Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Choosing Baby Names

To Name or not to name? A debacle or triumphant claim?

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

So, I'm pregnant?! Well obviously; I'm vomiting non-stop, do I even still have ankles?! The medical bills, the announcements, should I even announce it? I mean I'm already a waddling, barely moving, always tired I'm Pregnant sign. Oh, it's almost that time for names, here we go...

Those thoughts pretty much succinctly expressed my feelings during my pregnancy. I was always griping about something. Then came the name debacle. Two separate instances both with the same outcome. I refer to my second child's naming as a debacle because everyone in my life had their own name to give to my unborn sweet pea well except for her dad and admittedly for quite some time, me. Names are such a critical part of a child's identity. Well at least for some people, its a major deal! Should they be given a name that has meaning? Should their name be a mixture of our names as parents? Should it be new and hip? Should it be one birthing celebrity status? Well for both of my children, my initial instinct was to pass off the naming duties to my sister. She is somewhat my personal expert on all things baby, toddler, children oh and life in general! She named my first born, Liam; a name of Irish origin, meaning strong-willed warrior and protector. A name which was a perfect fit for my little wild child, as he was born prematurely with congenital pneumonia. From birth he showed his warrior spirit as he fought to overcome his struggles while in the nursery.


With each passing day though, that will most certainly becomes stronger! Ever heard the term speak it into being? Well his will was most certainly spoken into being! He has grown tremendously and is now his little sister's protector. My Liam Maxwell.

The naming of my second child was of greater contention. Her dad refused to join the conversation until the very day of my scheduled inducement. I remember it well, asking for months, day after day do you have a name? What about this one, or this, or this? All turned down with great disdain and a general lack of interest. It all culminated on January 30, 2017 at 6:30 a.m., then he suggested Kristenia. God bless his heart but Kristenia? My name is Kristen first off, I quite like my name. Ironically, my aunt named me and I distinctly recall being upset with my mother for not naming me herself. Here I am on the other hand asking my sister to name my children haha. That aside, I think Jamaicans truly have a knack for naming their children with abridged or varied versions of their own names. I had settled in my heart on Ava-Grace though, as suggested by my sister as one of several. For quite some time at work I had everyone refer to my pregnant pea as such. That bubble quickly popped when I shared the name with family. Oh, it's so old, why Ava? I know many Ava's that aren't good people... I proceeded with that name until January 30 at 7:25 a.m. I let her dad know we would instead name her Leila Grace, as it was one of the more accepted names of the lot that my sister suggested. He opted for another middle name however. So as means of including him I decided well, take one of his suggestions and meld it with my own. Hence naming her Leila Tishauna Grace. I chose Leila which had an Arabic origin meaning night. The pronunciation was the tricky part as at first glance most people pronounce it lee-la. I however chose the Hawaiian pronunciation of lei.


As parents, everyone will have an input. We are often forced to swim against the tide of those proclaiming to be experts. However, your child's name should be something you are comfortable with. Whether they are named by you, your family, or by a dream, all that matters is that it's a name of your choosing at the end of the day. I proclaim victory and triumph in the naming of my children! You can too :)

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.