But then I read an article about professional baby name consultants, and well . . . the WTF is strong with this one, folks.
As reported by Polly Mosendz for Bloomberg, business is booming in the United States and Europe for professional baby namers. Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. Expectant parents pay someone to help name their baby—and a quick Google search shows the trend has been around for several years.
OK, you’re thinking, maybe it’s worth throwing a few bucks someone’s way to do the legwork. After all, your precious sweet pea deserves the perfect name. Babycenter found that nearly 60% of parents and parents-to-be surveyed believe “a child’s name contributes to his or her success in life.” And research says they may be right.
No doubt it’s an important decision, and those of us who have named a baby can tell you it might take a lot of time (and many heated discussions) to arrive at the Final Choice. Scouring books and message boards, polling family members and friends, bickering with the kid’s other parent—these things can take their toll.
So how much are we talking for these services?
Erfolgswelle in Switzerland charges $29,000 per kid, “devoting two to three weeks and around 100 hours of work to the process.”
I mean, can we stop right there and just name the kid “Thirty Kay?”
To be fair, Erfolgswelle (rolls off the tongue, no?) creates an entirely new name for you—one with “exciting derivation and unmistakable history,” no less. On the other hand, the New York-based My Name for Life offers private consultations starting at around a few hundred dollars for input that considers parents’ preferences and criteria along with cultural, geographical, historical, and other factors concerning potential names.
As Mosendz notes, these aren’t “disconnected” parents who use such services, and I’d definitely buy that (no pun intended). I would even say this shows a level of involvement, especially financially, that is rather high. The parents do seem to play a large role in the process, so it’s not like they’re just handing off this job with a check, a wave, and a “let me know what to put on the birth certificate.”
To me, though, it just sounds like these soon-to-be-spit-up-cleaners are terrified of making a big mistake right out of the baby gate and are willing to pay for some back-up.
And lots of us can relate to those fears. We all want the best for our children and none of us want to eff anything up. But a baby name consultant? Meh.
You’re going to have lots of opportunities to waste money on your offspring, starting with the eleventy-billion baby products you’ll be told you *have* to have but will never use. And, sorry if you didn’t know this, but you’re going to mess up during this parenting gig (repeatedly, if you’re human).
So if you get a head start pre-birth and choose a truly awful name without professional help? High-five, overachiever!
Besides, the kid can always change her name if she doesn’t like it—or you can just call her whatever you want if the Final Choice doesn’t seem to fit after a while. All of us have people in our families who go by names different from their given ones, right? My Aunt Babe says yes.
Another potential hazard: if the little one gets wind of how much you invested in her name instead of, say, a 529 plan or a car for her Sweet Sixteen, it’s almost like double-dog-daring teenage rebellion.
In all seriousness though, parents have been naming children for a long, long time and there are countless free baby name resources out there. You really don’t need to pay someone for help—especially when so many people are willing to offer their opinions for free. Get used to that, too, incidentally.
Bottom line: you are fully capable of choosing the perfect name for your child without professional guidance. You got this.
Oooh! Hugh Gothiss for a boy and Ewe Gothiss for a girl.
See? Easy peasy. And on the house. Heeeeey . . . .
BRB. I have a business plan to draw up.