Family doesn’t like the baby name you’ve decided on?
Finding a baby name you and your husband agree on is tough.
But if you’re trying to find a name your whole family loves, it can feel almost impossible.
Looking for the perfect baby girl or baby boy name can seem both exciting and intimidating.
After all, the name you choose for your baby will be a constant part of your little one’s identity.
It’s something he or she will carry forever – from the hospital I.D. bracelet, through school days and beyond.
What if you’ve chosen a name you love and share your choice with your wider family, but it hasn’t received the reaction you were hoping for?
In fact, they all hate it. What should you do?
Should you go back to the drawing board and pick out a new baby name? Or should you continue with your chosen name and hope your family will get used to it?
Here are 9 tips for what to do when your family doesn’t like your baby’s name.
#1: Remember, it’s just their opinion
It’s not easy to hear people don’t love the name you’ve chosen. After all, you’ve spent hours deliberating over various options and coming up with the perfect name.
When people don’t love it, it feels personal. It’s not – they just have a different opinion.
Just as everyone decorates a house according to personal style and dresses differently, everyone has different and individual preferences when it comes to baby names.
Everyone will have a different reaction to whatever you choose. Your husband will love a name that your aunt doesn’t. Your friends will also have something to say.
You can’t please everyone and you don’t have to.
This is your baby and, as long as you and your partner love the name, that’s all that matters. Dust yourself off and don’t focus on their negativity. They have a different opinion from yours, and that’s fine.
#2: Ignore the naysayers
This might seem harsh, but you’re allowed to ignore their opinions. If your wider family makes it clear they’re not happy with your chosen name, you can still use it.
It really doesn’t matter whether they like it or not. You might not like the name they chose for their little girl or boy.
Your mother-in-law might not like the color you painted your kitchen, or your hairstyle, or the name you chose for your baby – so what? You are different people from different generations; it’s hardly surprising you don’t love the same things.
Don’t let the pressure make you feel bad. Ignore anyone, and everyone, if it gives you peace of mind. Remember, you are the parents, you have the right to name your kids with whatever names you want.
#3: It will grow on them
Sometimes friends and family just need time to get used to a name. They might say they hate it now, but once it’s associated with a gorgeous little newborn for them to cuddle, they’ll soon get on board with the baby name.
It’s for this very reason many parents-to-be don’t share their baby’s name in advance. When presented with names, people are quick to judge and can be very critical.
When presented with a baby, on the other hand, people are quick to coo and are more likely to react positively (or at least politely) to the name.
#4: Don’t mention it again
If your family doesn’t love it, fine! Don’t talk about it again.
You don’t need to spend the rest of your pregnancy trying to convince them it’s a nice name. Just don’t mention it again until you introduce them to the newest member of your family in a few months’ time.
You don’t need to justify your choice or create a PowerPoint presentation on why they should love it. You don’t need to spend the rest of your pregnancy discussing baby names. In fact, it’s fine to tell them discussions about baby names are off the table for now.
Your daughter or son will be born soon. Whether your grandmother approves or disapproves of the baby names you mentioned before, it really doesn’t matter now.
The choices you make don’t need validation from anybody. Take it as a reminder that you’re just informing them. You don’t need to feel attacked or harassed. They need to just face it and respect your wishes.
#5: Tell them why you love it
This one seems to contradict the previous point, but not really. When you reveal your choice of baby name, announce it with a confident explanation.
You don’t need to do this during pregnancy. In fact, it’s better not to discuss baby names with all and sundry when you’re pregnant.
When you announce the birth, you can choose to explain why you chose that name, to shortcut any negative comments.
By the way, it’s totally fine if your reason for choosing it is as simple as ‘Because we liked it. You don’t have to defend yourself. You’ve picked a name you love and that’s enough. Making that clear to family and friends can’t hurt.
#6: Consider how they reacted
Not everybody will love the name you choose.
Some people will be polite about it and fake it till they make it. Others might be blunter and let you know they don’t love it while making it clear that it’s your choice and they’ll get used to it.
However, there could be people who are less than kind. If somebody is telling you they hate the name, that it’s stupid, that your child will get bullied, and that you need to change it now, then they’re probably overstepping the mark. Will, they did not use the name you’ve given your child in the future?
Pay attention to these conversations. If somebody demands you change the name you love for your baby, you might want to take a step back from this person. Or at least be more mindful of other suggestions they might make about how you should care for your baby. Does this person often bully you? Does this person always know better than you?
#7: Take the high road
This needn’t turn into an argument. It’s ok to explain you love the name and leave it at that. There’s no need to start telling people how much you hate the names they chose for their own children.
In fact, there’s no need to say anything at all. Don’t get drawn into a falling out. It’s ok to like different things, and it doesn’t matter whether they like the name you’ve chosen or not. Breathe and move on.
#8: Remember why you chose it
You have your own reasons for your baby name choice, and they’re still good reasons, regardless of other people’s opinions. You’re the parents.
If you love it and think it’s the right choice for your little one, stick with it. Forget what other people think and instead remember all the things you love about the name.
#9: Pay kindness forward
Now you’ve been on the receiving end of unwanted and unnecessary criticism, you know how much it hurts. Next time other parents tell you their choice, you can react positively (even if it’s not one you’d choose yourself).
People don’t share a name with you to get an opinion. They share it because they love it, and they want you to love it too.
Should I keep my baby’s name secret?
If it’s not too late, yes. A thousand times, yes!
You’re the parents, and this is your child. Your baby’s name is yours to choose from. As long as you’ve found a name you and your partner love, that’s all that matters.
Once you start including everyone in the decision-making process, it gets more complicated. The more people there are to keep happy, the smaller the list of names you’ll agree on.
This is your little one, your baby’s name choice. The grandparents have already named their children. You don’t owe them another go at naming babies.
This is your time to shine. If you’re worried they won’t love what you’ve chosen, don’t tell them in advance. Simply say you’re undecided yet or you’d like it to be a surprise.
Once that gorgeous grandbaby is nestled in their arms, grandparents won’t be so critical of your name choice.
They’ll just be in love.