Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Name Before a Baby

I seem to know more and more parents-to-be who choose and publicize a baby name before the baby is born.  Do you know any of these folks?  Are you one of these folks?  Is it a recent trend or am I just noticing it now that I'm baby crazed?   

Forty years ago (maybe even thirty), sonograms simply weren't standard parts of prenatal care.  Without a sonogram or two, the gender of the baby can't be discovered.  And, in most cases, without knowing the gender of the baby, a single name can't be settled upon.  So, relatively speaking, it is a trend for parents to decide on a single name before the baby is born thanks to modern technology.  But, if I'm considering only the last five years (the years when my peers started to become pregnant), it's really the last two years that I've noticed this naming habit.

While I won't choose this route, I don't think it's wrong or bad.  At all.  Quite the opposite, I understand the fun in it.  I imagine that it's fantastic to call him or her a real name rather than a nickname or...a pronoun.  Using a name (the name) might make it feel all the more real?  Choosing a name as early as possible hopefully prevents pregnant friends, acquaintances and coworkers from scooping up your jewel before the due date.  But I don't think any of these reasons are why people do it.  My theory on this seemingly newish trend is that people have been taken by all the amazing baby swag that requires a name or initials.  Below are a few examples of these desirables.

Pottery Barn has a bunch of personalized books, like the one below.  In fact, Pottery Barn has an entire section of their website dedicated to personalized baby stuff (here) with everything from blankets to toys to furniture.

The wall decal below by Stephen Edward Graphic ($35) is one of many that you can find on  Personalizing a nursery can be nearly instant.

Two blue peas has a slew of awesome, inexpensive (!) baby gifts that can be personalized with a name or initials, like the giraffe and raccoon blanket below.  Check them all out here.

While I just realized this name picking trend, I have known of the general love for personalized gifts since the start of NSB and written about it twice (here and here).  So, was it the chicken or the egg?  Did personalized gifts become popular because people were choosing names before babies arrived or were people choosing names before babies arrived leading savvy retailers to capitalize?


Meghan said...

Yes! I needed baby gift ideas - I love the book idea!

Stephen Edward Graphics said...

Very nice blog post! Thanks for including my personalized wall decal!

Brittany said...

5 years to go before we start actually trying to have a baby, and we already decided on our future baby's name (boy and girl name). But we would never tell anyone until the baby is out - I am so in love with the name and would be super offended by a negative reaction, especially from a family member (I think a negative opinion is more likely to be given before birth, rather than after). They aren't weird names by any means, but still, I don't want to run the chance. So, we will probably claim ignorance all the way to the end of my pregnancy (baby's name? oohh, I don't knoow...). :)

Chrissy said...

We announced our name very publicly before the baby was born. Or I announced it so my husband couldn't change his mind. I planned to wait until I met her, but my husband wanted to name her Rocket. I was very very open to most names (Roxanne, call her rocket, rocket as a middle name), but I just didn't want the first name on her birth certificate to be Rocket. SO the moment he said he liked a different name, I announced it.

Leah (it's me) said...

Meghan - Glad I could help :)

Stephen - You're welcome.

Brittany - Yes, my reasoning exactly. I don't want any reactions that could influence me.

Chrissy - LOVE the reason you chose to share. Hysterical.