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10 surprising truths about baby naming
We asked thousands of new and expectant parents how they went about picking their baby's name and unearthed more than a few surprises. Here are the biggest baby-naming bombshells.
The biggest critic
When parents announce their baby's name, who's most likely to pooh-pooh it? Dear old Grandma! Among parents who get a negative reaction to their name choice, 46 percent say that their own mom (the baby's grandmother) is the culprit.
Others are less critical – or just quieter about it. Parents' friends play the naysayer in 26 percent of cases, parents' siblings in 22 percent, and parents' dads (the baby's grandfather) in 18 percent.
Seven in 10 couples lay out ground rules before stepping into the baby-naming ring. The most common rule? No exes' names allowed. (Makes sense to us! Who wants to be constantly reminded of your partner's former squeeze?)
The second most common verboten category is pets' names, followed by the parents' own names.
One-quarter of expecting moms report feeling pressured by their partner or someone else to consider a baby name that they don't like. Even more shocking? Nine percent end up bestowing that name on their baby.
Fortunately, 75 percent of moms in this situation say that the name grew on them and they now like it. (Our sympathies to the other 25 percent!)
The ultimate judge
For most couples, picking a baby name is a joint decision. But in 22 percent of cases, the final verdict is determined by the mom-to-be. Sometimes, it appears, Mama just has to lay down the law. (Either that or Daddy decides he doesn't want to tangle with those pregnancy hormones.)
I hate your kid's name!
A stunning 1 in 3 parents cop to hating a friend or relative's baby name choice, though the vast majority (90 percent) keep their opinion under tight wraps.
Since you can't please everyone, why not pick a name that you and your partner love?
Name thieves on the loose
Among parents-to-be who still haven't nailed down a name, 15 percent say they're being forced to consider other options after having a beloved name "stolen" by someone they know.
Interestingly, many of the names reported stolen are among the top 10 most popular. So before you put someone on your blacklist, consider that the "thievery" may just be a case of shared taste.
How sweet the sound
What do parents want in their kid's name, more than anything else? A good ring to it. How a name sounds was the most important factor for 17 percent of parents. Before you settle on any name, think about melody, vowels, and consonants. Try saying first and last names out loud – you may even want to shout them out the back door a few times, to give them the true test!
The next most important factors in baby-naming are uniqueness (16 percent of parents) and having a name with some significance or story behind it (11 percent).
One in 4 moms wields a last name that's different from her child's. While half of the moms are fine with this, the other half aren't so sure. They'd consider changing their last name – or their child's – to match.
Several moms say the last names will align when they marry their child's father – an order of events that's becoming more and more common.
Green with envy
Expectant parents don't just covet easy pregnancies and quick births. One in 10 say they're jealous of someone else's baby name choice – either because it was a name they'd planned to use or they just wish they'd thought of it first.
Regrets? A few.
Baby-naming tales don't always end happily ever after. Seven percent of parents express doubt about their name choice, and 4 percent say they'd choose a different name if they could do it over again.
Three percent of parents even go so far as to change their child's name after birth.
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