Naming a baby is serious business (just ask any parent-to-be). Many of us go so far as to ready baby naming books and do our research and make potential lists and mull over the possibilities until we find something that feels absolutely right. Many of use forgo any decisions until after we see our baby, because naming someone you haven't met yet can be pretty hard. Then, of course, others look back into their family history for a bit of inspiration and consult baby naming apps to figure out what to name their child. However you find the name you think is best, is entirely up to you, but there are people whose feelings you shouldn't feel obligated to consider when naming your baby. After all, it is your baby.
My husband and I chose not to tell anyone our name possibilities, in part to avoid the judgements and also because we are horribly indecisive and didn't actually settle on a name until a few days before our son was born. Now that our son is here, all we can do is introduce our son and hope people don’t feel inspired to share what they think. In the end, people are going to have opinions about, well, everything that has to do with your parenting. The best you can do is do what works for you, your baby and your family. The rest? Well, the rest is just internet fodder.
Like almost every other parenting decision you will make, when choosing a name for your baby, the only person whose opinion should matter is your own (and, depending on your circumstances, your co-parent). These next nine people, though? Yeah, feel free to ignore them and move on when they try to spout some hate about your baby’s name.
The Baby’s Grandparents
Your partners (or your partner's parents) will be the most vocal individuals when it comes to what you’ll be naming your kid, by far. Sometimes, they'll mean well. Other times, they will simply want you to name the baby after them, or your strange aunt Sarah, or your great-grandpa Bob or whatever other person they’ve got in mind. Grandparents tend to appreciate these legacy names more than the millennial mothers of today, who prefer names like Skylar and Braden to classics like John and Maria.
Your Best Friend
When it comes to needing someone to vent to about your spouse or finding a partner in crime for the first Saturday night you find a sitter, your besties are the best people ever. When it comes to naming your kid, though? Well, they would be even better friends if they simply nodded and smiled when you told them your inevitable choice for a baby name. Too many best friends seem to think it’s totally cool to give their unsolicited opinion on this very important decision. I say, if you're not the one changing diapers or nursing a sick baby in the middle of the night, you have no opinion.
Some siblings will totally understand that they have no business telling you what to name your kid. Others will take this opportunity to try and pass off the names they would’ve named their kids, or to remind you of all the ways they made fun of your name while you were growing up. But hey, you’re an adult now so don’t sweat it.
Your OB-GYN Or Midwife
This likely doesn’t happen often (I'm assuming?) but the doctor who gets to know your baby from (almost) conception, all the way through birth, might have some opinions about what you’re naming your kid. This would, of course, be wholly unprofessional so if your OB or midwife actually does try to say something about your baby-to-be’s name, it may be time to switch providers.
If you happen to be one of those people who stay friends with their exes, you’ll want to keep your guard up when it comes to anything about your baby. Your ex is your ex for a reason and they do not get a say in anything to do with what you name your baby (or how you raise your baby, or really anything at all about anything to do with you).
You spend enough time working with people and they will surely begin to feel like they can confide in you and be honest with you, even if that means they’re about to say something horribly rude and terribly inappropriate. We all have at least one coworker that fits the bill. Make sure not to tell them what you’re naming your kid, as you’ll probably end up with just one more reason why you want to glue their stapler to their desk.
Hospital Or Birthing Center Staff
Congratulations, you’ve just had a baby! Now it’s time to let the staff at the hospital know who this cute, squish little person is. If they are awesome, their response will be a quick and easy congrats and off they will go to keep on shuffling their papers or taking care of patients. But if they have no manners? It could just be the first time (of, sadly, many times) you encounter someone voicing an opinion about the important choice you've made. What postpartum, hormone-ridden mother wants to hear something like that from a near-stranger? The answer: absolutely zero.
People On The Internet
Don’t ever go on an online forum to actually ask for baby naming advice. Sure, you’ll get some positive feedback, but you’ll also encounter trolls who just want to mess with your very-pregnant head. No, thanks.
Anyone That Isn't You
Sure, we all have a cousin or an aunt or a next door neighbor or a former colleague who will want to chime in the minute you mention that you’re naming your child after an astronaut or a television character or your favorite feminist, and many of them will even try to talk you out of it, or at least make you feel so lousy you consider naming your baby something else. Why the hell would you actually listen to any of these people. Who made them a baby name authority? Sure, there really are folks who help parents name their babies but unless you’re paying good money for this kind of service (no doubt geared toward the most indecisive of parents), why would you listen to anyone’s opinion?