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How Should I Deal With Unwanted Baby Name Comments?

Our experts offer their best advice.

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Tired of people’s suggestions for your baby’s name? Two parents and an etiquette expert offer ways to deal with opinions about baby name choices.

The mom who found a way around it says…

“When people started suggesting names for our daughter, we got frustrated by people pushing us to decide on a name. They tried so hard to guess her name, almost like it was a game. So, we finally asked them to stop and asked everyone to call her little “E” since we knew we were going to name her after my grandmother whose name starts with “E.” I don’t think people realize how meaningful and sacred names are until they name a child of their own. So much thought goes into it. You’re naming a human! What an honor that is.”

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–Shawna B., mother of one, Denver

The etiquette expert says…

“Anytime someone gives unwarranted or uninvited advice, the polite response is to simply say, ‘Thank you for your input,’ or ‘I appreciate the suggestion and will take it into consideration,’ or something along those lines. To respond in any other combative or defensive way merely perpetuates the argument and opens the door for prolonged disagreement. Additionally, when choosing to preserve the name of a family member, it’s proper to let them know in advance that you’re opting to honor him/her in this way if the person is still living. And, to duplicate the name of a son or daughter belonging to a close relative or dear friend, when that child is near yours in age, it’s best to discuss the idea with the parents to avoid hurt feelings and potential unresolved tension.”

–Jacquelyn Flesner, founder and certified etiquette trainer, theetiquettenetwork.com

The mom who kept getting suggestions says…

“When we were about 20 weeks pregnant, we decided on a name for our son and told my mother-in-law, who seemed to view it as a jumping off point rather than the name we chose. She kept suggesting other names starting with the same letter. We just let her suggest names and told her why we didn’t like them. Every time she saw us, she asked if we were still going with our chosen name. We told her ‘yes.’ Eventually, she gave up.”

–Christina C., mother of two, Denver

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