How To Keep Your Cool

Being pregnant seems to be an open invitation to the public to discuss your future parenting choices, your diet and, sometimes most annoying of all, your baby’s name. Everyone has an opinion! Here’s how to maintain your cool in the face of all the suggestions.

Brown-haired baby

Baby names are hard. For most of us, anyway. I know a few moms who knew early on what their little one’s name would be, and their partners were in agreement with them (and yes, I was totally jealous).

For the rest of us, though, naming a baby consists of months of agonizing discussion, countless pairings with middle and last names, inspection of baby name books and websites … and of course, deleting names that have a poor association in our minds, such as an annoying schoolmate from years past.

In comes mom

Soon, you have your mother, your mother-in-law, your grandma, or other relative giving you subtle hints. “I think Jason is a lovely name,” she’ll say. Or not-so-subtle hints, such as, “You’d better not name her Hannah.” You may get suggestions on special relatives to name your baby after (“Aunt Lorene would be so happy if you used her name!”) or strong expectations (“I named your husband after his dad, we expect that tradition to continue.”).

What’s a girl to do?

Keep your name choice a secret

First and foremost, keep your favorite names a secret. They are only up for discussion between you and the baby’s other parent -- not your sister, not your co-worker, not anyone! This will help cut down on disparaging remarks from others on your name choice and keep the lively debates far from your ears.

Ignore, ignore, ignore

Politely, of course, but feel free to let the name suggestions and mandates roll off your back for now. Smile politely and change the subject. If someone is particularly insistent, tell them that you haven’t made up your mind yet, or you’ll carefully consider their suggestions.

Remember, it’s your baby

This is your child, someone whose name you will grow to love and cherish, much like the child herself. Keeping your name choice (or choices) under wraps until delivery day can be very hard, but remember -- friends and family will love your baby, and soon will come to love her name.

More on baby names

Madame Zaritska suggests baby names
20 colorful baby names
Pregnant couple turns to Facebook to name their baby

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