What To Do When You Hate The Baby’s Name



I knew I was doomed from the beginning. My mother hated the baby names I picked out. Granted, she eventually got over it. However, I figure if there’s a grandma karma, I’m in trouble.

I’m in trouble. I have, however, managed to derail a few really off-the-wall names. Like, Luna and Sailor. If you have grandchildren with those names please accept both my apologies and condolences.

Full disclosure: I have had my privilege of finding out the baby’s name before he or she was born taken away from me. 

However, my rights have been restored and I’ve learned a few tricks.

When you first hear the baby’s name don’t make a face. I know, that should be obvious. But it’s hard to do when your granddaughter is about to get saddled with the name Luna for the rest of her life.

Don’t panic. New parents often try on a lot of names and then change it when it comes to putting it on paper.

Susan Adcox has the best advice, 

“If pushed, try this response: “I’m sure I’ll come to love the name as much as I love my grandbaby.”

“A chosen name may grow on you. If it doesn’t, consider this your first exercise in respecting boundaries, a skill that all grandparents need. Clearly choosing a name for their child is the parents’ prerogative, and you must make the best of it.

If the name sticks, you may be tempted to give the baby a nickname. Proceed with extreme caution. Many families have a well-established tradition of nicknames handed out by grandparents, but nicknaming a grandchild can also put you on shaky ground.”

Yeah. I did that one too. 

Although I love the name his parents gave him “Alexander Cole” somewhere along the line I started calling him “Colbert.” It stuck. 

It wasn’t until we were at a family gathering when my daughter-in-law’s mother scolded her for calling the boy, “Colbert.” 

“He’s got such a nice name, why would you call him Colbert?” 

It was then that my daughter-in-law, without a word, pointed her accusation finger right at me. 

Adcox goes on to say,

“Many times parents are adamant that the child’s real name be used. Once again, their wishes must be respected, at least at first. They may loosen up a bit as time goes on.

“Grandparents may dislike a selected name because of some personal experience that has tainted the name. The older, more unpleasant association usually fades away as you build that wonderful relationship with your newborn grandchild.”

Words of wisdom. We have found this to be absolutely true, both in watching my own mother’s opinion of the name change, and my own. When it comes down to it, the only thing that matters is that your relationship with that new grandchild.