When my husband and I were still in the trying stage of getting pregnant with our second child, we had a family gathering. A member of the family was within a few months of having her baby. I remember that I was in the kitchen tending to something when I heard him tell everyone in the room what we were planning to name our next baby if it was a boy. I immediately cringed. He went on to tell the history behind the name; it came from one of his great grandfathers.
I had the distinct feeling that after he’d told everyone our plans, we’d just lost our baby name. Later, I told him that and he replied, “Nah, they’d never do that.”
As it turned out, my hunch was correct. They had a boy and had stolen our baby name.
Why people do it
Baby names seem to be on a “first come, first serve” basis. I wasn’t pregnant yet (don’t know if it would’ve made a difference even if I was) so the baby name my husband had blurted out was up for grabs. They wanted it, justified it, and took it. Was it overt maliciousness? Who knows? All I know is that when I did become pregnant with our second child and we found out we were having a boy, we had to scour for another name.
Planning what to name your baby is a big deal. When you trust someone with that information in a conversation that is supposed to be fun for all, it is a breach of trust when they take the name for their own child. You feel personally offended and you feel like you’ve been violated, just like a theft of any other object.
What you can do if your baby name is stolen
Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do. They won’t mention it and if you confront them, they’ll try to wave it off like you’re overreacting. If they are a close friend or family, you risk a rift if you push the subject.
Sometimes silence is the best option. It doesn’t mean that you’re any less hurt by their actions, it just means that you’re thinking of the bigger picture where your family or friendship is concerned. The only difference is that afterward, you know that you can’t trust that person the same way you did before and you’ll be careful what you tell her from then on.
If you feel like you have to let them know how much they hurt your feelings, then don’t go in demanding they tell you why they stole your baby name. They won’t know why. They will just tell you they liked it or they will insist they heard it from somewhere else. Just tell them in a calm voice that while you are happy for them and their new baby, you didn’t appreciate the breach of trust and it will be a long time before you can trust them with any other personal information. It would show immaturity to go in with guns blazing after she’d just given birth.
How to prevent your baby name from being stolen
When you’re excited about something like a baby name, it’s hard not to confide in others but as with my experience, you really don’t know who you can trust with it. Those who steal a baby name do not see it as any sort of wrong doing so you can’t just assume that they won’t do it.
Keep your baby name to yourself and let your significant other know that you’d prefer to keep the name under wraps until you have the opportunity to write it on your baby’s birth certificate.
Source: personal experience