Reader Q&A Emergency! Baby is Due Tomorrow

Reader Q&ABabyDueTomorrow

When reader Kimberly approached me today for Baby Name Coaching, I would have loved to help her, but unfortunately she needs a name by tomorrow!

The title is somewhat misleading. Kimberly’s baby isn’t due tomorrow. It was due on June 6!

I don’t know many details. One thing is for sure: time is of the essence.

Due to the short notice, I had to tell her that my schedule does not allow me to do a baby name consultation for her.

The good news is, since she has already narrowed her choices down to three names, I suggested she allow me to post her names on UBN as a poll. She graciously agreed.

She has some lovely names on her list:

  • Eloise Jane
  • Daphne Eloise
  • Eliza Daphne

Her older children are Jillian and Oliver.

Help Kimberly find a name. Place your vote below or feel free to chime in with a comment!

Reader Q&A: Naming Boy #4!

Naming Boy #4

Anytime a new reader signs up to become part of the UBN email community, I ask the reader to share their biggest baby name challenges.

I was intrigued when reader Britney shared the following:

The most difficult aspect is naming multiple of the same gender! I am expecting my 4th son. 🙂

I asked Britney if I could offer some suggestions and share her predicament with all of you. She graciously agreed and added more information:

I actually found your blog because of your post on Nameberry where you mentioned all 3 of my boys’ names as names that could become Modern Classics. My boys are named Jacob, Colin, and Maxwell (nn Max). This was the post:

Many of the other names you mentioned in that post are names we have considered. My husband is also a 4th son, and out of the 12 grandkids on his side so far, 10 are boys! It must be something genetic to have sons in this family.

Do you want to know some of the names we are currently considering? Or would you like a blank slate? Our last name starts with R and rhymes with Tool, so names with a heavy R don’t seem to have as good of flow.

I would like each boy to have their own initial and sound of name. There are a lot of names we’ve thought about that feel too similar to another. I like Oliver, but we call Colin Collie, and an Ollie and Collie would be confusing. Dylan has been another name we like, but I wonder if it’s too close having 2 names that end in the sound -lin. I’ve also liked Caleb, but it’s almost a letter for letter exchange of Jacob and Colin. Owen and Colin also feel too similar.

That’s one of the reasons we are struggling, beyond just the normal trying-to-get-two-parents-to-agree problem. Thankfully, my husband and I have similar taste.

My response:

The first name that popped into my head was Simon. To me it flows well with your other boys’ names and your last name.

  • Jacob
  • Colin
  • Maxwell/Max and
  • Simon

Simon “Tool with an R”

The next name that comes to mind is Felix:

  • Jacob
  • Colin
  • Maxwell/Max and
  • Felix

Felix “Tool with an R”

Simon and Felix do share the same endings as Colin and Max, however, that isn’t a drawback in my opinion. Colin and Simon do sound a little more repetitious than Max and Felix, and may have the same concerns you had with Colin and Owen. But Colin and Simon do not seem as confusing as your Collie and Ollie example.

This just shows that once you get to the point of naming your fourth kid, especially when all four kids are the same gender, there is bound to be some repetition. In this situation, I would only avoid the repetition if it’s excessive.

Thankfully Simon and Felix don’t share the same first initial as your older sons’ names and don’t have the strong R sound that conflicts with your last name.

I think you can’t go wrong with either one of these names, however, I did some digging to come up with other ideas:

Henry (I totally overlooked the R! My oversight.)








This is a good example of how older kids’ names eliminate other options. I considered Adrian, but nope, it has the R. I thought of Martin, but again it repeats the first initial M with Maxwell. (And again, Martin has that pesky R.) After doing some digging, I’m starting to really like Isaac from my second list. It doesn’t repeat initials, has no R, and even has a different ending than your other sons’ names.

I look forward to hearing what readers suggest.

Good Luck!

I got some more feedback from Britney that really drove home how personal preferences can really paint parents like her into a corner when naming the fourth baby:

Thank you so much for spending time to get us some ideas! You have some really good options here. I think my favorite of the list is Henry. Even with the R, this is a name we keep coming back to. It could be a name we would go with!

Issac would be a great fit with our boys, but my husband has a cousin with the same name. We both come from large, well-named families, so that is a further difficulty. 🙂 Logan is also the name of a cousin of my boys. But they are both fantastic names. I also think Nolan is a little close to Colin, but it’s a great name, and one we’ve thrown around.

