How to Pick Baby Names

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Names come in many varieties — from simple, single-syllable names to special names to family names to meaningful names. The name you bestow upon your child is going to stay with you, your child and your partner for the rest of your lives. Your baby’s name should have meaning to you, but more importantly you and your partner should both agree on your child’s name. Communicate with each other throughout your baby-naming process as this is supposed to be a loving and special time in your life, not filled with arguments and hostility over naming your baby.

Step 1

Talk to your partner about any special baby names he has in mind. He may have his heart set on naming your first son after him or your first daughter after his favorite grandmother. Consider whether you want your baby’s name to be popular, biblical, familial or if you want the baby’s name to have a particular meaning. Take the baby’s sibling’s names into consideration and decide if you want the kids to have the same initials or similar names.

Step 2

Compile a list of baby names you like. You and your partner should each make your own lists, or write a single list together. Avoid vetoing any names or any negative comments about the names you have each listed in the beginning. Save your negotiations and vetoes for after you have your first list completed.

Step 3

Veto any names that you absolutely cannot stand the thought of giving your baby. Allow your partner the same number of vetoes, or the same general veto power. Narrow your list down to names you can both live with.

Step 4

Negotiate with your partner if you aren’t making any headway trying to agree on a single name. Common compromises include one partner choosing the first name and the other choosing the middle name or taking turns naming subsequent babies if you plan to have more. If you’re expecting twins, you can each choose one baby’s name with each of you having to agree on the final choices.

Step 5

Narrow your list down to two or three names. Say each name aloud with your last name to make sure the entire name sounds OK. Check the initials to make sure you don’t unwittingly give your child an embarrassing acronym.

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