Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: How We Chose Our Children's Names

Monday, 10 October 2016

How We Chose Our Children's Names

Recently I've seen a lot of videos floating around on YouTube about how people chose the names that they did for their children, and as this is a topic that fascinates me I have really enjoyed watching them all.

With my first child, I had quite a strange desire to choose a name that was so unique that it wouldn't appear on the ONS list of Baby Names (a list published annually which includes every name given to more than 3 children in the UK that year).

There were so many name ideas thrown around - our favourites being Oisin & Macaulay for a boy, or Malin for a girl but none of them were quite unique enough not to appear on the ONS seemed an impossible task to find a name that we liked which wasn't listed!

One evening, Jon and I were chatting about baby names and I was browsing the name forum again when I stumbled across a thread from a lady who had named her daughter Thames, after the river...

I joked to Jon that maybe we should follow her lead, and call our child "Mersey" after the famous Liverpool river...Jon laughed and responded "Or maybe we could call him Tyne.." in reference to the river Tyne from his own home city of Newcastle.

At first I laughed, but then as I said the name to myself...I realised I actually really liked it...and when I said so out loud, Jon said that actually he really liked it too.

From that moment on, we were completely set on naming him Tyne...but it wasn't an easy choice to make as our family & friends were dead against the name, giving us all sorts of reasons why we shouldn't choose it.

For months we debated whether or not to use it, and tried to come up with alternatives but none of them seemed right....and so, when he arrived, we went with our hearts and named him Tyne (giving him William Henry as middle names after his grandfathers, more common options for him to use if he grows to dislike his unusual first name).

When the ONS list for that year was published, I was thrilled to find that Tyne's name wasn't listed...meaning he was either the only Tyne born in the UK that year or possibly one of two, but there were definitely not 3 of them or else the name would have been listed.

When I was pregnant with my second son 18 months later, I didn't feel the same urge to find an unusual name...infact I had a strong desire to use the name that had always been my favourite for a boy.

It was a name that Jon had vetoed when we were having our first baby, but now we were having a second son it seemed ridiculous to me for neither of them to have my favourite name....and so I kept on at Jon until he eventually changed his mind, and agreed to use the name.

The name, of course, was Noah...which I had loved ever since seeing The it was such a common name we chose a more unusual middle, going with Reve.

And then when we expecting again a short time later, I was back to my desire to find something a bit unusual...there were plenty on our list of possibilities but most of them were too "safe" for me...something about having a third child made me want to be more free with my name choice, and go with one of my "guilty pleasure" names....the ones I had always loved but thought too unusual to actually choices were River, Fox and Orion but in the end we chose my favourite, Sailor.

Again it was one that my family hated, but it just felt like the right name to us...again because we had given him an unusual first name, we chose a more common middle name in case he preferred it - James. 

Choosing a baby name can be both fun and a privilege, but also daunting and upsetting when the opinions of those around you clash with your own...but I firmly believe that your opinion as the parents is the only one that matters and if you are choosing a name that you love and can see your child being able to grow with, then you can't go far wrong.

My name choices may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I love them all and I intend to raise my children to be confident enough in themselves to embrace their unique monikers and love them too. 

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  1. I love that all your boys have a slight nautical feel to their names. It links them all together :) I have an Eoin (Irish spelling of Owen) and a Luna.

  2. The boys names are all beautiful and I love that they all have a nod to water in some way. Unusual names are lovely, but Noah is one of my faves too, I debated calling Beau it.


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