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Parents Talk: Can a Unique Baby Name Have Lasting Impacts?

Does an uncommon baby name, like the name celebrity parents Beyonce and Jay-Z gave their new daughter—Blue Ivy—have lasting influence in adulthood?

When the celebrity couple of Beyonce and Jay-Z recently had their new baby and named it Blue Ivy Carter, speculation as to the source of the unique name was across the board, Huff Post Parents reported. The couple, like thousands of parents nationwide, probably went through a phase during pregnancy of deciding on their baby’s name. 

But, does the uniqueness of a baby's name have an impact on the child later in life?

According to an article on LiveScience website, parents are picking more unusual names for their children than they were decades ago. And, the shift in baby names could influence kids into adulthood.

"If you're choosing between a relatively likeable, common name and one that is really odd, that definitely could have an impact," Jean Twenge of San Diego State University said in the article

She says a unique name can be a “proxy” for the parents' philosophy on life. “… The type of parent who would give a really unusual name is often going to parent differently from a parent who says 'I want to give my child a name so they fit in,” she says in the article.                          

When my husband and I struggled over baby names with our two children, we generally had two criteria—and uniqueness wasn’t one of them. The baby’s name couldn’t be made into an unpleasant nickname and it couldn’t be the name of someone we knew. Other than that, we were pretty open to ideas. We ended up settling on fairly traditional names, with only minor complaints off and on throughout the years from our now teenage children.

Overall, I still think our criteria is a solid way to choose a name for a new baby—I think I’m safe in saying no one wants his or her child to be picked on or live in someone else’s name shadow.

However, it doesn’t bother me in the least when I hear a new unique name for a baby, such as Blue Ivy. In fact, I think it usually shows the parents had some in-depth thought into the name rather than blindly picking out of a baby name book.  I think a baby name can have some impact on a child—but the parenting environment the child is raised in is the bigger concern for me.   

Whether the name you choose is Michael, Sarah, Blue Ivy, Apple or Suri –  I suggest you try to choose a name with no regrets.

Editor’s note: How do you think a baby name can have a lasting influence into adulthood? How did you decide your baby’s name? Share your thoughts in comments! 

Katarina Hit January 13, 2012 at 03:51 PM
I am going to be neutral about unique names - they can work or not. The thing that drives me crazy are "kreatyv" names - all the spelling changes. Some, like "Madisyn" - aren't so bad. I think it's a silly move, still - it's only going to look different on paper, and on paper, it doesn't look as nice as "Madison," but you didn't throw any language rules out the window. The issue comes with names like, to borrow from another commenter, "Jaden" spelled as "Jadden." I'm sorry parents, but you didn't name your child "jay-den" when you wrote it that way. You named him "jah-den." So when people mix up the spelling to write it "kreatively," but either don't realize or don't care that they've mixed up the pronunciation as well - that just really bugs me! And what is the point of changing the spelling, because you're little boy is still going to be "Jadden B" and his buddy "Jaden M."
Katarina Hit January 13, 2012 at 03:57 PM
hm tried to delete it but Patch won't let me, even though it gave me the option! My own grammar error is driving me crazy in the last sentence. "Your" little boy, not "you're." I haven't finished my coffee!
Allen J. Oh January 13, 2012 at 10:49 PM
We wanted to name our younger daughter after my wife's uncle Mike, but wanted something other than the obvious variants Michele and Makayla. The Italian name Micaela (my wife's family is Italian) looked like a good choice, but we thought that a lot of people would pronounce it like Makayla rather than "mee-kah-eh-la." So we went with what we thought was the closest phonetic spelling in English: Mikyla. And guess what? A lot of people put in an extra "a" and turn it into "Mikayla" anyway.
MyFavoriteBarbie January 13, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Agree Completely
Cedar Phillips February 12, 2012 at 05:37 AM
My name is unusual, which I consider to be a big plus. When it came to naming my own son -- Jackson, Jack for short -- we THOUGHT we were choosing something that was traditional yet not ultra-common (in our defense, it's a lot more common in MN than it was where we were living at the time); it was also the only name we could agree on. Fast-forward a few years and there are Jacks and Jacksons swarming the playgrounds. I still like the name, and can't imagine him being anything other than a Jack, but I do regret that he's undoubtedly going to grow up knowing many kids with the same name. That's probably my own hang-up, though, and he may well not care.

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