Tess Holliday: Meet My Baby Boy Bowie Juniper

08/03/2016 at 01:00 PM ET

Tess Holliday and her partner Nick had always liked the name Bowie, but they wanted to make sure the name fit their son before officially settling on Bowie Juniper.

“He was Baby Doe for the first three days,” Holliday, 31, tells PEOPLE. “We wanted him to have a name that no matter what kind of person he grew into, it would suit.”

Bowie’s dad felt the name was a perfect tribute to the late David Bowie, whom he had long admired.

“David Bowie was really important to me because he was the first person that showed me that there was a different way of being a man,” Nick, 31, says.

Tess Holliday Nick Holliday Bowie Juniper Exclusive
Denise Crew

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The name Juniper grew out of Nick’s love for flower names.

“I think they’re beautiful for girls, and there’s not a lot equivalent for men, so I literally just went through a list of botanicals and Juniper was on the list,” he says.

“We thought it suited him because he has such a sweet temperament,” adds Holliday.

While the boundary-breaking model and her artist partner originally were hoping for a girl, Holliday’s 10-year-old son Rylee from a previous relationship really wanted a baby brother.

“I feel like he willed it to the gods,” jokes Holliday. “But I can’t imagine him not being here. We’re really happy.”

Although Bowie is less than two months old, he’s already reached an adorable milestone.

“He started smiling a week ago!” says Holliday. “If you talk to him, or tickle his cheek or his little nose, he’ll smile. You can be having the worst day and he’ll make his little smile and I’m so happy.”

Tess Holliday Nick Holliday Bowie Juniper Exclusive
Denise Crew

So far, having a newborn has been relatively smooth sailing for the Los Angeles-based body-positive activist.

“I feel like we got lucky,” she says. “People always say terrible things to you when you’re pregnant, like, ‘You’re never going to sleep!’ He’s been sleeping for about six hours a night. It’s so nice! He’s such a sweet, chill guy.”

The biggest challenge has been trying to divide her time between Bowie and Rylee.

“It’s harder in just trying to make sure that I’m giving both my kids attention and paying attention, and constantly telling Rylee, ‘We love you just the same,’ ” she says. “That has been really challenging.

“But I feel more comfortable this time because I’ve done it before, and I feel more confident in my skills because Rylee’s still here so I obviously did something right!” she continues.

Bowie already shares some of Holliday’s physical features — “I think he has my nose, and he definitely has my lips,” she says — and even is starting to emulate his big brother.

“He pouts, which Rylee used to do too,” says Holliday. “I have a lot of photos of Rylee poking out his bottom lip, and he pokes his lip out too.”

So are more babies on the horizon?

“I think I’m definitely open to having another one, but maybe planning the next one a little better,” says Holliday.

“This was a surprise,” adds Nick. “Any one that’s not a surprise would be nice!”

For more from Tess Holliday, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.

— Gabrielle Olya

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Showing 16 comments

stinky on

beautiful baby.
hideous tattoos.
i’m not against breastfeeding.
i don’t know why someone would post breastfeeding on facebook? For strangers to see? Seems ridiculous and unnecessary.

Jen on

Bowie JUNIPER?????? Good grief, people should have to apply for baby name approval before saddling a defenseless kid with something so stupid.

guest on

Fat pig. Wait. that’s an insult to poor pigs.

LilliM on

@ stinky , beautiful baby, beautiful tattoos, beautiful picture of her breastfeeding her child. Your comment seems unnecessary. Don’t sexualize breast feeding.

mer on

Moms post breastfeeding to normalize it. Still too many people have issues with public breastfeeding, this is a good way to make them get use to it.

Valerie Evans on

Why does this cow use the name ” Holiday ”
She idnt married to her ” boy ” friend.

Sarah on

she is married to her “partner” as she calls him and has been for a year. he admitted they married for immigration purposes on the advice of their attorneys. so that’s another lie she has fed everyone. you can find her marriage certificate online.

educator on

no. just no. hashtag #killintimacy

Lol on

@Mer that’s just it. You can’t make anyone get used to anything. Its naive and petty to think so. You are either comfortable or you arent. There isn’t a right or wrong way but there is a lack of respect from both sides. If you want to bf in public, go for it. People can look away because it’s not about them, it’s about your hungry baby, that is the most and only important point to make about public bf. Posting pics anywhere is useless as no one needs to see it, you’re basically just forcing tits down everyone’s throat and expecting them to like it in a non sexual way AFTER your babe is already fed and you’re looking for attention? Yeah you guys needa better thought out bf plan because A) no one wants to see a baby stuck on a nipple for no reason on their social media feed….they would rather see a cute baby whose face isn’t stuffed behind titty fat and B) by posting pics to “normalize” it you only hurt your cause because you are no better than the flip side of the coin. If you only cared to bf to actually feed your child without showing off your tits like a harlot expecting to be made a Saint perhaps people wouldn’t care so much…

Guest on

If you have nothing nice to say don’t say it at all. That’s something they taught you in kindergarten. I’m sorry the education system failed you so badly.

Jennifer on

Why even open comments on articles about Tess? They attract the very worst of humanity to spew their hatred and it’s frankly depressing.

educator on

i´ll leave it to people like you to pass a real judgement of Solomon! 🙂 kind regards, dear @guest; PS: everyone is entitled to his own views (in a public forum)

peachy on

WTH are these people?

Shazam on

I do not have an issue with this woman or her tattoos or her weight. What I do have issue with is her parading her almost nude photos on the internet. Have some class…you have children. What kind of example are you? They will definately get harrassed for this if the 10 year old already hasn’t.

Pam on

Such a horrible name! She should lose some weight, for her kids’ sake.

Algore on

“David Bowie was really important to me because he was the first person that showed me that there was a different way of being a man.” We’re doomed.