By Kelsey on August 5, 2013 20

Choosing a Baby Name


I recently got an email from a blog reader (hi Jenn!) asking me if we still like the name Rooney. She actually stumbled upon our blog because she was researching the name Rooney for her unborn daughter. She has even been using the name as her own when she goes to Starbucks to test it out! How fun is that?!

So I thought it would be fun to write about naming a person…and what a big job it is!

I will say that I always dreamed of giving my children special (unique) names, but, in general, naming a person has not been what I expected. We chose her name before we found out she was a girl, but only told my immediate family (I knew my mom would need some time to get used to her name, since it’s quite different). After she was here and we announced her name, it was weird to hear other people say it out loud! But I think it fits her and, of course, we can’t imagine her name being anything different now! So yes, we do still like it!

When people in public ask me what her name is, I try to be very clear what I’m saying so they don’t think it’s Ruby or Ruthie something else. (Don’t get me wrong, I love those names, too! But Rooney is not a common name so I try to enunciate.) I generally get very good reactions. A few times people will repeat it back to me with a question mark (“Rooney..?”). It doesn’t bother me, though, because we wanted to name her something that was unique, so I expected that.

There have been two people who have said rude things about her name to us online (just that they are not impressed with it), but I’ve had to get over it and remember that not everyone is going to love it! It only matters that we love it!

When we go to the doctor, the nurse will come out and announce “Rooney” and sometimes it’s like… “We named our daughter Rooney??!” Partly “What were we thinking?” and partly “She’s a real person now and not just an imaginary baby in my belly, and people say her name so that means Rooney is a real name!” :) Not sure if that makes sense at all…but the novelty is certainly wearing off more with each month and it feels more normal. Honestly, sometimes I am still amazed that we have a child, let alone a toddler! It’s crazy!

I also sometimes wonder if we gave her the wrong name, but then I remind myself that Rooney was the only name that both Eric and I got excited about, so it HAS to be a sign that it was the only name for her, right?

Is it normal to second-guess your child’s name after they’re born?

P.S. I LOVE calling her Roo. I think it is the sweetest and most adorable nickname. :)

P.P.S. I wrote about how we chose her name here.

P.P.P.S. I often wonder what we will name our second child!



I love my husband, my kids and the Internet.

  1. I get the same reactions to my baby’s name: Gideon. Which I knew wasn’t extremely common but I didn’t think was weird either. People act like they have never heard it before but I love that he has a strong and unique name.

    We had a different boy name picked out but the week before finding out the gender we didn’t feel it was right. So now I know we picked the perfect name!

    I love Rooney! I’d rather have a different name than be one of a million (like Emily!)

  2. Our 2 1/2 year old daughters name is Harvey and we’ve definitely gotten a few weird looks or comments from time to time too. But I can’t imagine her named anything else!

    Love the name Rooney!

    • Very cool name. I’ve heard of Marley and Harley for girls but not Harvey! Where did you get the name? My friend’s maiden name was Harvey so just curious if that was your case.

      • There was a photographer on Flickr that I followed and she had posted a picture of a friend of hers and her name was Harvey. Not sure if it was her first or last name but after we found out we were having a girl it just seemed to stick. We liked more masculine names for girls for some reason.

  3. I love names so I always thought the naming part of having our girls would be so much fun….but it is stressful!! And with each addition it got harder. I mean it is their NAME after all! I felt like their names should “go together” my husband never quite understood this but it was important to me. I think you have a great attitude about it….acknowledging that her name is unique!!!(but very cute…and I love roo…we are nickname people at our house:))

  4. I think Rooney fits her perfectly, and Rooney Williams sounds great!

  5. I’ve been a self-professed name nerd for as long as I can remember, and so I’ve given TONS of thought to what I want to name any future children. My husband is SUPER picky about what names he likes, and we’ve only managed to find two girl names and two boy names that we like, so I’m hoping that by the time we have any children, we still love those names. We’ve been on the same page about our top boy name and top girl name for a few years now, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed :)

    I have a unique name, too (Brynn), and while I didn’t always love it growing up (people teased, called me Brian, it was always mispronounced and misspelled, etc.), I love it now. It’s great to be the only Brynn my age (there are more and more little Brynns running around now!) and I get super excited when I meet other Brynns. It’s great!

    I love Rooney’s name! It suits her so well and I also love the nickname Roo! We actually named our puppy Rooney when we adopted her a couple months ago, and it was partially inspired by your Rooney :) [I put about as much thought into my pet names as most people do to their children’s names…

    • I like your name, Brynn! :) We have an almost 4 year old named Brynn and always get compliments on it. I like that its something you feel like you’ve heard before but not overly common. I had never heard anyone actually named Brynn until after our daughter was born. We chose it because we both liked the sound of “Brianne” type names but wanted an updated version.

      And Kelsey I wonder what we will name our second child too…! :) I have my boy name all picked out but I have a list of about 20 “meh” girl names. I dont know why they are so much harder for me! Will probably go with the same strategy of waiting to see what she looks like before deciding for sure.

      • Funny you say that, Emily, because I find boy names so much harder than girl names. I have two boy names I’ve loved forever, but they sound awkward with our last name. All other boy names are meh to me. Luckily, we had a girl first, or our child might’ve been unnamed for awhile.

        I think the only time I second guess our daughter’s name, Bridget, is when she’s watching Dora the Explorer, and one of the directions involves a bridge. It’s stupid, but I don’t want her to think she was named after a transportation structure, ha. As much as I do love bridges in general.

        • Oh actually I take that back. I have second guessed our name choice of Bridget because I’ve always been so anti-alliterations when it comes to names, and our last name begins with a B. Eventually, I just got over it, and her name does actually flow. Rooney Williams flows perfectly! She is definitely destined for greatness.

    • Ha! I think it’s funny that you named your dog Rooney :)

  6. I have been following you blog for some time now, but have never posted… I was relieved to hear that I am not the only person to second guess my child’s name. My son is 3 months old and we named him Lucas. Such a common name even, but I still feel weird saying his name out loud or hearing other people say it. It was so right, until we had to make it official, and then I wondered. It grows on me every day and I like that I can call him Lucas or Luke. Makes me feel like I still have a little flexibility:)

    • Did you choose the name ahead of time? i wonder if that is partly why I second-guessed it. We knew her name would be Rooney as soon as we knew she was a girl. If we had waited to see her face and meet her before naming her, would I feel the same? I don’t know. But I do think her name would still be Rooney, so it doesn’t really matter ;)

  7. We had a pretty easy time choosing our daughter’s name, Nixon. It stemmed from a misheard conversation with my dad and just stuck. I wouldn’t say we’ve really second-guessed it at all, but there has been a lot of the “whoa, that’s a real person’s name now.” Especially the first time we took her to the doctor. There’s been a lot of pushback from my mom’s side of the family, who all call her Nixie. Whatever. Can’t please everyone.

    Side note, my college bf called me roo. It is the best nickname and the most adorable Winnie the Pooh character.

    • Very cool name! I’d love to hear what your dad actually said! It’s a last name, so I can certainly see how you might use it if it was a family name!

      • I had just started dating my husband and over the phone told my dad I was dating someone named “Nathan.” My dad said, “Nixon?” I said “No, NATHAN, who the heck would name their kid Nixon?” It stuck in my head after that and it turns out, I’d name my kid Nixon. :) We didn’t find out if we were having a boy or girl before hand and the last few months before she was born we kept seeing Nixon everywhere. It was weird but cool. People think she’s a boy all the time, but I like that it’s gender-neutral, as is Rooney.

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