first we were set on a girl name as we only agreed on one, then we had it narrowed down to three boy names. We had a girl so it made it easy to name her!
    Our second we again only had one girl name we liked but many boy names. When he was born we weighed both names on him, and ultimately I told my husband he got the final say to name his firstborn son either of our names. Since we had a Marian name for our girl, he chose Joseph for our firstborn son.
    For our third, we knew she was a girl and we had a new to us name picked out for her. Even when I was in the hospital on bedrest in preterm labor we told the nurses her name would be Cora. Then when she was born, before they took her to the NICU, I got to hold her for a second and I said “Are you Cora?” And she laid there. So I asked her “Are you Gianna?” (Which was our girl name we had picked out for our second child) and she opened her tiny little eyes and stared straight into mine. We knew she had chosen her own name.
    With our fourth we knew he was a boy and we would use the second boy name that we hadn’t used when our first son was born. We threw around other names but kept coming back to the old standby.

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  28. So fun to hear all these different stories…my Mister and I pretty much always knew before B-Day…the only time I can recall that we made a last minute decision was for our first little rosebud (we have six beautiful children here on earth). It was one of those “watching-your-wife-in-labor-for-the-1st-time-wondering-if-she-was-going-to survive” stories. It had to do with a middle name I preferred…a beautiful Irish name. My dear Mister gave in to my preference, Godluvim!

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