Ask Kelsey: How Did You Choose Your Kids’ Names?

Blogger birth story

These posts have been so much fun to share this year! I’ve been writing about some of the questions I’ve gotten on instagram or blog world, like sharing an in-depth account of my acne story, my experience of transitioning from one to two kids, and my career as a violinist.

And today: how did I choose my kids’ names?

One of my favorite topics! I love chatting with other parents about how they chose their kids’ names. 

Pregnant with Dayton and going to an Austin FC game with toddler Milo! 

It’s no small task to choose a name that someone will wear for the rest of their life. And it kind of feels (at least in my circle) that there’s this added pressure to come up with something unique tha tnot everyone else is using. (Ha! More on tha tin a second.) 

Milo’s name: 

Milo’s full legal name is Miles Robert Kennedy.

How did you choose your kids names?

For our first son, we knew that we wanted Robert for his middle name. (Why are middle names always soooo much easier than first names? Ha.) 

When Nate and I were choosing his first name, we had a couple of boundaries in place: 


1. It had to be one or two syllables (because Kennedy is already a bit long). 

2. It couldn’t end in a “k” sound (because if you say something like Jack Kennedy out loud, the Ks blend together and it just doesn’t sound good to me. Haha, not that we would have chosen to name our son Jack Kennedy..) 

So we started choosing a few names, and eventually made a list of about 10 favorites. We’d try them out for a few weeks, calling our unborn son that name. There were a few I liked (that Nate didn’t), and a few he liked (that I didn’t), but Miles and Milo were two names we both liked. 

Second Trimester Bumpdate

Pregnant with little Milo in 2019. 

And so we got lazy and decided to give him both names. 😉 His official names is Miles, but we call him Milo, and that way if he decides he wants something a little less “cute” and more serious as he gets older, he has Miles available to him. 

The funny thing about choosing names that feel original: I thought that Milo was fairly original (the first time I heard it was from Milo Ventimiglia, the actor who plays Jess on Gilmore Girls) and I knew exactly zero Milos in the real world. 

Blogger birth story

And then we named Milo that in 2019, and it turns out it was like the 4th most popular male name that year. Haha. 

Dayton’s name: 

Dayton’s full name is Dayton Patrick Kennedy. 

Dayton's Newborn Photo Shoot

Ok, the second boy was really challenging! I had a bunch of girl names ready, but zero boy names. 

We didn’t resurrect any of the names from Milo’s name list, because we had gradually weeded those out one by one. So choosing a “second best” name for this second baby felt cruel. We started completely from scratch with those same two criteria: either 1 or 2 syllables, and couldn’t end in a K sound. 

Second Trimester

^Pregnant with my Dayton boy. 

We easily chose Patrick as the middle name (Nate’s middle name), and got a big list of first names to work through. 

We whittled it down to two favorites: Dayton and Brooks. Nate looooves the name Brooks. It was his top choice for Milo, but I have a few aquaintances who have used that name. I mean, I totally could have used it too, but I just felt like I wanted a name that no one I personally knew had used. (So much harder than it sounds!)

The funny thing is that after he was born and we named him Dayton, a very close college friend of mine had her baby and named him Brooks! Apparently they had that name prepared for years, so in hindsight I’m glad we went with Dayton instead. 

Dayton's Natural Birth Story

 And those are the stories behind my boys’ names. 

Did anyone else find it soooo hard to choose the name for your second born? Geez! 

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11 months ago

I love this!! I don’t have kids yet but I’ve already picked out a boy and a girl name. So fun to hear how you chose yours! I love the name Milo.

11 months ago

I love reading things like this! As an empty nester in her 50s, my days with babies are now decades ago. My two girls were named after my mother and my grandmother (we used their middle names) and I was never able to use my first choice in a boy name – Andrew!

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