Baby naming rules

Now that we know for sure it’s going to be a boy, we’re pretty much back to the drawing board in the naming department.

Choosing a name is so fun (all the possibilities!) but also terribly stressful because it’s kind of a big deal, choosing a name that will stick with him for life. I’ve gone through hundreds of boys names and I’m just not feeling the name for this baby yet. And much as I love the sound of Olaf Kao (for real!), the husband has exercised his veto power so I guess boo to that.

Anyhow, in case you’re interested, here are some of my universal rules when it comes to choosing a name:

1. Thou shalt not name thy child after friends/family because…awkward.

Basically, anyone within 1 degree of separation is off limits. I like names like Joseph, James, Jayme, Fred and Ellen but it would be so awkward to name my kid after a friend. Like hey son, meet this uncle with the same name as you do and um, any resemblance is purely coincidental. Think of all the unnecessary questions that will pop up, that’ll be fun.

2. Thou shalt not name thy child after friends’ kids because…dibs. 

The rules are that whoever has a baby first gets to claim dibs on the cool names before everyone else. Which means that as much as I like Jude or Carter or Vera or Oliver, I’m a little late to the game and these names have already been taken by friends’ kids. Also, playdates would be so complicated.

3. Thou shalt not name thy offspring after random stuff because…why would anyone do this?

Why am I even explaining this? Names of products or animals or colours are not suitable options for a child, no matter how much we may like those things. Apple, Unicorn, Blue, Shadow, Breeze, these are items, and naming tiny humans after them would be way too confusing.

4. Thou shalt not name thy child anything too pretentious because…he might get punched in the face.

The caveat here is that there’s a slim chance my baby could pull off a name like Einstein or Voltaire or Black Sabbath but do I really want to take that chance? The answer the no. It’s far more likely that he will be mocked mercilessly by everyone he meets or occasionally take one in the nose.

5. Thou shalt not name thy child something too common because…ok, yawn.

I know 7 Johns, 7 Rachels, 6 Esthers and 8 Seans/Shawns. They’re all great names, which is probably why so many people have them but I’d be bummed if my kid is 1 of 4 Ryans in class.

So that leaves me with the incredibly difficult task of selecting a name that hasn’t already been taken by people I know, that’s cool but not (too) pretentious, unique but not weird, and one that feels just right for this baby I haven’t even met.

Here are the contenders for this baby for now:

i. Theo

ii. Connor

iii. Axil

iv. Declan

v. Everitt

vi. Titus

vii. Avery

viii. Rhys

ix. Hayden

x. Lincoln

Votes are welcome. 

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  • Reply Jingxian March 14, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Ends with double t like his big bro

  • Reply Felicia Josephine Lee March 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm


  • Reply Connie March 14, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    You jus given me some inspirational names too though it’s too early for me to decide. I prefer Theo or Hayden as they are uncommon :)


    • Reply drey March 26, 2014 at 11:17 am

      Great minds think alike! Xp

  • Reply TA March 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Hayden because it’s closest to Hayley, the name you picked if it was a girl.

  • Reply Jane Soo March 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    Theo is nice… It’s like my name is Theo and my big bro is Truett.. :) Unless u decide for baby no.5 to be a girl, Hayley.. Then Hayden.. Hehe..

  • Reply Jazel Lim March 14, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Everitt, close to Truett, but not too similar.

  • Reply shermine March 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm


  • Reply Anonymous March 14, 2014 at 2:43 pm


  • Reply Sharon March 14, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    Declan & Titus caught my eye from e list!

  • Reply gret March 14, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    I vote for Everitt!!

  • Reply YT March 14, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Haha, Theo would be funny. Your husband would be known as Theo Kao’s Bei (Hokkien for Father)

    I vote for Hayden

  • Reply ws March 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Rhys or Theo!

    Multiple-syllable names will be shortened to single syllable most of the time (Tru for Truett?), so a single syllable name is the way to go…

    If Hayden: it’ll be funny if everyone calls him Hay (Hey!), no?

  • Reply Darienna Foo March 14, 2014 at 6:09 pm

    Titus or Theo!

  • Reply Alisha March 14, 2014 at 6:25 pm

    I love your blog! I’m a mama-to-be. I’ve shortlisted names for girls, but names for boys are so difficult. Everitt is my fav from your list!

  • Reply Nur'Ashiqin March 14, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    THEO sounds good to me! Theo Kao.
    Declan comes a close second… you could call him Dec for short. :)

  • Reply Jer March 14, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Everitt or Hayden

  • Reply Kiki March 14, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    I like Hayden Kao!!!! haha

  • Reply Living Serenely March 14, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Titus or Theo I think!
    Living Serenely´s last post ..Our Miniature Dinosaur Series (plus a terrific early childhood education teaching tip)

  • Reply G March 14, 2014 at 9:16 pm


  • Reply Christabelle March 15, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Everitt & Titus

  • Reply MieVee @ March 15, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Everitt sounds goods, whereas Avery is a popular brand of adhesive printing labels, so please skip that. Have fun! :)
    MieVee @´s last post ..Save money on baby food, vitamins & more [iHerb Review #2]

  • Reply Sumee March 15, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Avery, just cause Jackson Avery from Grey’s Anatomy is HOTT!! Haha… ^_^

  • Reply Joanna March 15, 2014 at 10:43 pm


    Theo reminds me of my boss, cos he is called Theo!

  • Reply Ellen March 17, 2014 at 1:28 am

    I must be the stand alone voting for Lincoln. I love that name! Presidential! but maybe only because I’m from America. Haha.

  • Reply Summer March 17, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Hmmm.. *thinks hard* quite an impressive list you have, daphne! I must be the only one here but I am rooting for Connor. =) Just love the sound of that name.
    Summer´s last post ..It’s one of the best things about being a mum – Why I breastfed for 16 months

  • Reply Melissa March 17, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Theo or Declan!

  • Reply Daphne March 17, 2014 at 4:39 pm

    Thanks for all the votes, you guys! We’re probably leaning towards Theo for now, at least until we can come up with something better. :)

  • Reply CChung March 17, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    We used a “name roulette” that we found online when we were expecting our first son. Esko came up after 2 trials and we took it. We had similar criteria like yours, cool but not pretentious, unique but not weird. And oh, I had one more criterion, I like names that start with E.

    • Reply CChung March 17, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      And oh, I forgot to add. My husband’s name is Olaf. Good that your hubby vetoed it since this name was mainly given to people born between 4 to 6 decades ago here in Germany, :-).

  • Reply Michelle | The Chill Mom March 19, 2014 at 12:14 am

    Congrats on your pregnancy! I’m currently pregnant with no.2 too. But mine is a girl, so we are also in the process of choosing a name.

    As for boys, I like Connor and Hayden.
    Michelle | The Chill Mom´s last post ..Easy Peasy Lentil Soup

  • Reply Anastacia March 19, 2014 at 8:42 am

    All the names are so cool! Although I think if every parent here thinks like you, these children will grow up in a Sarah/Mary/John/Sean-free environment.. and those names will then become the “cool” names to have haha..

  • Reply wahju March 19, 2014 at 12:52 pm

    number 5 or 8! sounds really unique:)

  • Reply Natasha April 7, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Rhys or Theo are my favs!! :)

  • Reply belinda April 24, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    hayden everitt

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