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When the New Baby Name Isn't Exactly a Hit

You've bought the books, looked at the endless supply of on-line lists of baby names and assembled a family tree just to peruse the given names of long past. The time has come for you to finally name your new baby, you're happy with your decision and have signed the birth certificate and put in your request for a social security card. You anxiously await visiting hours so you can tell all of your visitors the wonderful name you've selected and upon doing so, they stare at you as if you named your son Plum or your daughter Zeus. Hmm, what's a parent to do?

When Renee found out she was pregnant she hadn't a clue about a name, so she put it off until the ultrasound. She decided it didn't make sense to decide on two entire sets of possible names when she could just narrow it down to one set. Once she discovered she was having a son she made a lengthy list of possibilities and had the father do the same. They then crossed off the names they each hated and still had a list of fifteen potential names when she was wheeled into the delivery room. While in labor the couple decided to select a name once they looked at that tiny little face, or see if the baby made a reaction to a certain name. Imagine their surprise when their son turned out to be a daughter - and the name they selected was Frederique (an adaptation of Frederick.) Not many Frederiques exist today and the family was a tad dumbfounded to say the least, especially when female versions of Freddie or Rickie were constantly rebuffed. In time, family and friends just got over it. In fact, the X instead of anticipated Y chromosome is a favorite family tale, one that poor Frederique will have to endure for many years to come!

When Amanda and Miguel found out they were expecting they decided to make naming the baby a family affair. They asked for lists to be submitted by a designated date and told family members they would select the baby's name from someone's list. After much deliberation they selected a first name from Miguel's side of the family, a middle name from Amanda's side and hyphenated the baby's last name to make it fair. They thought everyone would be happy that they chose to honor each family and their unity as a couple-boy, were they wrong. Both sides of the family were livid that the new baby was being saddled with a hyphenated last name. Forgetting that the first and middle names where selected as a tribute to each family. Amanda and Miguel received phone call after phone call and finally decided to keep the name they selected and even legally changed their own last names to the hyphenated version. To this day (5 years later) they sometimes receive some ribbing, but they're still very content with their decision and their son is thrilled to have the same names as both sets of grandparents.

Kristie thought long and hard and told her husband she should be the one to select their baby's name. She reasoned that her husband already had his stamp on the last name, so the first two should be her choice - and he agreed! But she was still mindful of his feelings. She selected a first name she liked and the middle name was a family name from her husband's side of the family.

If selecting a name that parents suspect may cause a problem, two options exist - getting it out in the open early to allow everyone the opportunity to get used to the idea long before the baby is born, or waiting. Since moms-to-be are not supposed to be stressed, the latter may be an appropriate choice if family tension will be high. Baby names can be a touchy subject, but ultimately the only important thing is that the child be healthy, happy, and loved no matter what his or her name is. Some children are destined to live down names some will find funny, some will be disappointed over, and others may simply abhor because of a past association - but a name's a name. It has nothing to do with who your baby really is and eventually it'll all blow over.

So if a friend or relative has named their child a name that you don't particularly like - strongly consider keeping it to yourself, and make use of your own endearing nickname. Sweetie, Peanut, Stinky Toes, Slugger, etc may be just the selection to keep the peace, and the child will probably grow to love the endearment!

Hot Topic: If some of your family and/or friends haven't liked your baby's name, how have you handled it? Share your tips with us!. Read what others have said in our Baby Name Game.

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