When Bode Miller and Morgan Beck Miller announced the birth of their identical twin boys earlier this month, they surprised some by admitting that their new arrivals didn’t have names just yet.
“It’s been a point of contention, as you can imagine,” Bode Miller said over a phone call with the Today show.
Some of us have a hard enough time coming up with one name for one child. The retired professional skier has already had a part in naming five kids—daughter Neesyn Dace, 11, and son Samuel Nathaniel, 6, from previous relationships, as well as his children with wife Morgan, sons Edward Nash Kan, 4, and Easton Vaugh Rek, 18 months, and daughter Emeline Grier, who passed away in 2018 at 19 months old.
You’ll note that we’re not just talking about one name each, either. Those are some seriously thought-out middle names, too.
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“It’s a daily battle to the point where some days we have to stop the conversation and revisit the following day,” Morgan told People of their baby naming challenge. “Always finding the blend of the two names is a challenge, but I feel like we’ve done a really good job in the past of creating these unique names that end up fitting our kids.”
Complicating matters is the fact that the twins birth came so quickly after the loss of Emeline and birth of Easton. The family also recently decided to make a second home in Montana, near the Big Sky ski resort. They had their hands full even before their youngest boys’ fast home birth happened on November 8.
Bode and his mother had to assist in the babies’ delivery because it happened so quickly, their midwives couldn’t get there in time. Still, the couple are happy to have stayed home, if only so they didn’t get pressured to name their kids right away. In addition to not quite agreeing on anything both parents have said they’re going to make their name decisions after observing the boys’ personalities a little more.
“They have such different personalities right now and it’s going to be cool to let them be a little bit,” Bode said on Today.
The Millers certainly aren’t alone in putting off the naming task. While hospitals do suggest having a name for a baby’s birth certificate before being discharged, it’s not absolutely necessary.
The laws vary from state to state on how long you have after birth to put something on their birth certificate, and how to make changes after the certificate has been issued. In New York, for example, you can even leave the first name blank at first. You can change or add the name without charge at the hospital where you gave birth within the first 12 months.
(In some places, it may be more complicated, so check with your state if you’re considering this.)
According to a survey by BabyCenter.com, about 18% of parents pick their babies’ names when they’re born, and another 8% wait a few days or weeks. The wait may be justified for those who are uncertain. Nameberry co-founder Linda Rosenkrantz told Parents.com that name remorse is common. “As many as 10% of all parents have some regret about their choice because there’s so much pressure nowadays for us to choose the perfect name—it’s not unusual at all,” she said.
If you’re in the same boat as the Millers, don’t sweat it. But also, don’t put it off for too, too long. Babies do start to recognize their own names when they’re about 5-7 months old. You probably don’t want them to think they’re called “Hey, you” at that point.