When naming a baby, do you pick out the name before the baby is born or do you wait to see the personality of the baby? Do people 'grow' into their names?As I am not a mother, nor have I ever experienced the joy and discomfort of incubating a living being in my uterus, I can only respond to the first question in the hypothetical and based on conjecture. If past experience is any indicator, I can safely assume that I will be the type of expectant mother who names her baby beforehand. I say this, because I have what some might not-so-kindly refer to as an obsession with naming things. Personally, I prefer to think of it as a penchant for naming things.
My iPod has a name (John Boy), my teddy bear has a name (Teddy - creative I know), even my laptop has a name (My Love - don't ask). My point is that I name everything, and I can't imagine that I would go 40 weeks with a living being growing inside me and be able to refer to it only as "the baby." Besides, I've heard that fetuses demonstrate quirks and respond to outside stimuli, which can arguably be considered personality, and anything with a noticeable personality needs a name as far as I'm concerned.
That being said, I do think that people grow into their names (or nicknames as the case may be). I think that there are certain stereotypes and personality traits accompany names, and more than acting a certain way because your name "makes you," I think that people are treated a certain way based on their names, and that can affect how a person develops. For instance, a Mary Lou is treated much differently than a Victoria. And, that's not even getting into the pop cultural association with certain names, like Scarlett, Marsha, et cetera.
If authors have to be particular about choosing character names, then I think parents should be equally responsible for choosing people names.