One of the first things we do for our children, as parents, is give them a name. Sometime the process is a "no-brainer," and sometimes it's difficult to nail down a moniker for a person you haven't met yet. I mean,
how do you choose a baby name for a baby that's still "cooking" in your oven, right? As with most things parenting related, I've learned that asking other moms about their process tends to help you form and navigate your own.
More often than not, parents are quick to share the story behind their baby's name, giving those of us curious enough to ask some insight into how they reached a decision. A lot of people name their children after loved ones, living and dead, for example. Some reach back into
family genealogy for inspiration, while others want their child's name to reflect their ethnicity, religion, and culture. And, of course, there's those of us who lean on books, TV, movies, history, and pop culture to find the perfect baby name.
While the following stories might not help you find the "perfect" name for your soon-to-be spawn, they could help point you in the right direction. And if all else fails, at least you'll be privy to some sweet, melancholy, and funny stories behind the following parents' names for their children:
"When [my oldest] was about 11 months old, I was seven months pregnant and she was laying with her ear pressed to my belly. I told her, 'Your sister is in there but we don’t know her name yet.' My pre-verbal baby lifted her head, looked me dead in the eye, and
very clearly said, 'Dahlia.' And then went back to listening to my belly. There was no arguing with that, so that’s how Dahlia got her name." Brenda
"My middle boy ... is named George Bailey Kim. I chose this name because his
due date was Dec. 25... He really shouldn't even be here; neither should I. I had a blood clot on my lung right before he was born, and it was close. Also, before having him, we had multiple struggles with infertility, despite having had one child. We endured miscarriages, a still birth ... and then the adoption process. [We] found we were pregnant and waited, scared to death, but decided to name him that because, 'What if there had been no George Bailey?' We almost found out." Jae
"My twins came at 29 weeks due to the girl’s placenta erupting. She and I almost bled out and it was touch and go for the first 24 hours. She did come out screaming and kicking somehow, even at almost 2 pounds. ... By day three the NICU said you have to name Baby Girl ... we don’t know what to call her! At that moment my MICU surgeon came in to check on me and commented, 'That little girl really got riled up in there.' So her first name became Rylie right then and there. ... She has been a force to be reckoned with ever since for sure!"
Sleeping Beauty was my favorite Disney movie as a child. I’d name all my Barbies Aurora. I told my grandma if I ever had a daughter I’d name her Aurora, too. [My first daughter] Aurora was named after a princess, so I had to keep it going! Guinevere [my second daughter] is [named] after the Queen from Camelot." Kate
"I didn't find out the sex of either baby, and the names were so hard to choose. I could not, for the life of me, find a girl name I liked and then, one night while I was pregnant, I had a dream. ... I was walking through a field and came to ... a tree right in the front with a carving and I walked up to it and it was the name Mabel with a heart carved around it. I woke up and knew that would be the baby's name if it was a girl. 'Mabel Mae' was what I came up with... Then I went into labor the day of my favorite uncle's funeral, who had passed on my birthday a week before, and when the baby was born and I found out it was a girl, I named her Mabel Markie instead, to remember him by."
"When I was pregnant with my oldest, my husband and I were at Barnes & Noble looking at a baby name book. We didn’t know the sex of the baby yet, but we were so excited we started looking. We couldn’t agree on a single boy name and we finally came across a girl name we loved. 'Gabriella.' Literally a moment later, the cutest little girl came up to us and hugged Rich’s leg. Her mom came over and said, 'Gabby, come on!' I asked, 'Is her name Gabriella?!' And her mom said yes. We knew then and there that we were having a little girl and we would name her Gabriella. We didn’t look at another name."
"We are a mixed family: I'm Afghan and Muslim and hubby is American Jewish and El Salvadorian, so when we were looking for names we wanted something that meant something to both our cultures and religions. Our son's name is Tobias Deen. Tobias in Arabic and Hebrew [and] means 'has meaning,' and Deen means 'religion or system of life' in Islam."
"Our daughter’s name is Aria Jane. I forget where we saw the name Aria, but it totally fit! My husband and I met doing musical theater, and I’m part Italian, so Aria was perfect! Little did we know
was just starting." Game of Thrones Kristen
"Annabelle was the name we always had picked out. I always liked the name Anna, my great grandmother's name, and then found out my husband’s grandmother’s name was Annabell. She died when my father-in-law was very young and was very loved by his family. ... Funny thing was that ... [she was] born on the original Annabell’s birthday. His Dad’s giant family went bananas and I was totally freaked out because I had no idea."
"I’m Jewish, so like a lot of us, my children’s names honor relatives: my late in-laws and my stepfather. We believe that naming our children in their honor elevates the souls of the deceased, and gives the living someone special to pray for them when they are dead. Also, my daughter’s Hebrew name honors Ruth Bader Ginsburg, for obvious reasons."
"When I was a week overdue with my son, we went to a Pizza Hut lunch buffet and decided that we weren't leaving until we had a list of names. [We] wrote them on a napkin and crowd-sourced from our waitress and neighboring tables. Ultimately when he was born, he looked like a little old man, so we picked the only name from the list that fit him — Elliott. We still have the napkin in his baby book!"
"Before we knew [the] gender of our firstborn, we came up with a girl name: Ashlen. I’m very close to my parents, and their names are Lenny and Shirley. So we took the SH from my mom and LEN from my dad. Baby One was a boy, but Baby Two was a girl, so we got to use the name!"
"With my first, my husband had written a song with his friend a few years prior called 'Near Adelaide,' and even before I was pregnant we both realized we loved the name, and we decided that if we ever had a girl she would be Adelaide. With Phoebe, we Googled 'Greek girl names' and read through a list. When we got to Phoebe we both just knew that was the name!"
"We couldn’t agree on a name so we asked our 2-year-old to pick ... We both liked the name so that’s what we went with. Liam was 2 days old before he had an official name."