Diary of a Mum: The Struggle of Naming Baby Number Two

By Lucy Wayment

In the first blog for our brand new diary of a mum series, expectant mum Lucy Wayment shares the challenges of thinking of baby names for your second child.

From finding boys names harder to like in general to trying to get the headspace to think with a needy (but lovely) toddler…

‘Have you decided on a name yet?’

It’s one of the big questions everyone always asks you when you’re pregnant .

And I don’t know if this is just me, but it feels like the second time around people ask you so much earlier.

Or maybe it’s just that this pregnancy is flying by.

I suddenly realised I’m about to enter the third trimester and apart from a couple of extremely short conversations, we’ve not even really discussed names.

The truth is we’re really struggling, and I think there’s a number of reasons why…

Finding out the gender hasn’t helped

First time around we were both really keen to keep the baby’s gender a surprise. We were going to be completely happy either way – and it felt like this really special secret (that literally no one knew).

Plus, people kept telling me it’s a great thing to get you through labour, at the end you’ll finally find out if you’ve got a boy or girl. Not sure that thought actually crossed my mind in the throes of labour, but it’s a good sentiment nonetheless.

That being said, my husband was convinced we were having a girl – and we settled on a girl’s name fairly early on in pregnancy. He constantly referred to my bump with the name (in private) and it was only as I got really close to my due date that I started thinking we better decide on a backup boy’s name, ‘just in case’.

Of course, we ended up having a boy, so that backup name (literally discussed a few days prior to labour) was hastily tried out for the first couple of hours when my son was born and luckily ended up sticking!

This time around, however, it just seemed practical to find out. We have a ton of boy’s stuff already. Plus, we thought it might help to prepare my son for the impending arrival.

Being honest, I think we both thought it was a girl this time around (and so did lots of family and friends), so naming seemed obvious. We’d use our beloved girl’s name. Plus, we actually had lots of girls names we liked.

But, as you can probably guess by now, baby number two is another boy – so now we’re back to the drawing board again.

And we’ve used the only name we could agree on already…

Why is naming boys so much harder?

I don’t think this is just me, nearly anyone I’ve spoken to agrees. There just doesn’t seem to be as many nice boys names. (As is also true of clothes, but don’t get me started on that).

I think it’s because there are lots of slightly alternative girls names that are really pretty, but with boys I prefer something more traditional – of which there aren’t lots to choose from. By the time you take into account not stealing the names of your children’s immediate family and close friends, the pool really does start to become pretty small.

That’s not to say there’s none I like, it’s just, unfortunately, my husband doesn’t quite agree, and vice versa. So any discussion just quickly descends into a Friends like vetoing situation before we quickly give up.

The name needs to sound right with your other children’s names

What’s more, the second time around, aside from the name needing to sound good with yours and your partners, it now also needs to sound right with their siblings.

As we have an Oscar, should the name also have an ‘ar’ sound at the end? Should it also be two syllables?

And, having gone with something fairly traditional (and way more popular than I actually realised when I picked it) – it seems like it would be a tad odd to go for something completely outrageous this time around.

You don’t normally hear of families with a George and a Zain, for instance.   

Who has time to think of baby names with a toddler?

Probably the final issue we’re having is just the realities of being pregnant a second time with a toddler, compared to first-time pregnancy. With your first, your pregnancy is all-consuming. You cannot stop thinking about it or your unborn baby – so googling baby names almost 24/7 becomes a really fun past-time.

With your second, the thought is definitely there, but it falls behind your son watching Fireman Sam on your phone, googling the symptoms of hand, foot and mouth because your toddler has some suspicious spots and mindlessly scrolling Instagram because your brain can’t take anymore parenting stuff. (Or is this just me?)

I started to write ‘I’m sure we’ll get there in the end’ but this is, of course, ludicrous, you don’t hear of babies without names so there’s no maybe about it. (Although technically 3 boys were registered last year with no name according to ONS but I can’t even get my head around that).

We will find a name. And I know we’ll all love it.

And actually, I’m quite happy to not have it locked down just yet. We’ve already taken away the surprise of the gender, so it’s almost nice .

Plus the good thing about baby number two is he doesn’t need to have a nickname like ‘bean’ or ‘bambino’, he’s already ‘baby brother’, which always makes my heart swell just a little bit…

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