Choosing a baby name is difficult!
I mean, all of us have heard names that we find hideous, hilarious, stupid, or boring. Some of us hate our own names, wish we had a more unique name, or whatever. Yet very few people actually change their name for reasons other than legal ones like adoption, marriage, or divorce. This means new moms and dads have to pick a solid, awesome baby name, instead of something they or their child will regret later.
Knowing what to name my baby is always a thoroughly thought out endeavor between my husband and I. We look over the list of baby girl names and their meanings. We look over the list of baby boy names and their meanings. We look over popular lists of names for boys and girls throughout the years. We pray about the names, we try hard to figure out just what this unique set of DNA that we created should be called for the rest of their life.
To help you choose a baby name without regret, or going insane looking through list after list, I’ve polled other parents for their best tips on how to name a baby.
If you’re still in the decision process, download my FREE “Name Your Baby” Guide and get receive great pregnancy tips too! Choosing a baby name shouldn’t feel impossible!
How to Choose a Baby Name
Decide your Baby Name Style
- Do you and your spouse prefer traditional baby names like John, Michael, Joshua, Susan, Caroline, or Katherine?
- Or do you like really old fashioned baby names like Viola, Edith, Olive, Dorothy, Doris, or Walter, Chester, Talmadge, Stuart, or Albert?
- Or do you like contemporary baby names like Aiden, Maverick, Xander, Bailey, Alexis, Emerson, Taylor, Willow, or Katelyn?
- Or are you more into the really unique baby names, perhaps even with unique spellings, names like Neveah, CeeJay, Damario, Myeisha, Pyramid, Sailor, Tarragon, or Taffeta?
Use Your Family Tree to Name Your Baby
- Name your baby after your or your spouse’s mother, father, sibling or other close family member (or close friend), living or deceased.
- Use your Grandfathers’ or Grandmothers’ name, middle name, or surname as a middle name.
- Look back along your family tree, including cousins.
- Combine two or more family names together (to honor both families or two of your favorite relatives). For example you can combine David and Charleen for Daleen.
- Ask your parents and in-laws if there are any names that mean a lot to them that they would like you to use.
Name Your Baby After Someone Important to You
- Name your baby after someone who impacted your life, who inspired you. Could be a favorite teacher, a missionary, a neighbor, best friend, mentor, etc.
- Was there a movie, TV, or book character that impacted or inspired your life? A musician? What was their name?
- It is, however, a good idea to rule out baby names of people you or your partner were in a past relationship with as an option.
Location, Location, Location
- Name your baby after where they were conceived, when they were conceived or born, or a favorite place you’ve vacationed.
Baby Name Meanings
- Look up the meaning and origin of the names on your list and see if something is particularly meaningful there.
Search Around for Baby Name Inspiration
- Use a name that you heard somewhere and just liked it. Easy. Done.
- Use the name of your Disney crush, character from a movie or TV show or book.
- Search through your friends on Facebook, their friends and their friends looking for inspiration.
- Browse through a large Baby Names Book.
- Browse through the top 1000 names from the Social Security website throughout the last century.
- Read through the Bible for baby name inspiration.
- Consider month, color, flower, plants, and places for baby name inspiration.
- Ask other people for suggestions based upon your baby name style.
- Read through old town birth records if you like old fashioned names.
- Get a name from a song.
- Select a Unisex baby name, especially if you don’t find out the gender ahead of time.
It Passes “Good” Baby Name Tests
Come up with a list of criteria it needs to fit based upon your personal preferences like:
- It has to fit a baby and grade schooler yet look professional on a job application someday.
- It has to blend with the other names in your family (sticking to the unique names you’ve named your older kids) and/or have the same pattern (i.e. starts with an A or contains an I).
- It isn’t hard or annoying to say 500 times in a row, when shouted, when whispered.
- The full name needs to look good when written down, and signed in cursive.
- The initials need to look good and not spell something bad.
- It has to be a name that cannot be abbreviated.
- It has to be a name that can be abbreviated or has a nickname associated with it.
- It has be easy to say, spell and pronounce (or not).
- You can live with all the possible, mean, nicknames that person can be called with that name. If you can’t think of any negative names associated with your pick of names, just ask honest family and friends to give it a whirl. It may surprise you.
- Make sure you really like it, not just because it’s trendy.
- Needs to be a Unisex baby names (or not).
Rely on Heavenly Inspiration to Find the Right Baby Name
Wait until you meet baby, spend time with him or her to get a name impression. Stay close to the Spirit and His promptings.
How to Pick a Baby Name with Your Spouse
When choosing a baby name, asking for input from your partner in crime, is a pretty considerate thing to do. There are several awesome ways to find a name that you both can agree upon after you’ve both come up with a list of names you like (using the ideas above). Here are some ways to do it:
- He picks the boys names, she picks the girl names (might work best if having boy/girl twins!).
- He picks the middle names, she picks the first names.
- She names the first child, he names the next.
- You and your spouse suddenly don’t hate the same name. It’s grown on one or both of you.
- Write down the Alphabet and write down all the names you like that start with that letter next to it. Trade papers with your spouse and cross off all the names you don’t like on the other person’s paper. Keep trading back and forth until there is one name left on each paper. One name becomes the first name, the other the middle name.
- Write down your list of baby names you sorta like, separately, and rank each others’. Take the ones with the lowest combined score as the winners.
- Use the website Nymbler. It’s like your personal baby name assistant. You put in a couple names you like as inspiration and it populates with 10 more names. You click yes or no, and it keeps going forever. After you both do it, you can compare your list of favorites and narrow it down.
- Once you have a list sort them into first name potentials and middle names, start playing with combinations, and see which one you like, saying it over and over again with the last name and running it through your “name criteria” list.
- Pray together about the name combinations and ideas you have to determine if you need to keep looking.
Best of luck to you as you prayerfully choose a baby name for your newest arrival!