I was recently talking to my friend who is a few months pregnant and unsure of what to call her baby, we were trying to come up with some names to help her when I mentioned a middle name. My friend then announced that she did not need to come up with a middle name because her three year old daughter was going to choose a name for the baby. I was shocked, and at first visualised ideas of a baby whose middle name was puppy, or sparkles or something equally childish. Then I thought about it a little bit more, I came to the conclusion that it was a lovely way to involve your child in the birth of their new baby brother or sister. I have heard a lot about ways to get your children involved so that they do not feel jealous or left out when the new baby arrives, but I had never heard about them being involved in this way so I thought I would explore it further.
What are the pro’s and con’s of allowing your child to choose a name? I will go through them to help you make an informed decision about whether it is right for you.
Your child feels ‘grown up’ in control and involved, this may sound scary but it is also very important. I apparently ‘brought’ my brother a present when I was born and this meant that he was not as envious of me, it probably was not just for this reason, instead it was probably the care and respect my parents gave to my brother to help him feel included. However, little things like the present, or the involvement of your child can make them feel special. It is so important that your child does not feel left out. Another pro would be that your child might bring another name to the table that you or your partner may not have thought of. You also may be improving the relationship for the future between your children if they are involved then they feel their brother or sister is treasured and important to them as they can see themselves in each other.
There are obviously some downsides, the first being that your child may name the baby something that you really do not like. You could try and put some ideas into your child’s head, but you all know that some children can be very stubborn. Another con may be that when your baby grows up they may dislike the name that their sibling gave to them, so this could become a bit of a bone of contention. However, if it is a middle name then it is safer because it is not used as much. I think that sticking with just choosing a middle name is a safer option that still keeps your child involved.
Therefore with these thoughts in mind, then you may need to do a bit of pushing or putting ideas into your child’s head before allowing your child to make a big decision like this, but I have definitely come around to the idea. The problem may come if you have multiple children and they all want a say in the new babies name, but you could allow each of your children the say in the next baby’s name. Well I look forward to finding out what my friend’s daughter names her next baby, and I will be sure to let you all know! Fingers crossed that it wont be a little baby ‘sparkles’!
This article has been written by Anna. Click here for more information on how to choose a baby names and 1000s of choices!