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These cute nicknames for your unborn baby will help you bond during pregnancy

Should you pick a nickname for your growing baby bump?

Man listening for baby.
fizkes / Shutterstock

You’ll probably want to talk to your unborn baby at some point during your pregnancy, but you may wonder how to best address them since you may not have chosen a name yet. Maybe you don’t even know the sex yet. A nickname for your unborn child can be an endearing way to talk to and about your baby during your pregnancy.

In addition to helping you and your partner have conversations about your little one, a nickname is much sweeter than referring to the child as “it” or the generic “the baby.” You might even wind up using this nickname for a while after the birth if you still need a little time to finalize your name decision.

If you have picked name, but aren’t ready to share it, using a nickname can help keep you, your partner, and other children from spilling the beans before the baby arrives. So, how do you go about finding a nickname for your unborn baby?

Pregnant woman drinking water while on the couch.
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Cute nicknames for your unborn baby

Choosing a nickname for your unborn baby is personal, like an inside joke or a secret only you and your partner share. You might even use the nickname to talk about your pregnancy before you’ve publicly announced it to family and friends. It turns out a lot of families end up selecting similar nicknames. In 2015, the ovulation test company Ovia surveyed its two million American users about the nicknames they had for their unborn babies and found that the top choices were Peanut and Bean.

Not surprisingly, Baby was the default nickname choice. Ovia was also able to detect regional trends, noting that names in the south often included Sugar, while variations on Bug were common in the northwest, and Bean was often the root of monikers in the northeast. Overall, popular nicknames tended toward the small, the sweet, and the edible. Let’s take a look at the cutest options to help you find a nickname that strikes a chord. Here’s a look at the best.

  • Bean – At one point, your baby resembled a legume in size and shape. Rock stars Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love famously took this one to the next level, officially naming their daughter Frances Bean once she arrived. Cobain is said to have thought she looked like a kidney bean in the ultrasound image.
  • Peanut – This shape is another legume milestone your baby hits around the nine-week mark.
  • Bump – You can always call your baby by the shape he or she is beginning to take under your skin.
  • Bun – Think of Bun as one that’s in the oven. Variations on Bun include Sweetbun and Pork Bun.
  • Jellybean – Take the legume idea a step further and make it sweeter.
  • Starburst – This sweet name, inspired by either candy or the heavens, was found by Ovia to be popular in California.
  • Nanouk – Unsurprisingly, this nickname for an unborn baby is popular in Alaska.
  • Happy Meal – Topping the charts in Colorado, Happy Meal is something in your tummy that makes you smile. Some parents get even more fast food-specific and go for McNugget as a nickname for their growing baby.
  • Schmoo – This nonsense word seems to work for families in Connecticut.
  • Bubula – Another cute nonsense nickname that’s popular in Florida.
  • Bug – A tiny word for your littlest wonder. Bugaboo is an adorable variation.
  • Bunny – A diminutive nickname for your baby that’s small and sweet.
  • Dumpling – Another treat small enough to eat in one bite and a charming nickname for your unborn baby.
  • Munchkin – As a baked good, this is a mouthful of sugar, but it’s also a darling nickname for your baby.
  • Pumpkin – Your baby won’t reach this size until he or she is about to arrive, but that doesn’t need to prevent you from using this nickname much earlier along in your pregnancy.
  • Thumper – A darling variation on the bunny theme names for a cozy nickname for your growing unborn baby.
  • Spud – This vegetable is tuberous and round, and about the size of your baby at 17 weeks. It can also be a quirky nickname.
  • Junior – Even if Junior won’t be part of your baby’s official name after the birth, you can still use this common term to refer to your unborn child.
  • Little Bloop – A nonsense word evoking the small and round makes for an agreeable nickname for your little one.
  • Butterbutt – Who wouldn’t want to use this term of endearment that’s popular in Kansas?
  • Fish Stick – This nickname can refer to the baby’s size or pregnancy cravings.
  • Sugalump – Parents-to-be in Mississippi refer to their little ones with this nickname.
  • Flutters – Try this one on for size after feeling those exciting baby movements.
  • Snookums – This nickname is a South Carolina fave with Southern flair.
  • Little Toot – Families in West Virginia favor this cutie nickname.
  • Pickle – Pickles might not be sweet, but using as a nickname for the unborn baby is.
  • Button – Think cute as a and see if Button fits as a nickname for your little one.
  • Sprout – This nickname is a perfect pick when your bump pops.
  • Boo – If your baby is due near Halloween, Boo can be the ideal nickname for your unborn baby.
Woman excited at pregnancy test
David Prado Perucha / Shutterstock

Where to find inspiration for nicknames for your unborn baby

If that lengthy list didn’t inspire you to find the perfect nickname for your unborn baby, it’s OK. Finding the ideal nickname can be as difficult as choosing a name for your child. For a more personal nickname, find inspiration from your relationship.

Where the baby was conceived

The place where your baby was conceived can make for a meaningful nickname for an unborn baby that is very personal. Did you and your partner get pregnant in Paris or maybe NYC? You get the idea.

When is the baby due?

Picking a nickname revolving around the season or a nearby holiday for your baby’s due date makes for a creative nickname. If your little one is due in February, Valentine is a sweet nickname for an unborn baby or summer, if baby’s arrival will be in June, July, or August.

Hope and dreams

Do you want your little one to grow up to be the next Derek Jeter or maybe a poet like Shakespeare? You might find nickname inspiration in the dreams you have for your little one. If the sky’s the limit, how about Sagan?

A mother and daughter wear sunscreen at the beach.

Ask the soon-to-be big brother or sister

If you’re still reaching for a nickname for your unborn baby and already have kiddos, get their input. Having the soon-to-be siblings have a hand in choosing a nickname can help them bond with the new baby before the due date.

Pregnant woman on a bed
Ground Picture / Shutterstock

Nickname for an unborn baby

No matter what you call your little one while he or she grows in utero, you are sure to bond with a cutesy nickname that’s unique to your family. The nickname you decide on may actually stick around longer than nine months. That’s the wonderful thing about nicknames.

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Marie Holmes
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Marie Holmes is New York City-based freelance writer. Her work has appeared in Good Housekeeping, Cosmopolitan, the The…
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