Australian actress Poppy Montgomery (Without a Trace) has her third baby on the way.

People often ask her if she’s picked out a name yet for her unborn son, and she wonders, “What if I mess it up?”

Six years ago when she was having her first, Jackson, she was going to call him Jack, because Jack Kaufman was “a strong, simple name, but still edgy and cool.”

That’s until she got to hospital to have the baby and announced to her relatives, “Little Jack is on his way! I can’t wait to meet him.”

Her father-in-law said, “You’ve got to be kidding me. You can’t name the kid Jack with a last name like Kaufman.”

When she asked him (between contractions) why on earth not, “He took my hands. ‘This is the greatest gift I will ever give my grandson,’ he said with a little smile. Then simply, ‘I want you to say Jack Kaufman three times fast.’”

OK, so “Jack-off man” was not going to work. Hence, Jackson.

Given that the 39-year-old actress grew up with Poppy Petal as a name, she points out almost nothing “can label a child for the rest of his or her life like a name. What might be fun and quirky initially (‘I’m the mother of Pearl Button!’) might well be regretted when the child is older and goes to school.”

“Imagine introducing yourself to a crowd as Doug Hole, Hazel Nut or Richard Head?”

At her 6th birthday party, the cake was unfortunately decorated for an old man – a Poppy. (Her sisters, by the way, are called Marigold Sun, Daisy Yellow, Rosie Thorn, Lily Belle and then there’s brother Jethro Tull. For real.)

Here, then, are Poppy Montgomery’s guidelines for choosing a baby name:

1. Keep it simple and honour the things you love.

2. Make a list of your top three names and start using them now, BEFORE baby arrives. Try it on for size. Yell it from the top of the stairs. Sing it in a lullaby.

If your love for it doesn’t diminish and the first one sticks, VOILA! If after a couple of weeks you can’t stand the sound of it, move on down the list. (We went through about 10 before we finally fell in love with Violet.)

3. Keep a sense of humour.

4. Follow Grandpa Kaufman’s advice and ALWAYS SAY BOTH NAMES TOGETHER THREE TIMES FAST!!!

How did you choose your bub’s name? Did you find it hard?

Main image courtesy of Instagram
  • Entertaining article, thanks. Regards, Rob Banks,


  • Tamasin was a negotiation. I can’t remember where I heard it and hubby wanted a Tammy but I just couldn’t do Tamara. I let him have the middle name which I had previously vetoed. Now my daughter has the initials TLC. Jeremy was a strong name we wanted so agreed pretty quickly. The 3rd child, since we already had 1 of each, decided to find out the sex. It didn’t make it easier. He ended up being called Baby for 2 weeks until we had to quickly decide on a name for registration purposes. I now have Blake, which I elongate by added e-boo to so he has just as many syllables as the other 2.


  • we have Jack O’Shea, love it! didn’t know what name to use but is simple, an old classic.
    Couldn’t have rick o’shea lol


  • My older one was named by my mum thankfully and the younger one just got one from the most popular list.


  • Wonderfully funny story, but also very good advice when it comes to choosing names! I even did the same with our pets :)


  • lol that’s hilarious! i think that child will love his grandpa so much for that good call.


  • I love Poppy and I didn’t know about her siblings names – how cool. Some great advice about the saying the name 3 times rule – always good to prevent future drama’s. Thank goodness my baby naming days are over!


  • Great suggestions. Choosing a name is hard. I actually love the name Poppy and would have loved it for a girl but my son called his grandfather Poppy so it was off the table for us.


  • I decided for my first in the car on the way to the hospital. For my last one I made a list of names I liked, my partner was working night shift so I gave him the list – she got the last two names that he didn’t cross off!!


  • I cant stand these stupid names people are calling there children I have a friend that has one son peter and the other son Jackson fair dinkum. Girls names are not to bad but little baby boys will be men one day think before you name your sons. Im very happy with the 3 son names I choose Brendan Wayne, Nathan Paul, Matthew Adrian. These will all be good mens names.


  • I think everyone should really think long and hard before naming their kids. We chose names that a tradional and normal spelling so that the have no problems later in life. Could you imagine spending your whole life having to spell your name because mum and dad thought they would be unique and make up your name? Poor kids!


  • thanks for sharing!


  • this is a great read, more should really think twice and then some before naming their baby.


  • Parents really do need to think about “Unique” spelling of their child’s name or a name that is not so “cute” when they’re in high school.


  • all parents need to say the names numerous times before settling


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