Professional Baby-Name Consultants: They’re a Real Thing
My husband and I are having a heck of a time naming baby #4 over here.
Although we've been through this a few times already, you would think we were completely helpless creatures in the baby naming department, so vast is our cluelessness.
A baby? What's that? You mean we're having one? And we have to name it?
OK, so it's not really that bad, but with endless Internet searches on my part, some valiant list-making efforts on his part, and ever-helpful suggestions from our 4- and 6-year-olds, we have spent hours trying to come up with the perfect baby name.
To no avail.
So, yes, we are in desperate need of help (and a name!), but hiring someone to help us name our baby?
Well, that seems a bit extreme.
And yet, professional baby-name consultants are a very real thing.
Companies that make a profit by helping other people name their babies obviously know what parents like my husband and I fear the most—the pressure that comes with finding the perfect name for our perfect baby. Not too common, yet not too unique. Something timeless, yet trendy. Something that won't get our kid confused for the neighbor, nor leave the neighbors constantly confused by the spelling.
It's an enormous amount of responsibility—and baby name consultants know that.
“With the freedom to pick almost any name comes great responsibility: How do you choose a name that is both unique and dignified? Is the name you are choosing too difficult to pronounce? Too hard to spell? On the other hand, is it too trendy? Not special enough?” reads one company‘s website.
So how does the world of baby-name consulting work?
Although they will all differ, baby-name consultants work by helping you discover what name you and your partner really want for your baby. One company, Name For Life, offers in-person, telephone, or emailed consulting packages. They compare their services to using a real-estate agent to find the perfect house. Of course, you are ultimately the one in charge, but you benefit from a professional to help you determine what works best for you and your family and to wade through the millions of choices out there.
How much does it cost?
Some baby-name consultants offer free services, believe it or not, while others definitely charge a pretty penny for their expertise. Individual, in-person consultations can run as much as a couple hundred dollars.
And while, honestly, I would almost be willing to shell out a hundred bucks for someone to plop the perfect baby name in my lap, I just can't imagine that someone else would be able to provide that service for our family. It's nice in theory, yes, and I'm sure it's a helpful service for some individuals or couples. But when you think about how much can go into a name—a whole lifetime of memories, slights, loves, and hurts, generations of family members who have shaped and molded us, and the personal preferences that make us us—I just can't see replacing that type of history for the sake of a professional.
And when all else fails for us, there's always a good old-fashioned Facebook call-out, right? Baby-girl name suggestions, anyone?
Would you consider hiring a baby name consultant?