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Changing Baby's Name at the Last Minute: Do You Have a Story?

When I was a tween I was obsessed with baby names.

(As I type this I’m just now realizing how strange that sounds, since I had no interest in becoming a teen mom.)

(I’d seen enough after school specials.)

(Starring a very young Rob Lowe and that girl from Diff’rent Strokes.)

There I was, in braces and a training bra, naming the babies whose diapers I wouldn’t have a clue how to change if they were to magically materialize from the pages of my Trapper Keeper.

As I got older I continued to think about what I’d name my kids, and by the time I was trying to conceive actual babies I’d made up my mind: Reed for a boy. Margo for a girl. There were a couple of hiccups in my plan, though. There was the small matter of my husband, for instance. As it turns out, he had opinions of his own.

(Why didn’t anyone ever bother to tell me that the father gets a vote? Geeze.)

Anyway, the other issue I hadn’t considered is that sometimes certain baby names sound perfect…until the baby is born. My daughter Molly was almost a Margo because try as we might we just couldn’t imagine the little face from the ultrasound picture being a Margo.

And so it was that Reed and Margo became my “almost” children.

I was recently discussing this with some girlfriends. So many of them, too, had children whose names were “almost” something else. Some, like me, had planned their children’s names far in advance and ended up changing them because their spouses exercised veto power.

Some just didn’t feel that the names they’d picked out in advance really fit, and still others had different reasons for changing their baby’s name at the last minute.

Here are their stories. Share your own in the comments!


  • Parker was Almost Piper 1 of 13
    Parker was Almost Piper
    This sweet girl was almost named Piper (one of my all-time favorites!).
    Photo Credit: Olivia Beaman
  • But She Didn’t Look the Part 2 of 13
    But She Didn't Look the Part
    When she weighed nearly 9 pounds at birth her mother decided that Parker was more fitting.
    Photo Credit: Olivia Beaman
  • Baby Madison was almost… 3 of 13
    Baby Madison was almost...
    Her parents loved the name Madison but had reservations about its popularity.
    Photo Credit: Jeremy Ramey
  • Baby Vivienne! 4 of 13
    Baby Vivienne!
    The day she was born her parents heard the name Vivienne and almost changed their minds. In the end, they stuck with Madison and think it's the perfect name for their sweet girl, despite its popularity.
    Photo Credit: Jeremy Ramey
  • Tehila was almost… 5 of 13
    Tehila was almost...
    Just look at her curls!
    Photo Credit: Rivka Wax
  • Kayla! 6 of 13
    Kayla!
    Here's Tehila with her twin!
    Photo Credit: Rivka Wax
  • Ethan was almost Gavin! 7 of 13
    Ethan was almost Gavin!
    According to Ethan's mom, " We'd almost written it out across his baby book, inked in pen what we thought was sure to be his name -- Gavin. We even had been referring to the baby growing inside my stomach as Gavin for so long his older brother had taken to calling him that. And then he came barreling into the world one week early, and we took one look at his big blue eyes, dark lashes and dark hair and somehow knew we weren't looking at a Gavin ... we were looking at ... someone else."
    Photo Credit: Undercover Mother
  • Inspired by a Psalm 8 of 13
    Inspired by a Psalm
    "He was nameless until the next morning when I turned to Psalm 89 and began reading a song of praise by the Psalmist -- Ethan the Ezrahite. We suddenly, overwhelmingly knew whose eyes we were staring into -- Ethan's. It took his older brother a few weeks to get it all straight, but it was clear in very moment we read that song of praise!"
    Photo Credit: Undercover Mother
  • Tate became… 9 of 13
    Tate became...
    If his mommy had had her way, this little guy would have been named Tate.
    Photo Credit: A Simple Six
  • Oliver! 10 of 13
    Oliver!
    But Daddy just wasn't feeling it.
    Photo Credit: A Simple Six
  • Arden was almost Ember! 11 of 13
    Arden was almost Ember!
    This sweet gal was almost an Ember.
    Photo Credit: Shannon Booth
  • Daddy was Overruled. 12 of 13
    Daddy was Overruled.
    He'd wanted to name her with a symbol of the love that created her always glowing within her. Her mama worried she'd be teased. I'm pretty sure Arden knows she's loved despite the name change!
    Photo Credit: Shannon Booth
  • In Honor of a Beloved…Dog? 13 of 13
    In Honor of a Beloved...Dog?
    Justin was almost Justin Peter. According to his mama, "He was a surprise #3 and we hardly agreed on his first name let alone a middle name. We didn't love any names at all. Peter is my husband's confirmation name and I was at the point where I couldn't care less. We lost two dogs within two months beginning the December I found out I was pregnant with Justin and I was devastated. People name children after passed loved ones all the time, but most beloved friend ever was our dog Duke. The day came that Justin was born and it didn't seem right to give him a name without any meaning. We put off the birth certificate lady at the hospital until the day we left because we didn't know how we'd explain to our family that we were naming the kid after the dog. My husband made the final decision: Justin Duke, named after our best friend and first baby."
    Photo Credit:My Suitcase Full of Tricks
  • Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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