Would you share the name of your baby before birth?

Esther and I just had an interesting conversation about sharing or not sharing the name of your unborn child. She cheekily asked if we had decided on a name for our baby boy already and if I would share it with her. Which got us comparing habits and traditions on the matter.

I am now 7 months pregnant (with a little boy!) and it was important to me to settle on a name a couple months ago already as I feel it helps me connect with the baby and imagine the tiny human it could be. Yet it is something we chose not to share outside of our family. And even though we did choose a name, we don’t actually name the baby when talking about him. We just say the baby or your little brother to our first born. The three of us know the name but we don’t use it yet. It is our little secret!

Oscar burst out a couple times about the name… (eek!) But I just managed to shush him quickly before anybody else actually heard him ! He has now understood what keeping a secret means and seems very proud of knowing something others don’t about his baby brother.

I also know some couples can’t decide on a name too much in advance or even until they meet their baby. When they choose to find out about the gender that is. Because this is also another very personal and interesting subject ! And then there are parents who are sure about the name from very early on and proudly share it, way before the baby is born.

I feel it is such a personal and cultural thing, maybe even driven by family traditions or beliefs. And there truly is no right or wrong way to go. It is just very interesting to me to see how every parent approaches the question differently.

Esther told me for instance that sharing the name of a baby before he/she is born is an absolute no-go in the Netherlands. No one does it and the name is kept a total secret before the new family member arrives. Imagine how shocked she was when she started working at a new firm in Belgium and one of her colleagues approached her in the first couple days and introduced himself telling her right away his wife was pregnant with a boy and that they were going to call him Leonard! Esther could not believe this man, until then stranger to her, just openly shared one of his biggest secrets with her! Or at least that’s how she interpreted it in that moment.

Among my own friends the differences about sharing the name or not are also very interesting. One of my German friends, married to an American and who has been living in America for years now, openly shared her baby boy’s name with me months before he was born. And one of my French girlfriends even let us in on her trouble to agree with her husband on the perfect name for her soon to be born baby girl. She gave us hers and her husband’s lists of favorites! I was the one telling her I didn’t want to know the final name they chose before her daughter being born!

I personally believe it is a special thing to keep the name to ourselves before the baby is born. A sort of magical bond within our family. It also avoids getting unwanted opinions about the chosen name! Once the baby is here and the name is his/hers, people won’t comment it much anyway because it is associated with a little human already.

This is only my point of view and I would really love to know what your approach is! Is it a common thing in your country or among your friends to share a yet unborn baby’s name? Or is it something you would never do? Is it maybe even associated with bringing good or bad luck? What are the traditions in your family about baby names ?
Would love to read all about it!

Lara in Paris x


Comments (7)

October 9, 2019

I think it’s weird and I have never done it. In America people have baby showers
With the baby’s name on a banner when it hasn’t even been born yet. I always think to myself gosh they are so
Confident that everything will be perfect with this pregnancy and birth they’ve even named the baby now. Maybe I’m
Too superstitious.

October 9, 2019

I’m American and did not share the names of my babies beforehand. We had both picked out about half way through each pregnancy. We did tell our son his little sister’s name and just the three of us knew as well, which was special! I think for me it was a little bit superstition and a little bit not wanting anyone’s opinion (like my MIL). We had a casual conversation once and I mentioned a name that we had both liked for our daughter but decided not to use and the reaction was so ridiculous and rude so I’m glad we kept our names quiet until birth because then who is going to say they hate a name, when its already theirs!? Names are so important and I truly cannot imagine my kids with any other! (they are Whitmore and Louisa)

– Julie

Esther in Amsterdam
October 10, 2019

I still remember the shock of that moment in Brussels!! And how I quickly had to recompose myself!! 😉 But actually, after getting used to the idea, we spoke about Leonard in such a sweet way, and when he was born, of course, it was a Leonard!
We always kept the names of our children a secret but I must say with Bram I started to share with close friends and family. And I must say, it was lovely as well! It is actually really kind of sweet! 🙂

October 10, 2019

We kept both gender and name to ourselves, and didn’t share it with friends or family. Actually in my family, most of my aunts and uncles never shared the gender and that’s something I wanted to do too. I wanted it to be a surprise for everyone. We choose our son’s name very early on in the pregnancy. One of my colleagues, who was pregnant at the same time as me, shared the gender and name immediately…a shock for me as it’s not something I am used to (I am French and she’s Turkish – maybe a cultural difference?) I like it when people keep it as a surprise! Our son’s name is Issa 🙂

October 11, 2019

In my family we love unusual names. (We live in a small town in Spain) With my first daughter we told people the name we wanted and 2 pregnant neighbours who give birth before me put my daughter’s name to their daugthers! it was so disappointing since it was a very unique name. We had to change it

October 16, 2019

We did share the name and the sex of our both girls, and I truly regrette it! We received many unwanted comments that ruined slightly for both of us! I am glad we didn’t change our mind. We named our girls after two of our favorite painters matisse and cézanne 😉

Claudia Fernanda
October 25, 2019

I am from Brazil and it is usual to share the name in advance. People even expect to know as soon as it’s chose. My son has my maternal grandfather’s name which was no secret to anyone since a wanted to name my firstborn after him since forever. If this wasn’t the case it would have not been shared even being normal.

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