Should you keep your baby name a secret?

Almost as soon as you announce your pregnancy, friends and family start asking about baby names. Some couples are eager to announce their front-runner name choices, while others keep tight-lipped until after baby is born. Which way is right for you?

Some expectant parents have their top choice baby names picked out long before conception and can’t wait to share them. Other families don’t decide to share the name until their baby is born, and sometimes days after. Whether or not to share your baby’s name is always a hot topic, and there are pros and cons to each choice.

Top reasons to tell

Claim the name

Sometimes tensions run high in families when many babies are expected around the same time. Parents occasionally will choose to tell their future baby’s name to the family to avoid any issues with duplicate names down the road.


When the baby name is revealed beforehand, there are lots of opportunities to personalize your baby gear with gifts like monogrammed onesies, diaper bags and other nursery items.

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Including friends and family

Friends and relatives always like to feel included in the process of picking a baby name. Positive input from friends and family can help narrow down choices and help Mom and Dad feel good about the name they are choosing.

Bonding with Baby

Some parents feel that naming their baby before birth and sharing that name with others helps them to feel more bonded and close to the baby. Rachael Kish, mother of one boy, Samuel, shares: “We decided to know the sex of our baby so we could refer to him or her as something more specific than ‘Baby’ or ‘It.’ Because we knew his sex in advance we had an opportunity to become very personal with how we addressed him directly and how we spoke about him publicly.”

Why it’s a secret

Name criticism

Naming is a sensitive issue. Sometimes the mom and dad-to-be will love a name, while relatives hate it. Keeping tight-lipped about the baby name until after Baby arrives can avoid hurt feelings, since relatives are less likely to criticize a name after it is official.

The element of surprise

So many families choose to find out the gender before Baby arrives, so keeping the name under wraps is a great way to save some suspense until Baby’s birth day. If you choose not to find out the gender beforehand, that can be another great excuse for not revealing the name in advance.

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Fear of stealing

You love your chosen baby name so much that you can’t wait to share it, but what if someone close to you ends up loving it as well? By not revealing Baby’s name until after the birth, you can avoid having someone else use the name that you chose for your little one.

Meeting Baby first

Some parents struggle with choosing the perfect name and choose to wait until after the baby is born. Andrea Engelman, mom to Paul in Arizona says, “We wanted to wait until our baby was born to see which name suited him best. Like my husband would say, you don’t pick out a name, and then go get a puppy. You get a puppy, and then pick a name.”  By holding off on revealing your name choice, you have the opportunity to meet your baby and choose the name that feels best. You also have the freedom to change your mind if your top choice name doesn’t feel quite right after Baby is born.

More on naming your baby

Old-fashioned baby names: Classic and cultured
50 Pretty baby names for girls
Patriotic baby names