This is the real story behind Cheryl and Liam Payne’s choice of baby name

We did not see that one coming

Words by Jadie Troy-Pryde

Cheryl and Liam Payne welcomed their first child this year, and they have been fiercely private about homelife with their tiny bundle of joy. Bear Grey Payne was born in March, and while the couple have not shared any photos of their son, Liam has been sharing cute anecdotes about him while promoting his debut album.

Cheryl is expected to talk about baby Bear in an upcoming interview with This Morning, but one question everybody has had since his birth is – where did the name inspiration come from?

Over the years, the couple had separately discussed their favourite baby names in interviews, with Cheryl favouring Aflie, and Liam liking Taylor. So why did they pick Bear?

During an interview on The Late Late Show with James Corden, Liam revealed its special meaning. Sat with Corden, comedian Jim Gaffigan and Dawson’s Creek star James Van Der Beek, Liam said: ‘As you can see I’m surrounded by Jameses, so you can’t really be the first James anymore, can you? It’s not possible.

‘So the only logical thing to do was to call him Bear.’

When probed to explain where the name came from, Liam continued: ‘You know what? When he was born, I think one of the midwives said it, he actually has this thing where if they don’t have a good cry, they get fluid on their lungs which is quite serious.

‘So he was going ‘grrr’, growling away when he was sleeping, so I had specialists running in and out of the hospital while my missus was asleep and he was being checked over, and they were like, “Oh, I’m not really sure, we’ll get someone else in.”

‘And I had like, ten doctors coming in the room and in the end, one guy was like, “Dude I’m not being funny, there’s nothing wrong with him – just likes to make a lot of noise.”

‘And that’s carried on ever since – so he just became Bear.’

It’s a different version of events compared to Liam’s previous admission. He once said that choosing the moniker was a tough job, and that he and Cheryl had disagreed initially. He told Total Access: ‘It was an internal battle. I wanted a more traditional name and she wanted a name that was more unusual.

‘The reason she chose Bear was because Bear is a name that when you leave a room, you won’t forget – and I like that.

‘You know what? Now he is Bear. When I look at him, he’s just Bear. At first I wasn’t really having it. I was like: “I’m not really sure. I don’t really understand.”

‘Now I look at him and he’s Bear. You become your name as you get older anyway.’

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