There are rules when it comes to choosing your baby’s name says etiquette expert

Do you have a friend who has called dibs on a baby name she’s liked since you’ve known her but she’s nowhere near falling pregnant herself?

What about if you picked names with an ex – who gets the names, and would it be weird if you called one of your kids those names with a different partner?

middle names

What happens if you and your BFF like the same name?

There’s a list of ‘rules’ you should follow when it comes to naming your baby, Anna Musson of the Good Manner Company tells The Healthy Mummy.

“Let’s face it, no one owns names, but choosing a name that close friends or family have chosen can be a source of friction, even though it may never be said to you personally,” she says.

“Your best bet is to ask your friend if they mind you also using that name and give your reasons –which might be, it’s your grandfather’s name and a family tradition or you’ve always said the first born will be called Hugo or you promised your great aunt on her death bed.”

Anna says the reality is you may not be friends forever and your child will have this name for eighty or so years, so sometimes a little persuasion may be required!

“Having said that, one should consider it a compliment if a friend would like to name their child the same as one of your children. 

“If your children were ill-behaved it would otherwise have put them off, so take in in good grace and acknowledge it’s a good name.”

Who gets the names in a split?

Shot of a young woman looking despondent after a fight with her boyfriend
Source: iStock

And when it comes to a name you and your ex chose together, Anna says whoever has a baby first, wins!

“If you and your ex both loved a name, it’s not property in the divorce,” she says.

“If you don’t have other children together and you are unlikely to cross paths then the chances are, their new partner won’t want a name that you chose together. So in a split, whoever has a baby first wins!”

Although, we reckon it might be best for both parties to drop the names completely if you do have kids, as it might be a little confusing for your child to have two sisters called Charlotte!

What if you and your partner can’t agree on a name?

Anna says if your partner is very keen on a name you just can’t stand, then give yourself time to mull it over.

“It’s better to show openness at best or ambivalence at worst. You never know you may agree on Danica over DeShawna when you see the baby,” she says.  

“In many cases, after your partner has seen you in labour they may let you have your choice!

“If there’s a name you really dislike or it’s an all round bad choice, consider each of you having the absolute right of refusal for up to five names.  This is like a hall-pass for bad names and can prevent disagreements as you work out names you both like.”

How to react to your friends strange choice in names

There Are Rules When It Comes To Choosing Your Baby's Name Says Etiquette Expert
Source: Istock.

Anna says that there is an etiquette for listening to your friends talk about baby names they like. 

“It is not good form to say, ‘bogan name’ or cast dispersions on the name choices unless you are very close. If they are mentioning the names they like, the polite response is always positive, even for the names you don’t like,” she says.

“Consider, ‘oh I love that name, what a great choice’ for the names you like and ‘oh what a fantastic name, you don’t hear that very often do you?’ for the names you don’t.  Either way, it’s much nicer to hear a positive response to the names you like than a criticism, no matter how tempting.”

What great advice! Thank you so much for this, Anna!

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