Erica is a writer, editor, wife, and mom. She has always found employment with an English degree and she excels at nurturing children and animals but struggles to keep houseplants alive. Erica currently writes at SidewaysQ.com

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What To Do When Your Baby’s Name Becomes A Trendy Name

We read through 100,000+ baby names, experimented with the syllables in the first-middle-last names, made sure the initials didn’t spell anything crude, and chose a name:  Wyatt.

In 2007, we distantly knew of one living Wyatt, and we chose our Wyatt’s name to commemorate my family’s love of the West, where Wyatt Earp reigned supreme in the late 1800’s.  While biographies differ on some darker areas of Earp’s character, he was widely known as a strong, independent lawman.  The name was perfect for our baby.

wyatt-earp-tin

A few months later, actor Kevin Costner named his son Cayden Wyatt Costner.  He can slide — he played Wyatt Earp in the title movie.  kevin costner

That same month, singer Sheryl Crow adopted a boy and named him Wyatt.  Wait a minute, what’s happening here?

In 2009, I was in a mommy-and-me swimming class when a woman and her son, Thomas, swam up to us.  When she learned of my son’s name, she exclaimed that she’d just named her baby Wyatt.  I started to feel mildly ticked, like I had this claim on my son’s name and she shouldn’t use it just because Sheryl Crow blasted such a cool name on the cover of People magazine.

Then I met two more Wyatts.  One was my assistant pastor’s baby, and the other was my friend’s toddler.  These are Wyatts that I got to look at in the eye and say, “Wyatt, meet Wyatt.”  And suddenly I realized how silly I was.  I don’t know what made these other families choose that name, and it’s none of my business.  What makes my son strong or independent isn’t his name — it’s how we lead him in life, what choices he is allowed, how he makes those choices, and how we support him along the way.

So, what do you do when your baby’s unique name gets trendy?  You raise that baby to be a unique person unto him or herself (even if we did dress him up like a cowboy each time we visited his grandparents in Wyoming).

What To Do When Your Baby’s Name Becomes A Trendy Name

He’s a good pard.

Steve could be the name of the jerk boss who fired you and hired his nephew, and it’s also the name of the man who invented Apple computers.  Timothy is the name of a man who bombed a building in Oklahoma and killed dozens, and it’s also the name of a lovely fashion editor on TV, and the same name of the man who invented the World Wide Web.

So what’s in a name?  Well, the last name obviously makes a difference.  The people attached to that last name make a difference.  The people who influence the child, who shape and lead and help that child.  In the end, the name is attached to a person.  It’s up to us to help that person be the best kind of person possible.  Even with a trendy name.

Has your kid’s name become a trendy name?  Have you had a similar parenting moment when you realized you were looking at it all wrong?

 

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Comments (13)

  1. Dee 04/04/2016 at 12:29 am

    My mom named me Deidra and my sister Jennell. I’ve met several Jennells with many different spellings… But I haven’t met many Deidras. With my son we wanted a name to reflect his heritage and our love of books. Tiernan Rhys. First and last name… We almost chose Rhys, said Reese, as his first name but chose not to. We thought very carefully about how others would pronounce it. Plus we liked the flow of his name.

  2. Caitlin 09/15/2014 at 11:35 am

    This cracks me up as I was the only Caitlin for many a year. My mother always got complimented on what a unique name. I had. Then when I was about 8, the name shot to the too of the charts and suddenly little Caitlins (and their variety of spellings) were everywhere.

  3. HRHtips 02/12/2014 at 9:13 pm

    so hands off Moms! So far we have met more than one female Ryan, Matt (or at least Mattie – which fortunately, he NEVER uses), and Blake’s (Blake Lively for starters).

  4. Allison 08/09/2013 at 8:27 am

    My twin girls are Billie and Emily. One will grow up constantly having to tell people that she is a GIRL, that her name is spelled IE not Y and that, yes, Billie is a girl’s name. She will know about Billie Holiday and Billie Jean King. But, on the other hand, her sister will be one of half a dozen Emilys in the class. Both will be unique in their own little ways. Thanks for this– a name can be lovely, but a person is unique.

  5. Yasmin 06/17/2013 at 12:50 pm

    I found this article very interesting. Yes most of among wants to her child name should be trendy but the case is totally opposite.

  6. adrian 05/20/2013 at 1:52 pm

    We chose our names pretty carefully too, but the trend of girls STEALING boys names has me concerned. There are TONS of great girls names and a very small pool of good boys names, so hands off Moms! So far we have met more than one female Ryan, Matt (or at least Mattie – which fortunately, he NEVER uses), and Blake’s (Blake Lively for starters). Why oh why must they do this? I think of Mom’s who named their kids Bart or Homer, which were perfectly respectable names a couple of decades ago and now are permanently out of use. I think it’s time to go back to the retro girl names like Ethyl and Pearl and Zelda rather than invade the boy name territory.

  7. heather b 05/14/2013 at 1:21 pm

    We too checked the top names for the year our oldest daughter was born. Aubrey was number 209, this year? #12. :\

  8. Kim H. 05/14/2013 at 12:31 pm

    I have so far lucked out with my two boys’ name. My 18 year old son is Jacek and to this day I’ve never met another one. I didn’t realize what a cool name we had picked for him until I started telling people his name. Everyone’s reaction was positive and loved it. My other son is Keaton and we know of a couple of boys with that name but not many.

    • amanda 10/23/2014 at 5:17 am

      I named my son Jacek in 2011. I haven’t met one either.

  9. Hillary 05/14/2013 at 12:24 pm

    It’s happened. Our family had some Russian heritage so we shortened the name Alexander into Xander for our son’s name.
    Apparently, everyone else did as well. I thought I was being trendy but so did everyone else. I am relieved to say that out of all the Xander’s I know who are kids, MY Xander is known as the Nice Xander!

  10. Amy 05/14/2013 at 11:36 am

    Well, what can I say? I was named Amy, along with 1000s of other baby girls born in the 1970s. I married a “Matt” and he came with the #2 last name, Johnson. We weren’t going to create our own name with our first child, but definitely needed something less common. We found a family name, and a name we both liked that seemed “antique” enough to not be overly popular. We were shooting at 400/1000 on the SSN list. We did know a couple of girls 5-10 yrs older who were daughters of friends, so we asked if they minded. Nope, theirs were family names too. And now we have a girl with a name that busted into the top 100 on SSN last year. I’m fine with it. We weren’t the first and probably not the last. Guess we could have gone with Apple, not Lucy, but we love her for the person she is.

  11. Rachael 05/14/2013 at 9:54 am

    When I was being wheeled in for my 2nd c-section there was a sign on the whiteboard that listed the most popular name of the week, and it was my top pick. I switched to my #2 pick . . . which about 3 years later became one of the most popular names around.

  12. Hildie 05/14/2013 at 9:42 am

    I have a 14-year-old Finn and when we picked that name we had never met a living soul with that name. We checked the stats on the SSA website and Finn wasn’t even in the top 1000. We thought we were safe. Now there are Finns everywhere from the Disney channel to the back of the goldfish cracker bag. Most of the real life Finns are under 5. It gives me some comfort knowing that I had good taste long before they did. Mostly, though, it just makes me mad. As in FURIOUS. I also have a son named jasper (born before Twilight, but thank you Stephenie Myers for making everyone think that’s why we picked his name.). A girl I know through relatives named her young sons Finn and Jasper and then had the nerve to say she didn’t copy me. I can’t even talk about her, it makes me so mad. So, no, I haven’t gotten over giving my kid(s) names that have become popular.