7 Tips for Choosing a Baby Name


A little bundle of joy is about to be in your arms a few months from now, but you haven’t got any possible choices for names yet. How do you capture your unique style, incorporate your spouse’s choices, and give your baby a name she’ll be proud to live up to? Use these easy tips to choose a baby name that will satisfy you, your child, and your spouse.

1. Take time to think

What are you really looking for in a baby name? Do you want something traditional and close to your heart because of a beloved family member? Are you looking for an exotic, unusual name? Or would you rather use a name that isn’t of American nationality, so your child can be unique? Sit down with your spouse and get this part of the process over with. Let your spouse contribute his ideas, share your own, and think of a general category you want your baby name to fall under. Once you’ve done this, look up these types of names on the Internet and choose a possible few that sound promising.

2. Make a list

One organized document that contains all the names you’re considering is crucial. Computer documents work just as well as a notebook and pencil. Keep this list as organized and as easy to read as possible. If you’ve decided to be surprised by the baby’s gender, create different-colored tabs in your notebook for the boy name section and the girl name section. If you’re considering names from several different categories, create different sections in your computer document that consider names from each section. Let categorization be a major part of keeping your list organized, so it’s easy to flip to what you want to find.

3. Consult someone important

Sometimes, even you and your spouse aren’t enough to come up with the just-right name for your baby. Ask someone truly important to you who impacted your life and you know is an excellent advice-giver. Good choices include your parents, siblings, grandparents, or life-long friends you share the same taste with. Write down the good suggestions these people give to you and add them to your list.

4. Be thorough

Just because a name sounds beautiful rolling off your tongue doesn’t mean it’s the perfect one for your baby. Look up the meaning of the name and see if it is something you want your child to be named. It’s been said for centuries that baby names affect the child’s personality, and some degree of this is true—children live up to their names, so make sure you choose a name accordingly. The name “Sapphire” may produce a gorgeous visual in your mind, but does a blue gemstone exude importance, strength, and other moral values you hold dear? Check your outlining and see what kind of meanings you want your child’s name to hold.

More: 7 Things to Consider When Naming Your Baby

5. Mix and mingle

A group filled with mommies-and-daddies-to-be can be just the right thing to help you choose your baby’s name. These women and men are going through the same experience you are, worrying about the same panic-inducing questions you are, panicking over the same situations you are. A person who you can relate to is more likely to offer good suggestions and tips, and they’ll take your concern in stride rather than brushing it off. And not only can these groups benefit you and your family, but you can have the chance to offer your wisdom, however limited, to another future parent as well. Groups for pregnant women and their husbands can be a great outlet to share your thoughts, express your worries, and glean some tips on how to name your child.

6. Consider middle names

You’ve looked through thousands of baby name dictionaries, consulted several people, and had so many meetings with your spouse your brain is starting to hurt from all the thinking. A few promising names are on your list, but they don’t sound quite right with your last name. Have you considered middle names? A name that you’d automatically reject might make a wonderful middle name for a first name you like. It could also be the other way around, with a name you thought weird making an excellent first name and a previously chosen name as the middle name. Throw middle names into the equation and see how this affects your search.

7. Trust yourself

If the names you like sound odd or don’t appeal to people around you, don’t let this stop you from adding them to the list! Trust your own thoughts and listen to your instinct. This is your baby, after all. Let yourself consider every name you like, whether or not it’s a popular choice among others. And if it’s the other way around, with several people pressuring you for one name that you’re not particularly fond of, tune in to your mind and reject it. Don’t be afraid to step out and choose a name that reflects your style.

With so many wonderful baby names out there, naming your baby is not an easy task. Consider all names you and your spouse like and don’t let anyone pressure you into a name you actually don’t like.