Pregnancy.org Members Speak Out: Choosing a Baby Name

by Jackie Hershwitz

As soon as you get that positive pregnancy test, names start bouncing around in your head! Your head is whirling with family names, special meanings, and your partner's preference. As soon as you spread the news, everyone else seems to have their own helpful "suggestions."

Choosing the perfect name for your child can either be a bonding experience or a battle. How did you work together naming your baby?

Did You...

  • Pick a letter of the alphabet to name all your kids or maybe an alphabet pattern (Alice, Bradley, Cecelia...)?
  • Write lists...lots and lots and lots of lists?
  • Use a baby name book or popular name list?
  • Name your tiny tot after a family member?
  • Let the internet pick the name via web polls, online random name pickers or other tools?
  • Name your child after a favorite character or famous person?
  • Use some other method in your quest? (Tell us in the comments!)

We asked our members what helped them sift through all the possibilities. If you have a helpful tip, help other parents-to-be and put it in the comments!

Dream a Name

"I had a dream one night, and in it were two boys' names and one girl's name (including the middle names). I told my husband them and he loved them. At 15 weeks, I said to him that we should start thinking about baby names. He said, 'I thought they were already picked out? The ones you dreamt.' I laughed and said, 'Well it's a little presumptious of me to assume those would be the names without your say.' He really liked the names and picked the boys name out of the two that he liked the most." ~Jbaum2

Techie's Techniques

"My husband is a computer guy, and very methodical so our baby naming methods for both kids have been very methodical. We made spreadsheets, and had a rating system based on several factors, such as nicknames, popularity, how they sound with our last name, meaning, etc. Once we narrowed the names down to our top few, we selected from among them. The funny thing is, each time, we ended up with the names I wanted all along. I think we would have no matter what we'd done, but it makes him feel better to do it this way. It's cute!" ~Katie

"I admit that I have an Excel spreadsheet saved on my computer. Every time I hear a name I like, I add it to the list. I have columns for new ideas, husband-approved, -meh, and -rejected. I also have middle name ideas and the full names of relatives I'd be okay honoring with a namesake, along with derivations of their names (i.e. Henry for a relative named Henrietta)." ~indianajones

The Alphabet Rules

"We decided early on to go with all C or K names. We had our name picked out if he had been a girl from before we conceived, but had a harder time with boy names. I loved the name Corbin and my husband liked it but wasn't totally sold. Ultimately he couldn't come up with anything he liked better so we went with that. He totally loves the name now and is so glad it's what we named him." ~Caitlin

"My husband's family has been using the letter 'D' for names for two generations already so we were the third. Now that eliminated a lot of options right there! Not only did it have to begin with 'D' but it couldn't be any of the 'D' names that already riddled though both our families! ~julieanddanny

Famous Names

"The middle name was to be Scott because that is my husband's middle name and his father's middle name and so on. The first name came about while watching episodes of Battlestar Galactica...and, yes, I mean the sci-fi television series. There is a character named Colonel Saul Tigh and we just thought that Tigh was a great name and the fact that the spelling was a bit unusual sold us." ~Christine

Using the Computer

"We searched the internet randomly (shameful, I know) and settled on a name we both kind of liked and kept going back to. Then when my husband was out picking up a couple of things he came home with a little Christmas stocking button that read, 'Mason' on it. I guess that was that. I picked his middle name. I still carry that little button in my wallet, sentimenal fool that I am." ~Christina

"We had a bunch of boy names we liked. We wrote each name on a post it note and put them on the edge of the computer screen. Every time we used the computer we would each pull a name off, the last name left was what we were going to name him. The last name left was Brady Thomas so that is what we named him." ~Kathleen

Endless Lists

I spent time going through baby books and writing down names on little slips of paper when they 'came to me' or I heard them in passing. Once I trapped my husband on a long car trip and we went through a whole baby name book! ~Sandra

"I've always been a big name enthusiast and been keeping a list of names since high school, read birth announcements and obituaries to check out names, name my fictional quintuplets, watch the baby show just to hear the names, etc.... I figured I'd be well prepared when it came to naming my own baby. When I found myself pregnant, I suddenly drew a blank! My name list was reviewed, and ditched for a newer, more realistic name list." ~Shawn

Still Stuck for a Name

"A friend shared her method. This obviously wouldn't work if one of you has a very specific name you're dead set on, or if your tastes are COMPLETELY divergent, but if you're kind of throwing around similar ideas but just can't quite agree, it works wonders! Also of note: The names we were completely at odds over never even showed up on our lists by the time we got to the put-up-or-shut-up stage. Until the gender scan, we each maintained separate lists of names we liked. Once we knew it was a girl, we went to our favorite restaurant and each made a list of our top ten names in no particular order. We then swapped lists and each vetoed five. Then we ranked the remaining names, and the highest ranking match won -- for us that happened to be second on both of our lists, so we were both happy. Everyone can feel good, because it's impartial and nobody has to feel like they 'lost.'" ~Leigh

No matter what method you use, it seems that people will get the name that was "meant to be." You'll find that you and your partner's intuition can guide you on the naming journey! Before you let those lists and rhymes stress you out, let your heart do a little talking, too!

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