Playing the Name Game

Playing the Name Game

There are some crazy baby names out there these days, Jamie and Jools Oliver’s fifth child was recently named River Rocket which actually compared to siblings Poppy Honey, Daisy Boo, Petal Blossom and Buddy Bear ain’t all that bad. The pressure is on now more than ever to give your child a name that will help them to stand out from the crowd but more caring parents will remember that the child will need to carry that name with them wherever they go. Let’s just hope Daisy Boo doesn’t decide she wants to become a UN dignitary – though Daisy Boo and Ban Ki Moon work quite nicely together.

Apparently so far in 2016 parents in the USA are mainly calling their baby girls Olivia – which is a pretty solid girl’s name in my opinion; slightly more eccentric is their number 1 choice for boys, Ezra. On British soil Amelia has been top of the charts since 2015 but Isla and again Olivia are close at poor Amelia’s heels. On the boy front top three are Oliver, Jack and Harry so it’s safe to say that in Blighty tradition prevails and that the vast majority of children being born here have Downton Abbey worthy titles.

During my first pregnancy I learned pretty quickly that as much as you want to talk about names with your friends and family all the time, it’s a rookie mistake. Don’t discuss names (other than those you definitely don’t want to choose) with anyone other than your partner. When your mother in law spits out her merlot when you suggest you might want to call your little lovely Chardonnay you’ll struggle to recover from that (which if this particular example where to be true might not be such a bad thing.)


And what do you do when you and your Partner share the same tastes in holiday destinations, Saturday night TV and breakfast cereal but CANNOT agree on names? My all time favourite boy and girl names were both immediately vetoed – getting a list of absolutely not names written down early on in the pregnancy is probably not such a bad idea as it gives you a while to manage your name grief. Of course you could resort to a good old fashioned game of rock, paper, scissors, or an arm wrestle, maybe a poll on twitter?

I always find it a little weird when pregnant women tell you (at 20 weeks on the button) that their bump is a girl and her name is Dahlia Joyce or such some title, not only does the superstitious, paranoid, worrier in me shake it’s tutting head but I just think what surprise do you put in the post labour Facebook post?

At the moment I’m loving meeting Ediths and Wilfs… Wilf was on my boy list but immediately vetoed by the CheltenhamPapa. I was surprised (and actually quite relieved) for the CheltenhamBébé to meet another little Lila at our inaugural Push it Real Good Walk last week (I’m still surprised that I have to say this but it’s Lila as in Lie La …. not Lay La or Lee La.) Unusual but not too zany was the thinking behind the name. I’ve always loved it , as a little girl I was looked after by a babysitter with a good soul named Lila. Things like that stay with you and it’s nice to give a name with a bit of a story, better than saying ‘oh darling I named you after Kim Kardashian’s son/daughter.


Ultimately the name you give your child is very personal to you and you’ll never choose something to please everyone. All you need to remember is that the most important person to like the name is it’s owner so make sure you choose something they will be able to use with pride. We love the name Lila and having been granted a little girl at last I’m really enjoying splurging in the baby wear shops. I picked up a couple of pieces to celebrate her name from Jack Spratt Baby – my go to place for personalised baby wear gifts and prints – and am so pleased that they’re going to help you celebrate your chosen baby name (or the name your friends and family have chosen for their baby) with an exclusive 20% discount using the code cheltenham20 at the checkout.



One final piece of advice…. once you’ve picked that name use it with pride! Announce your baby’s name don’t seek someone’s approval of it. And if you get it seriously wrong…… a nickname will probably materialise at some point in their little lives. And if they get any stick about their name Jack Spratt can also help you out with some baby wear to fend off any trouble.




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