Bringing a baby into the world is a wonderful thing and a huge responsibility (as I know we are all feeling the pressure already) Picking a name is a part of all of that responsibility and it is so important to make sure the name is "just right" for your little bundle of joy and it is something you and your husband are both happy with. Since my husband and I have been through the name picking process with our son and JUST picked the name for our little girl I thought I would share my advice on picking names!
10. Considering Traditions
Are there certain name traditions in your family or your husband's family that you would like to continue? For example, if your husband is a Jr. then do you want your little one (if baby is a boy) to be the III or not? Do all the women on your side of the family have the same middle name? These are things to think about. The closest my family has to a tradition is that we do not repeat names. Another type of tradition that you may want to consider is one within your immediate family. Do you want to start a tradition? For example, the Duggar family has all "J" names (all 19 of them!) Do you want to pick a letter that all your childrens' names will start with? Or maybe some other tradition you would like to start.
9. Honoring Someone
Is there a family member, a close friend or even a significant person in history that you would like to honor by giving your child that name? Giving your child their name is a great way to honor someone. Maybe it is someone who has recently passed away in your family, or a friend that is closer than family. If you do not want to give your child their name as a first name, give it as a middle name, or change it slightly so that it is different, but still honoring that person. A popular trend now is to take the first letter off of a name and making that a new name. It is something to consider.
8. Keep it a Secret or Be Prepared for Comments
This is simply what it is. We kept our son's name a secret because of one comment about a name. People do not think before they talk sometimes. When you tell people the name you have picked they oftentimes do not consider the fact that you and your husband have spend a lot of time picking out the right name for your little one! They just respond from their initial feeling about the name. My advice is to keep it a secret as long as possible to avoid people saying bad things about the name you picked. Have fun with the secret and do not let people give you a hard time for keeping it a secret. For our little girl we are giving hints every now and then on Facebook. It makes it fun for everyone else and it keeps the temptation off of me to give it away!
7. Keep The Name Picking Process Between You and Husband
This is a piece of advice that might save a friendship or family relationship. This is your baby and you and your husband need to be the ones that pick the name for the baby. Even though you have not met your little bundle of joy yet, you both still know more about this baby than anyone else. You will be able to pick the best name. Another reason this is a good idea is because when others get involved, where does it end? Who is allowed to be involved and who is not? Drawing that line, anywhere you do it is going to hurt SOMEONE'S feelings. Keep the name picking process between you and your husband. People (especially family) are going to try and get involved ANYWAYS. Just simply (and kindly) say that the two of you will be picking the name together and you can even remind them that they will love that baby no matter what his/her name is!
6. How it Flows
I know this sounds crazy, but when your little one is older, you are going to be saying that name (the FULL name) more often than you would like. It will go on your child's birth certificate, high school diploma, college degree etc. So you want to to flow well together. The best thing to do is to say the names out loud to each other. Give and take feed back on how each name sounds. Make a list of first names that are favorites and a list of middle names that are favorites. Say combinations of first and middle names with your last name and see if there are any that sound good to you and your husband. Another way you want your baby's name to flow is with the rest of the family. The best way to see how it flows is to imagine all your names on a Christmas card (you know..."Merry Christmas! Love, name, name, name, & name" Do the names sound good together? Like a family? I believe the right name will sound just right!
5. Feels Right to Both You and Husband
My husband and I almost drove each other crazy trying to pick a name for our little girl! He would LOVE a name and it would be "OK" with me and then I would LOVE another name and he would be "OK" with that one. So we kept looking because we knew "OK" just was not good enough. (Plus my husband said that the name for his "little girl" had to be perfect! So cute!) Well, I was looking at names and came across a name and audibly went "Oooo!" When I read it, I shared it with my husband and his response was the same, "Oooo!" We knew at that moment that name was at the very top of our favorites list! (and it ended up being the name we picked)
4. It is Okay to Change it
You might pick a name and a few months later realize that is not the right name, THAT IS OK! You want to pick the perfect name for your little one so feel free to change your mind as much as you want! (Because after baby is born and it is written on that birth certificate, it will be MUCH harder to change) Another thing that sometimes happens is that people pick out a name and then when the baby is born, they look at the baby and another name comes to mind. I think that is really cool when things like that happen. So maybe wait a little while before you get anything with the baby's name on it, or just wait until after baby is born.
3. Take Your Time
It is so exciting to start picking out names and if you are anything like me you feel like you have an unfinished project as long as you have not picked a name. Remember that your little one will have this name FOREVER so take your time. My advice is to not go home right after you find out the sex of your baby and pick a name that day. Get excited though! Pick out names that you like and that your husband likes. Sleep on it for a few days, keep looking and talking about it with your husband. The name we picked for our little girl was not on our initial or even second favorite list...we had not even thought about it! Just take your time and the right name will come.
2. Consider Meanings
To some people this is a bigger deal than others. For me, meanings of names is VERY important. For each of my pregnancies, I have been able to to tell a little about the personality of each of my babies and I wanted to make sure the name would fit that personality. For example, my husband and I really like Leah for the name of our little girl, but the name means "weary" and even though she is making Mommy VERY weary I did not think that fit the personality that I have been able to tell. I know already that my little girl is strong, so I wanted a name that meant or implied strength. Check out the meanings of the names that are your favorite and see what they are OR search for names based on meanings that you like.
AND THE #1 THING TO HELP IS...
1. Pray About It!
It sounds good to you, your husband loves it, the meaning fits perfectly, but is it the name that God wants for your child? Pray about the names you like or more simply pray for Him to guide you in picking a name. I have heard some amazing stories about how baby's names are picked by God. What better name to pick than the one that God has chosen for His (and your) child. Once the name has been picked, keep praying over that name and over the baby who will have that name. God will let you know if that is the right name for your little bundle of joy!
I think picking out a name is such a fun process for you and your husband to go through, but it also can get stressful. I hope these pieces of advice will help in choosing the perfect name for your little one! Happy name hunting and as always, God bless you and your family!