I think Simon is a name that could fit with our current sib set. I’ve never considered it, but I think it could grow on me. Felix is a name I’ve been hearing a lot more of lately, and it’s growing on me as well. This is why I’ve been trying to find out an answer early–some names take a little time to simmer! 🙂

Again, thank you so much for the suggestions! You did a great job nailing our style.

Thanks again Britney for sharing your story.

And if you find a name you really like that breaks your no-R rule, I encourage you to use the name anyway. I don’t think R always causes any problems with your last name. I would only avoid names that end in R to prevent run-on.

Readers: What is your favorite name for Britney’s fourth boy?


Reader Q&A: How To Cope With Unusual Name Regret

How To Cope With Unusual Name Regret

Conflicting expectations.


The conventional wisdom is that parents are more likely to regret picking a name that is too common. At least that is the conclusion made in an ABC news segment from 2011.

ABC’s claim is that only a few parents regret giving their kid an unusual name, but that has not always been my experience when talking to parents about baby names. ABC’s claim may be true, but I have also heard stories of regret from parents who discarded a beloved name in favor of a less common one.

One of these parents happens to be a UBN reader who agreed to share her story behind why she regrets not naming her daughter Mia (a top 10 name in the US) five years ago.

The chosen name, Cheyla, comes across as contrived according to reader, Maddie. But that’s not Maddie’s only concern. The family has started using both names (Cheyla and Mia) for the girl and she answers to both. Maddie is afraid of creating an identity crisis for her daughter.

This story also illustrates other top concerns among UBN readers besides avoiding a popular name and regretting it. And that is why I asked Maddie if she would share her story.

Hear more about her story in the latest Reader Q&A video:

FYI: The video is about 15 minutes and I really hope you take a look at it, but if you are pressed for time, you can download a PDF of the presentation here.

Thank you so much Maddie for sharing your story.

Readers: Have you ever regretting discarding a name for being too common? How would you address Maddie’s dilemma?

If you enjoyed this article, and would like to share your biggest baby name challenges, enter your name and email address to get free updates including stuff I don’t share on the blog:


Reader Q&A Poll: Is Lennon Masculine or Feminine?


A few months ago I decided to reach out to the UBN email community and ask what they felt was the most difficult aspect of naming a baby. Their answers to that question were eye-opening.

I decided this question would be a great followup email to new members once they join the community. I set the email to automatically go out to new members, and have been pleased with the feedback so far.

One reader mentioned some concerns she has with the boy and girl name she picked for her expectant baby–gender unknown.

She likes names that start with L, and had picked Lachlan for a boy and Lennon for a girl. She mentioned the following concerns:

  • Does Lachlan seem feminine?
  • Is Lach (pronounced LOCK) a good nickname for Lachlan?
  • Could Lennon be mistaken for “lemon” or is it “too out there”?

Since I’m aware of Lachlan’s popularity on boys in Australia, I believe Lachlan is all-boy, and I feel confident that I stand with the majority on this.

But the name that stood out as causing gender confusion to me is Lennon. As I read her question, my thought *wasn’t* “Is Lachlan too feminine?” my thought *was* “Is Lennon too masculine?”

Lennon reminds me of two things:

  1. John Lennon
  2. The nicknames Len and Lenny–both masculine names to me.

For girl names, Lainey, Laney or Lane seem like good fits for this reader’s preferences (modern L-names).

But perhaps this is just me? I have seen Fallon on a girl and that name has a similar style to Lennon. Perhaps Lennon would make a good unisex name? I’m not sure what the consensus is.

And that is why I decided to ask readers: Do you think Lennon is more feminine, masculine or unisex? And if you have any suggestions for this reader, feel free to leave them in the comments. 


Photo Credit: MrJamesAckerley via Compfight cc

Reader Q&A: Middle Names For Ann

I’ve recently become a proponent of promoting Ann from middle to first name status.

One reader, Shannon, is planning to do just that!

The problem, however, is that she is struggling to find a good middle name for Ann.

Oh the irony.

But once you start to dig, you will find that Ann has more middle name possibilities than ever imagined.

Watch and listen to Shannon’s plight and my suggestions.

So many of us are used to putting Ann in the middle that when we try to use it as a first name, we may find the search for a middle name challenging at first.

But once you get past the old habit of relegating Ann to the middle and let Ann shine, you will see that you actually have so many wonderful middle name options.

And I feel Ann is about ready to come out from the shadows, shed its boring reputation and become appreciated again for its elegant, understated style.

Good Luck Shannon!

Readers: What middle names can you come up with for Ann?

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