The idea of selecting a baby’s name can lead to anxiety, excitement, and even a bit of hostility. After all, this is the name that a new human being will, at least in theory, carry around for the rest of their life. It is a decision that is hard to reverse and could potentially shape the person that your child grows into.
Although there are plenty of reasons to choose carefully, there are also many things you can do to make the process of selecting the perfect baby name just a tad less stressful.
Wait it Out
Although preparation is ultra important when getting ready for a little one, there is nothing wrong with waiting until the baby is born to either select or finalize plans for a certain name. Many parents feel ultra-obligated by society to select a name long before their baby is born, when in reality many traditional cultures wait until after the birth to name their young. Once the baby arrives and you are able to look into his or her eyes and get to know their personality, there is a pretty good chance that the perfect name will follow.
Share Top Options Carefully
I once had a friend who gave birth to a little girl and named her Abbey. Ever since the twenty-week ultrasound predicted a girl she had gone back and forth on if she wanted to name the baby Abbey or Aubrey. However, her husband liked Abbey better so they stuck with it. She had maternity pictures with the name emblazoned in neon pink across her belly, she had it custom-painted on the nursery wall, and every family member was calling the little one by the name Abbey months before she actually arrived. Finally the big day came and went, this friend happily scribbled Abbey on the birth certificate, but in the back of her mind she was haunted by the fact that the kid “seemed” more like an Aubrey to her. Finally at six months she changed the baby’s name from Abbey to Aubrey, much to the dismay of her family.
Now clearly this is an extreme story, but this, as well as my own personal experience with a weeks-ahead-of-due-date name change, lead to strongly encourage future parents to wait before they start sharing their proposed name with everyone they know and painting it on billboards in the middle of town. Even if you are absolutely certain that there is no way you will ever change that baby’s name, it never hurts to wait until you have signed the birth certificate before you start telling everyone you know and putting it on walls.
Write and Speak it Before Deciding
Before making final decisions on a name you should always try saying it aloud, does it sound good? Try saying it with any middle names you plan to use, say it with the last name, imagine hearing the nurse call it out at your baby’s first doctor appointment. Also try writing it down, does it look good? What comes to mind when you see that name written on paper? Does it make you smile?
Stuck on Ideas? Consider a Naming Party
Sometimes even coming up with a list of names to choose from can prove challenging. When this is the case a fun, festive naming party may be in order. Combine it with a more traditional shower or go it alone. A naming party, with close friends and family, can be a good way to generate some ideas about what to call your little one. Just remember, it is your decision in the end.
Runners Up Make Great Middle Names
For some, even creating a list of names seems virtually impossible. For others, beloved names flow out like water from a fresh spring. For those who have a collection of name they love, they can always save them for later children, but there is also the option of turning those other favorites into middle names.
Once popular, family names, are still a possibility for those who are unsure of what name to go with. Though mainstream society has turned away from the traditional family name in lieu of more exotic and unique alternatives, naming your child after a beloved, older family member can provide a wonderful option.
Are you an expectant or new mother? Share your baby names and how you got them in the comments! We would love to hear from you.