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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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