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What’s in a name?

Figuring out what to name your child can be tough, especially if you and your partner disagree. Let’s find a name you both love.
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Maybe you’ve known what you were going to name your future children since you were six, but maybe your husband has, too. Or maybe you both have ideas but you just can’t agree. How is this baby ever going to get named?

First, get yourself a nice, big baby name book or find a website that lets you browse through long lists of names. Take turns writing down all the names you don’t hate, and then make two separate top ten lists of your favorite names.

Are there any names that appear on both lists? If not, are there any names on each other’s list that you could live with or would consider as a middle name? Do any of your favorite names have anything in common, like certain letters, sounds or ethnic origins?

When you have some strong contenders, take each name and try it on for style. Imagine your future baby in a shirt with the name printed on it. Think of your child having to learn to write his or her name in kindergarten, and the hundreds and thousands of times he or she will have to write the name in life. Consider the nicknames that are associated with the name: Anything unflattering or that you just don’t like the sound of?

Finally, if you simply can’t agree, can you compromise? If your husband has wanted a “junior” his entire life and will be eternally resentful if he doesn’t get his way, maybe you can pick the nickname that the child will be called. Or if there’s a name you really have your heart set on, offer to let your partner name the next one.

Sandy & Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Your All-in-One Resource for Pregnancy & Childbirth. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble.

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  • Rated 0 out of 5 by 31reviewers.
    Rated 0 out of 5 by Naming a baby is incredibly important to me because it is something they will carry with them their entire life, and will affect how people think of them in some cases. As mentioned in this article, it is tough when both partners cannot agree on something so special. Fortunately, we agree on the name if it is a girl- and it is an extremely uncommon name. Since I was little, weeping willows were my favorite tree and I wanted to name my little girl Willow some day. David threw me for a loop when he asked out of the blue, "can we please name our baby Willow if it is a girl? I cried tears of joy, because what are the chances of that? Alas, we do not agree as strongly with boy names. There are a couple that we both like, but each of our favorites, the other does not care for. I cannot wait to have him read this article so we can apply the tips and agree on a boys name that we both love. June 19, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by its hard when you both dont agree on a name. we come to a comprimize by one picking he first name and the otherpicking a middle name so we both have a name picked out! grabbing a name book is the easiest thing t do January 19, 2014
    Rated 0 out of 5 by My husband and I like old fashioned names. The names are usually uncommon for this day and age, but traditional and they have been heard of. Our firstborn is Gwendolyn Rain. Our second born is Deklyn Russell. Our baby due this summer will be Katalina Reese for a girl or Broderick Rhys for a boy. We are pretty sure it is a girl, but won't know until January. As you can see we have a thing for 'R' middle names. Each of our babies first names are at least 100 years old and not something you see everyday in the classroom. Each of their first names mean something glorious or beautiful, but also sound professional for when they are adults. I always advise to stay away from the top 10 baby name list. My husband and I actually wanted to use Lillian if we have another girl, but it has been so over used in the past 5 years we decided to go with Katalina. Children do not seem to like to share their name with 6 other classmates. Don't be afraid to be traditional but original as well. :) December 13, 2013
    Rated 0 out of 5 by We had a name picked out with our second child, only because I was pretty sure he was going to be a girl, but when we found out we were having a boy, we could not agree on a name. It seemed like everyone was having baby boys around the same time and they all picked the 'good' names. (haha). I told his dad he could pick the first name and I could pick the middle name. We ended up naming him Daimien Thomas. I'm so happy we did it that way because Thomas was my dad's name and he passed away unexpectedly 1 week after Daimien got home from the NICU. I'm all about giving children names that are special to you. November 27, 2013
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