One of the most daunting tasks of becoming a new parent (in my experience) has been that of naming. There are so many things to consider. And not only do you have so many things to think about in choosing that name, you also have to go through every step of that process with another human being… the baby’s father! Agreeing on something can be a frustrating task at times.
Our first child was a very overwhelming journey to finding a name, and we honestly weren’t even sure about it when we made it legal. We just had a hard time deciding. With our second child, finding the name came a lot easier and it was mostly because we had learned so much the first time around!
So, if this is your first time going through the process of finding that perfect name, let me help you out by sharing some of the things I learned through our journey so that you can hopefully have an easier and more fun experience choosing your baby’s forever name.
Use Elimination Techniques
Even if there’s a name you’ve been dreaming about since you were 3, you are now having a child with someone who may not feel the same way. Instead of just presenting that name as your favorite of all time and demanding it be the one, start big and use the process of elimination as a couple to choose equally.
One of the best ways to do this is for each of you to make a list of ALL the names that you like enough to use. Feel free to write down some names that you maybe don’t even love, but that you would be willing to use. There are many ways to organize it, but start out with a big list of options. (For us, that was just me writing the list because my husband didn’t want to write a list. He was okay just reading my ideas and picking from them. You can do whatever is best for your relationship and personalities!)
Then, go through each other’s lists and cross out the NO WAY’s, put a question mark by the MAYBE’s, and circle the YES’s. Then compare your lists. If you each have said “maybe” next to a name, then it become’s a “yes”!
Choose Names That Honor
Personally, my favorite names are ones that mean something special to the family. I don’t want to name my children only names that I like because I feel like there isn’t as much meaning to it. Of course, everyone’s preferences are different, but I think most families would love to include special names in their options.
A good list for each partner to make in addition to your “names I like” list would be family names, or other special people in your lives, that you would like to name your children after. This can be family surnames, first or middle names of any parents/grandparents/etc., people who have died that you would like to honor, or just dear friends that have meant a lot to you.
Once you narrow down some names that you and your partner both feel comfortable with using, whip out your “special family names” list and see what flows with your other names. Then you and your partner can choose the name that makes your heart beat a little faster when you put it all together!
Don’t Tell People
Now, obviously, this is a personal choice. But I have found that people are just far too nosy about everything when it comes to having babies and it can get downright annoying. The first time we told the gender and after that everyone wanted to know our names. The worst part about telling is that if you haven’t had the baby yet, people will share their opinion freely and may make you second guess a name that you were confident in.
If you don’t share the name, then no one will be able to comment. And the best way we have found to avoid sharing the name is by not sharing the gender either! Keep all the secrets and save the opinions.
There are a few names that me and my husband both like, but the nicknames that generally go along with those names were NOT okay with us. Yes, we could choose the names and be adamant that no one use the nicknames… but I just don’t think that’s practical, personally. Even if you avoid the nicknames for their younger years, they are going to have friends, teachers and relative that nickname them without your consent and some nicknames will stick.
If you REALLY hate a nickname, don’t choose the name. I know it’s a bummer, but it’s the most practical thing to do. Also, if you really don’t like nicknames, choose a name that doesn’t usually get a nickname (usually names with 1-2 syllables that don’t break up easily). If you really do love nicknames, make sure you choose a name that has several cute nickname options that you really do like so that no matter what people choose to call your child you will be alright with it.
Don’t Try For A Theme
I know there are SO many parents who want their kids to have themed names with their siblings. Whether that’s making them all the same letter, similar sounds, meanings, or origins, there are some problems with having a theme.
If you and your hubby are only planning a few kids and you are sure you have your names picked out ahead of time, it could be cute and if that’s what you want go for it! But if you don’t pick them ahead of time you could end up running into issues with finding a name that you both like AND fits the theme. Then you will end up with either a name you don’t like very much OR one kid that doesn’t fit with the rest of the kids.
Not that either of those things are the end of the world, but I think freedom is best in naming children. If you don’t have a theme, then you don’t have any restrictions when picking your names. Of course, it’s nice for your children’s names to sound good together, but to be honest most names are going to be just fine unless they rhyme (unless rhyming names are what you’re going for………. *please don’t*)
It’s Not That Big Of A Deal
Our first time around, we were so stressed about finding that “perfect” name. We wanted to be sure it sounded right, fit our kid’s personality, sounded good with our last name, didn’t have any weird initials, wouldn’t be too weird or too normal, and felt “right” when we said it. Honestly, we never found all of those qualifiers.
We were stressed about the one name we had finally agreed on, because neither of us were too overly excited about it. It was literally the only one that worked and we both were okay with. When we were getting very close to the due date, my dad told us “You know, it really doesn’t matter what you name the kid. Once you choose it, it just is what it is. They grow into their name and other people won’t care after you make it official.”
He was SO RIGHT. We used that name because there was literally nothing else we could think of. And you know what? It’s perfect. We love it because it’s special to us (both are family names) and to our extended family, it fits our child because he grew into it, and it just is what it is. We don’t have regrets and we wouldn’t change it if we could.
This second time around has been so much easier. We agreed on names for each gender, picked middle names that are special family names, and called it good. We aren’t worried about the if’s and’s and but’s of everything because we know it will all be fine.