You’re pregnant. You’re excited. You’re thrilled. A baby is being grown. A baby will exist on this earth. You will be a parent. You will not have a good night’s sleep for the next one hundred years. So, this cluster of cells is growing, expanding, become more and more of a human every day and one day soon that human will emerge. It will emerge and it will be its own human and you will call it… Oh, God. What will you call it?
There’s so much in a name, but also maybe so little? You don’t want to give a child a name they hate, but you also need a name that will age well with a child. And all the good names are taken. That friend of yours that got pregnant last year, she got the last good girl name and that cousin of your partner’s third kid has the best boy name. You’re left with nothing. Should you try to be edgy?
Should you go full Gwyneth or Beyoncé and just name your child after … fruits or colors? Or should you go classical? But is classical too stuffy, too old? And why is the responsibility all yours? I mean other people will comment on the name you pick, “What a lovely name.” “Oh, that’s quite a name.” Maybe they should pick the name. Maybe they should be helpful. Maybe you should throw a Baby Naming Party.
Ok, so stay with me. There are Baby Showers – nothing more fun for a pregnant woman than watching her friends get smashed on free champagne while she sips a non-alcoholic cocktail and tries to find a comfortable position to exist in. And now there are Gender Reveal parties – but we’ve all seen enough of those fails (blue and pink – oh my God, are we having twins?! Green – what does green mean?)
And really what do you do after you’ve cut your gendered cake? Sit there and discuss whether gender exists at all and rant about why there is no free booze at this party? I think a much more fun alternative to both of these parties would be a Baby Naming Party. First ‘The Why’ and then ‘The What.’ God, I love a list.
So, ‘The Why’ isn’t really a list – it’s more of an appeal and then we’ll dig into LIST CITY. So why, why have a baby naming party – surely you should be able to name your baby all by yourself. Well, first, no party is contractually binding (except for maybe a wedding), so you don’t actually have to name the baby what your insane friends come up with.
However, wouldn’t it be nice to have a few more ideas? We’ve all read the books and consulted the websites for unique baby girl names and unique baby boy names, and they are good. They are so good and so helpful. But there are a lot of names, a lot of options and you like them all for different reasons.
Baby naming party
You envision the different little boy or the different little girl who might have those names – what their lives might be like, what they might like or dislike, what they might grow up to be. And so there are a lot of good options. What if you could have a party that combined all the gift-giving and merriment of a baby shower or gender reveal and also make it useful. Invite your nearest and dearest – they might actually have some good ideas.
And also – if the kid grows up and hates their name you’re not the only one on the hook for it.
So, The What. The list below is a few ideas of how to plan and use the Baby Naming Party to your advantage. Some ideas are fun, some are filled with whimsy, and some are super practical and will hopefully take one thing off your plate: naming that little bun in the oven.
Babies name in a fish bowl
Ok, this might seem like an obvious one, but it’s a good one with a little twist. Get yourself a lovely glass bowl, some lovely little slips of paper and some lovely pens. Ask your guests to write their favourite name suggestions for the baby on these pieces of paper, but also ask them to write why. Why do they love this name?
Why do they think this name is right for your baby? Now, they don’t need to write their name on the slip as well so I’m sure you’ll get some jokers who suggest the name of that guy you went on a few dates with in college who would only eat Flaming Hot Cheetos, but you know – that seems only fair.
Now, you can leave this bowl to the end of the party and consider all these options in private with your partner, or you could have everyone do this on the way in and then use the answers for activity Number 2…
Pin The Name on the Baby
Again, a fairly self-explanatory activity, but we love a twist. Print out a large baby (honestly, this will be the hardest bit of party planning, but I have faith in you). If you already have some names in mind you could put them on sticky pieces of paper or pieces of paper attached to pins (this is for the bold). Have your friends play Pin The Name on the Bab. Now, as the names go up you can ask everyone their thoughts on the name. Any favourites? Least favourites?
You could take a vote or just see which name gets pinned to the baby’s head. I know what I’d choose. If you are using the names from the Fish Bowl this becomes a slightly longer activity. You play the game normally, but after it concludes ask your guests to go and look at all the names and the beautiful (or funny) “whys.” Leave a pack of stickers nearby and if someone likes a name they can endorse it with the stickers. A little democratic pin the name on the baby for ya!
A naming vision board
Want a more abstract approach? Make a crafting station with magazines, scissors, photos, glue sticks, etc. Encourage guests to add to the collage with things they love – photos they love, things that remind them of you, or that they wish for your baby. At the end of the evening look at the vision board.
Perhaps they’ll be photos that bring a name to mind for you. For instance, a photo of tulips might make you think of spring, which might make you think of the name April for a girl. Or perhaps it’s just the essence of the vision board. Maybe you know you want a warm name for your little guy like Sunny or Randy. Or a more traditional one like Theodore or David.
The Vision Board will guide you! Like a Ouija board, but more glue. Even if you don’t get any inspiration for names from the vision board, you will have some beautiful art (well, beautiful collage) to decorate your baby’s room with. Not into hanging the collage? You can always turn them into a mobile! Honestly, when did I become the most craft obsessed woman on earth? Tough to say, but if you can’t craft when you’re pregnant then when can you craft?
The family favorite
The other suggestions seem a bit too broad for you? Want a narrower pool of suggestions but have no idea where to begin. Then I say start with your Family Tree. So yes, this does involve a bit more crafting but bear with me. Make your own family tree. I promise it will be fun and you might learn more about your family then you’ve ever known (or maybe ever wanted to know). Ask guests to wander over to the family tree and consider the names there. Do these names inspire them with other names? Do they see a nickname or a shortening of a name you haven’t?
Could Great Uncle William become adorable baby girl Willamina? Having a fresh set of eyes or twenty could reveal a naming treasure trove in your very own family tree. Depending on whether you want to have the name be up for discussion you could have everyone share ideas at the party and chat about it or you could employ the trusty Fish Bowl and have everyone throw their ideas in there.
Not to really double down on the crafty vibe of this post, but you could have everyone write their ideas and add them to the tree. And then (I’m sure you guessed it) you could turn the tree into baby room art! I love it (obviously).
However, you choose the name for your lovely little-person-to-be we wish you the best of luck with this exciting new adventure! Congratulations on your new baby and your ability to drink champagne again (Which is more exciting? Very tough to say!).