By Lauren Hartmann, Disney Baby
Naming a baby is a pretty big deal. It is something that our childrenwill take with them everywhere for the rest of their lives, so it betterbe a good one! Many parents these days really want to come up with ababy name that is truly unique, but it can be a pretty challenging taskthese days. With the advent of the internet and the sharing ofinformation, a name can go from obscure to popular in the blink of aneye (I'm looking at you, Harper and North). So how can a parent come upwith a name that really is unique? Well, here are a few things thathelped my husband and I in our search for coming up with unique monikersfor our little ones...
Our daughter's name is Fern. I know that not everyone loves it, butfor the most part, people think it's great. We get a lot of complimentson it, and while that isn't a reason to choose a name, it's always niceto hear that people like your kid's name. We like that her name issimultaneously unique and classic. We also like that it's slightlyoff-the-beaten-path, but not too far out there, and still easy to spell.Our son's name, which we have yet to reveal (I'm trying to convince myhusband to let me share it early!) is similarly unique, classic, and the(all-important) easy to spell.
So how did we arrive upon these name choices?
1. Keep a list.
I changed my mind at least 100 times when it came to the perfect namefor our daughter, so it was nice to have a running list on hand to giveus options. Whenever I'd hear or read a name that I liked, I'd add itto the list. It was really helpful when it came to choosing middle namesas well!
2. Leave no stone unturned.
Do not consider any source of inspiration to be off-limits when itcomes to baby naming. One of my favorite places to look for baby nameinspiration is actually in the credits at the end of a movie - there area lot to choose from! You could also consider street names, last names,words you like, authors, favorite foods, or even strangers on thestreet. You never know where the perfect name will turn up. The firsttime I heard my daughter's name it was from a friend who had met a youngwoman named Fern while out and about having coffee here in Portland,and I instantly loved it.
3. Look at your family tree.
Sometimes there is a temptation to reinvent the wheel when it comesto baby naming, but sometimes the freshest and most unique names areones that are throwbacks found on your own family tree. You might besurprised by the baby name gems you'll find! My daughter's name isactually a family name. I had a great grandmother named Fern CleophiaGriffey, and even though I'd never met her, I liked the idea of having atie to my family's history in the naming of my little one, and it'snice to know that my daughter has a name that's significant. As for ourlittle boy still cooking up, while his first name isn't actually afamily name, his middle name just might be the maiden name of myhusband's grandmother (we're still debating). It would be a nice nod toher, and it's another uncommon, but classic, option.
4. Consider things and places you love.
Do you and your significant other love sailing? Perhaps you could usea nautical term as a name. Do you both share a love of a particularauthor? Why not pay homage with your baby's name? Does a certaincity/state/street hold special significance for you? Maybe you could useit in your naming process. Have a favorite month, season or day or theweek? Maybe it would make a good baby name option.
5. Don't overlook the importance of middle names.
We struggled with coming up with a middle name for our daughter, andin the end, we went with Winter... Fern Winter. The significance? Myhusband and I fell in love in the winter over a shared love ofsnowboarding; we were married in the winter during the first snowfall ofthe year; and our daughter coincidentally ended up being born in thewinter, also during the first snowfall of the year. It wasserendipitous. I love that her middle name has such special meaning, andeven though people told me it wouldn't really matter and that I'd neveruse her middle name anyway...they were wrong. I use it all the time, and Ilove how her first and middle name sound together.
6. Check the stats.
If you're not sure about a name's popularity, you can always go check the stats. I like this site and this one forfinding out more about a name's popularity and when it peaked.According to these sites, my daughter's name peaked in popularity in1916, with 1,332 children being given the name. In 2012, there were 45other little ones named Fern. Our little boy's name peaked in popularityin 1906, with 11 babies being given the name. It's kind of cool to knowthese things.
7. When in doubt...
Go with your gut. Try out the name for awhile, and start referring toyour little one as the name that is your front runner while you're homewith your partner and see if it sticks. With our daughter's name, Iknew right away after using it that it was the one.
8. Throw out the rules.
In the end, just choose a name you love, and throw all the rules out the window!
Image: Getty Images