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9 Ways Parents Choose Baby Names

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One of the most exciting parts about finding out you’re going to be a parent is choosing a name for your little bundle. It’s up to you to choose something so incredibly important; it’s your choice what this new person will be called their ENTIRE LIFE. It’s a responsibility that can seem a bit overwhelming, amongst the millions of other overwhelming decisions you’ll now be making. I mean, no one wants his or her kid to be the one on the playground that gets bullied for having a super weird name, right? So allow me to explain all the ways parents seem to come up with their kid’s name:

  1. Baby name website/books: These contain list upon list of names and you’re sure to get overwhelmed all over again because they allow you see just how many names exist in this world. These websites/books list names alphabetically, or by country of origin, or by what’s currently trending. You could spend the money to go get a specific baby-naming book, or you can just do what my in-laws did for my husband—pull out the phonebook and point to a random name on the page.
  2. Genealogy: My mother cross-stitched an amazing “Mother’s Tree” design that is now hanging on my living room wall. Under an intricate tree are the names of my ancestors—my line of mothers dating back to 1803. I can see their first, middle and last names and choose any that I like, honoring an ancestor even though I’ve never met her. Many parents choose to do this because without that person, this new baby couldn’t be here.
  3. Facebook feeds: I have seen so many stumped, soon-to-be mothers take to Facebook groups to ask perfect strangers for suggestions on names. Once a mother gets a million comments in response, she will probably take the ones she likes and enter another one of these categories to further narrow down the field.
  4. What’s currently popular: Names go in and out of style and some parents want a name that’s popular or timeless. It’s easy to find name trends by just googling it, in which case you’ll find articles listing the top 20 girl names of 2016 and things like that.
  5. Celebrities: Nothing wrong with copying their kids’ weird names, if you want a child named Apple or Moxie Crimefighter. Just remember—their kid is the child of a celebrity so no one will dare pick on them during recess. Your kid won’t be so lucky to have that pass.
  6. Namesake: This is my personal favorite way to choose a name for your baby. It’s personal and kind. Whoever your child is named after will feel honored and it creates a special bond between them. So start thinking of anyone special in your life and what qualities they possess that you hope your child will learn as well.
  7. Sounds pretty/sounds good with last name/just like it: There are a ton of parents who choose a name that they just like. I’ve liked the name Vanessa since I was a kid, so it’s on my “possible baby-name” list. When asked where your child’s name comes from, don’t feel lame for saying, “I just liked it.” There doesn’t have to be a backstory to it. You’re an adult; you do what you want!
  8. Compromise: I have a list on my phone of boy and girl names I love, and my husband once went through and nixed almost all of them. Then again, he has favorites that I can’t stand either. Sometimes, parents just need to be willing to compromise in order to eventually choose a name.
  9. Process of Elimination: No matter where you start to look for a name, whether it be in Facebook feeds asking strangers or phonebooks (I mean, baby name books), you’ll go through this process of elimination. Compare one name to the next, decide a winner, then compare that winner to another name. Eliminate one by one until you can finally agree!


How did you choose your children’s names? I always love hearing the story behind the name so leave us a comment and share! 

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