There’s so much thought that goes into naming a baby. We asked our staff to share their insights, from the best ideas to the “don’t try this at home” methods. What would you add?
Whether you’re Kate and Will, Jessica and Justin or an average Jane and Joe having a baby, you are likely in name-debate mode. That’s when you sit on the couch, likely over a carton of ice cream, and just bounce names around to each other. Maybe you allow 3 vetoes each. Maybe you have some name books lying around. Maybe you are dead set on one name and you’re just going to demand it after you push that 7 pounder out, and look at your partner and say “I did that for us. I want you to do something for me.” However you’re hoping the name choosing goes, the Care.com staff has some dos and don’ts for you to consider.
Do: Say the Name Out loud
My parents were VERY close to naming me Jack (a family name on my Dad’s side). My name would have been Jack Bass (pronounced like the fish, not the instrument). Luckily one of my parents’ friends pointed out the endless teasing I would endure throughout my life, so they changed their minds a few days before the delivery. Now I’m happy as Eliot Jackson Bass. -- Eliot
Don’t: Leave it to the Nurses
My parents were going to name me Brett whether I was a boy or girl, they just liked the name. When I was born a girl, the nurse (who also delivered my sister) argued with my mom and kept telling her that she can’t name a little girl Brett! When my parents went to see me in the nursery, they saw the tag “Girl” then under it was “BrettLyn (THIS is a girl’s name!).” The nurse had added Lyn, which is my mom’s name to the end. -- Brettlyn
Do: Beg, Borrow and Steal
We actually stole our daughter’s name (with permission) from my brother-in-law and his wife. They found out they were having a boy, but we loved their idea for a girl’s name. – Amanda
Do: Your Research
I went to graduate school for Criminal Justice and worked in law enforcement. So, before deciding on a name I do a quick search to make sure there are no criminals with the boy’s names. Mugshots.com is quite handy for that research. – Erin R.
Don’t: Ask the Kids
My parents asked my brother what he wanted to name me (he was 2 ½ at the time, holding me in the hospital). He replied “Pinky.” My parents said “Not Pinky, Steven. We need a nice boys name. Do you like Kevin or Jason?” He replied “Kevin” and the rest is history. – Kevin
Do: Pick a Strong Figure
The name Lilly came from a little girl that we use to see when we volunteered at a shelter – she was the cutest little girl in the world and she had the biggest attitude. We’d occasionally get an influx of new kids in the shelter and we’d forget their names so we’d ask her “What’s your name?” and eventually (I think the second time) this little girl started giving us ‘tude and she’d say “Lil-ly!” with emphasis on each syllable (that’s why we are using 2 L’s). – Mike S.
Don’t: Run Into that Figure 20+ Years Later
My husband met a kid named Rush when he was 8 years old and he moved to a new school. Rush was the fastest boy in school (which is very cool when you’re 8), but he was also nice. Rush became my husband’s friend. And even though he only lived in that town for a couple of months, my husband always remembered Rush as this kid who was cooler and faster than him, but was also nice. So we named our son after him. Hopefully he will be just as easy-going and sweet, with everyone he meets.
By the way – he hasn’t talked to him since he was 8. Wouldn’t it be SO WEIRD to run into him, and be like, oh hey, I named my son after you! -- Angie
My father wanted to name me Plymouth, after his favorite car. But he lost that battle. So there was clearly only one other option: name me after his second favorite obsession -- cowboys. But the only cowboy name my parents could agree on was Jesse, as in James, the murderous, bank robbing outlaw. This didn’t sit well with my heavily religious mother, so I am Jesse Adam Tarbell. -- Jesse
Don’t: Neglect the Effect of the Pottery Barn Catalogue
We wanted to name our son Charles, after my grandfather, but wanted a nickname for him that wouldn’t make him “Charlie Bugbee.” My husband came up with “Chase” after watching Entourage, whose main character is Vinny Chase. We thought we were pretty clever with a unique nickname, but also a nice, classic full name. Two months after Chase was born, Pottery Barn came out with the “Chase Collection.” Now we know at least 10 other Chases. -- Katie
Do: Even More Research
Each name requires a lot of web searching. We were really interested in a certain girl’s name, but then we found out it's the #1 escort name in England. Silly as it may be to rule out a name based on something so indirectly related to a girl growing up in small-town Vermont, it just didn't sit right with us. - Chuck
Do: Combine Cultures
I was named for my grandfather “Abraham” which in Hebrew is “Avraham” and so my parents made up the name “Avra” for the feminine. He was a holocaust survivor and patriarch of the family. As it turns out, Avra is also a Greek name/word that means Aura, as well as morning dew or breeze off the ocean. Although that’s not the hebrew meaning (since it is from Abraham, it means “father” technically”) my mom has always told me that’s the meaning, and since it is so beautiful, I will take it. The irony is that Jews, including Israelis have never heard my name before, but Greeks are all about it! –Avra
Don’t: Have Unequal Meaning Behind Siblings Names
When I was a kid, my mom was telling my sister, Maribeth, that she was named for our grandmother (Mary) and our mom (Elizabeth). So, I asked for whom I was named and my mother said “Rob Petry from the Dick Van Dyke Show”… Not quite as sentimental. -- Rob C.
Do: Name for Family History
For my son, Samuel is a name of two of my great grandfathers (one on either side) and in fiction is usually the most good-hearted, reliable character. Matthew is both my son’s and my middle name and is partially hereditary through my maternal grandfather’s side – and one we now share. - Kyle
Do: Give Sibs the Middle Name
My parents asked my three older brothers what they wanted to name me. As you can imagine, three young boys could not have looked up to anyone more in 1993 than Michael Jordan. My parents were not about to name me Michael Jordan, however Jordan did stick (middle name) as did the “M” in Michael. This made it a little more ok that my basketball career ended after 8th grade. -Matt
Do: Be Impulsive
We were about 6 months pregnant with our daughter and I was at work calling on a prospect. The person who picked up said her name was Riley… and I thought… that’s it! Called my wife and she agreed. – Tom
Tell us, what went into your baby name decisions? Comment below – or join the Facebook discussion here.