What’s in a name?

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Choosing a baby name is one of the most important decisions you will make for your new little one. Baby names are a huge deal, for example, millions waited to hear what the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would name their new baby girl (no pressure!) – and I for one, absolutely love the name they picked…Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.  Certainly fit for a princess!

Whats-In-a-Name Which leads me to my next question – what’s in a name? How do you choose a baby name?  There are so many decisions that go into picking a moniker for your child, and sometimes it can be a bit more complicated than just picking up a baby name book.

What if you and your partner can’t agree?  Are there family names to take into consideration?  Do you like all variations of the nicknames?  Do you tell people the name you’ve chosen before the baby is born…or after?  Wow!  Lots to think about, right??

Agreeing on a baby name

Let’s tackle the first, and perhaps most obvious, challenge – both you and your partner should love (at least like?) the name.  Oh boy (or girl)!

I’ve had my baby names picked out since I was a kid – yes, seriously. Especially my girl name – Elizabeth. My mom loves to tell that story that I named every doll I ever owned “Elizabeth” my whole childhood.  And when my husband and I got married, he knew that if we ever had a girl, it would be our Elizabeth (Thankfully he loved the name too, and it happened to be a family name on his side.  Win-win!).

Here’s the deal we made.

I picked the first name of our first child, and he picked the middle name.  When our second baby came, he picked the first name and I picked the middle.  We each had “veto” power if the other one came up with a name that we absolutely could not live with (and we had to promise to use our veto power sparingly).  That system worked well for us.  We each had a say, we each got to pick a name that we loved.  And thankfully, we each liked the way the two names sounded together.

How did you (or how are you) and your partner handling the name game?  The combinations are endless…and so are the ways to choose!

Questions to ask when considering baby names: 

– Do you gravitate toward a traditional name or a more unique name?  If you pick a traditional name, do you want a unique spelling?

– Is there a family name…or family naming traditions…that need to be taken into consideration?  Talk to your partner and see what the expectation is.

– Think about all variations of the full name and nickname(s).  Do you like them all?

– Who gets final say?  Is it a joint decision? Will you split it up like we did? Discuss (in advance!) what will happen if one of you really dislikes a name that the other one loves.  What will be the deciding factor?

– Will you include other people in your decision…or is this something you will be keeping private?

Naming before the baby is born…or after? 

Ooohhh, this is a big topic among my friends. People tend to feel pretty strongly about it – do you wait to see what the baby “looks like?” Or do you settle on the name before the baby is born?

For us, we have always picked the full name before the baby is born.

I love being able to bond with the baby and call him/her by name.  Now that I have big kids with this pregnancy, they love already knowing her name.  It’s not just a “baby,” it’s helping them to recognize her as her own little person.  They read to her, sing to her, have conversations with her…it really has helped our whole family connect with her.

So since we have decided, I would love to share with you…

Our new little princess will be Miss Emma Jean!

Since we’ve been talking about a third child for a really long time, we’ve had another boy and girl name picked out for a really long time.  Both my husband and I love the name Emma (and how well it goes with our current kid names), and chose Jean, for my beautiful Grandma Jean, whom I was very close to (and who passed last year).

We are thrilled with her name, and reference “Emma” instead of “baby” pretty much all the time.  To us, she is Emma, even in utero.

I also have friends who swear by choosing the name once they are holding baby in their arms. They have their top two or three names, and love to see what the baby looks like.  I say, to each their own – as long as you’re having fun and bonding, go for it!

To tell or not to tell

I’ve seen a growing trend lately that friends and family pick the name before the birth, but choose not to share until baby is born.

Usually for one of two reasons – 1) It makes for a fun surprise, especially if people already know the gender before the baby is born. 2) People do not want unsolicited opinions about what they are choosing to name their baby.

I see both points.  I’ve just never been able to keep it to myself! It is rather interesting, though, that people feel compelled to give their opinion on the name you’ve chosen…whether you ask or not.  I guess it’s pretty much like anything else in pregnancy – people think it’s fair game to weigh in.  Most of the time, I’ve had people rave over the names I’ve chosen. And then I’ve had a few that say things like, “Oh. Well, I guess it will have to grow on me.”

Take this with a grain of salt, mamas. Being pregnant, you’re used to unsolicited advice by now (unfortunately).  If you choose to share your name in advance, say it proud, and shrug off any rude or unwanted comments.  It’s your precious baby, and your precious name!

Baby naming websites and apps

There are literally hundreds of sites that can help you research and choose the perfect baby name for your little one, and here are just a handful to get you started.  I know (believe me, I know), it can be  overwhelming.  Browse through books or sites during your downtime, and have fun with it!






And, of course, there are apps for baby names, too!  Here’s a great article on Mashable that lists top baby name apps to help get you started:  “Baby Name Blues? 10 Apps to Help You Choose!”

Or check out this fun article found on www.brit.co that can help you find the best baby naming app for you:  “7 Apps to Help You Pick Baby Names.”

How did you pick your baby’s name?  Any great resources or tips to share?  Any drama or funny stories?  We’d love to hear from you below!

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