When you love a baby name but your older children don't

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK
Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK 

Much older siblings are always going to have some pretty strong opinions about what the new baby should be called.

But should this mean they get a say in what the final name is?

It's a dilemma faced by a third-time mum-to-be who has sought the advice of others on the Mumsnet names forum. Here's what she posted:

"So my husband and I agree on and love the name Annabelle, our sons are not at all happy with it. I half think, well tough it's our choice but then I think, actually their input means the world to us and the very fact that they're showing so much of an interest in their baby sister at the ages of 8 and 10 is lovely."

Here's the problem however - the boys' choices aren't suitable.

"Their fave is a no go as it clashes with our surname completely as much as I love it, I said it aloud to a friend and we both burst out laughing. They also like the second name on our list which is Sophia but they've both said they'd prefer Sophie or instead of Annabelle maybe Annie (I am not keen on the variations at all.) They have other suggestions that are nice just not names I adore or I do really like them but my close friends children have the same name.... I don't have the heart to tell them they have no say. What would you do?"

The replies are swift, direct... and mostly unanimous.

"I wouldn't have discussed it with them in the first place but if I had I'd now stop and take them to meet baby when she arrives."

"I would allow them to name pets. But not a sibling."

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"I liked bizarre names when I was 10. I gave them to my toys, not my siblings."

"If they have children when they grow up, they have have an input into their names then. Only you and your husband should make this decision."

Some are a little gentler about it, even though they agree it's up to the parents to name the baby. Suggestions abound for letting the kids choose a middle name for the baby girl.

"I think it's really nice that you want your DD siblings to be involved in naming her! But you still need to love the name you give her. Maybe use one of their suggestions as a middle name? I was allowed to pick my DSis middle name when I was four, I picked Alice from Alice in Wonderland and still call her Alice to this day!"

"Yep get them involved by helping to choose a middle name. Worked really well for us, although I vetoed Tinkerbell, their second choice was Daisy which was great. Don't get too caught up in worrying about them being interested in their new sibling, they most likely will be besotted, if they're not, choosing the name won't make a huge difference to that."

One lone commenter thinks the boys have the name game sorted.

"I agree with them - prefer Sophie to Sophia and Annie or Anna to Annabelle. Less fussy, stronger names."

Another says to stick with the chosen name, clearly speaking from experience of her own.

"My sister was born when I was 14, hated her name & had loads of suggestions myself. Thank god my parents ignored me, all my choices were fashion names that would sound awful now & she has a lovely timeless name! You choose!"

The OP thanks them for their input, and it sounds like little Annabelle will keep her first name.

"Thank you everyone, you've made me feel better about wanting to use it regardless, I'm sure you're right too. I like some of their middle name choices so will consider them but like you say, they can always use their preferred nickname for her. They're very excited to meet her so I'm sure nothing will take the shine off that."