14/08/2014 12:47 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Would You Trust Strangers To Name Your Baby? This Mum Has - For $5,000

Would you trust strangers to name your baby? This mum has - for $5,000

When our first son was born, we had a battle royal over what to name him. I insisted on calling him after my dad on the grounds that my mum named me after my dad.

"Over my dead body," my wife said.

And if you've noticed my byline, you might understand why. Keith never has been, and never will be, a fashionable name.

Fortunately, we had plenty of 'cool' family names to choose from, and opted for Tom, who is named after my grandfather, my uncle and my brother. Easy peasy.

But other parents don't have such easy safeguards – and so have turned to social networking to help them out.

'Baby-naming-by-popular-internet-vote' has become such a phenomenon that a company has even offered a mum-to-be a cash prize to allow cyber friends to choose the name for her yet-to-arrive offspring. The company is called, not so charmingly, Belly Ballot.

It begs the question, would you trust your newborn's name to the social network? And what price would you put on it?

In 26-year-old Natasha Hill's case it is $5,000 dollars (a sum I've just mentioned to my wife and she STILL won't let me change our son's name to mine!).

Natasha, from Los Angeles, California, began searching for baby names online and came across a contest on Belly Ballot, a social naming site that allows friends and family to vote for their favourite names.

To enter, applicants had to describe what they planned to do with the $5,000 cash prize; Natasha, who is almost three months pregnant, said she would pay off her credit card debt and put the rest away for her child's college fund.

Nearly 80 pregnant women applied, but Natasha won because of her 'honesty and enthusiasm', Belly Ballot co-founder Lacey Moler told The Huffington Post.

So, is this the solution for uncertain – or even warring – parents who can't decide on a name for their baby? Belly Ballot's business is based around the idea that parents often turn to social media for help selecting a name.

Indeed, parents have auctioned baby names on eBay or left the decision to a Facebook poll.

In fact, one of the most popular tools right here on Parentdish is our own