Would You Hire Someone To Name Your Baby? Why People Are Paying For This Service
Some experts justify the emergence of baby-naming consultants because of how much bearing a child’s name might have on key aspects of his adult life.
What’s in a name? Plenty, according to baby-naming consultants — members of a parenting industry still in its infancy but growing by leaps and bounds. These services promise to prevent moms- and dads-to-be from making the mistake of saddling a newborn with a less-than-ideal moniker. According to the website of one such company, which has been around for about seven years, parents who use its services will “find the patient, supportive assistance you need to pick the name your child will say and write proudly for the rest of his or her life.”
Some experts justify the emergence of baby-naming consultants because of how much bearing a child’s name might have on key aspects of his adult life. For example, some research suggests that people who have undesirable names may experience more obstacles in their personal and professional life.
However, for most parents, the traditional approach to selecting baby names is intuitive and emotional. That said, studies identify five distinct dimensions of names that can have an effect on how a person is viewed by others. They are: ethical and caring; popular and fun; successful; masculine or feminine; and overall attractiveness. The takeaway: A person’s name has the potential to preempt everything, setting the stage for outside perceptions even before a first physical impression.
While it’s tough to imagine mother (and father) don’t know best when it comes to naming their own child, most everyone has met someone with a name odd enough to invoke a “What were her parents thinking?!” reaction, or whose initials spelled out an unfortunate word, or whose name was nearly unpronounceable. So it’s not that hard to see why some couples might want help before they sign off on a name for their baby. Baby name consultants typically rely on personal consultations with parents or questionnaires to come up with potential names.
What does this cost? One baby-naming service, in Switzerland, reportedly charges more than $29,000 to name a baby — a process that takes about 100 hours of work, including making sure possible names aren’t trademarked or have some sort of negative historical significance.
Another baby-naming service, in the United States, spends about 30 hours researching names; fees begin at several hundred dollars. But when it comes to “fixing” an unfortunate name, there’s always the old-fashioned way: Let the child decide if his name isn’t “working” for him when he’s older. Then, he can choose to change it.