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Choosing a Baby Name

This little girl? She absolutely had to be Rebekah. Not all baby names are so easy to choose!

If you’re having a baby, you will eventually have to pick a name for him or her.  No, you can’t call him “Baby One” or “Little Buddy” forever…at least not on his birth certificate.  I’ve heard some pretty creative nicknames for babies before birth…but you really don’t want to stick with that!

Anyway, choosing a name is one of the hardest things you’ll do…well, along with deciding if you should breastfeed or bottle feed, cloth or disposable diaper, and so on.  You know how it is. 

But that name thing?  That’s pretty key, because long past the days of milk and diapers, your precious little one is going to be introducing him or herself as, “Hi, I’m _____,” so you better make sure it’s a good one.

Personally, my husband and I are partial to Biblical names.  Classic, strong, and not weird.  Okay, there are some weird ones in the Bible, but we skip over those.

With our first baby, we both knew we always loved the name Rebekah.  So, despite our arguing (yeah, I know, but I was hormonal and dumb), that is who she is.

With our second baby, I prayed the night I found out we were having a boy: “God, who is this child?  What should his name be?  What would I pick if the choice were mine and mine alone?”  Daniel is what came to me.  Nothing else seemed to fit.  And we argued and I cried a lot about that (my husband wanted a junior), but in the end…Daniel he is.

With this baby, well, we don’t know if it’s a boy or a girl.  But we have (probably) picked out both a boy and a girl’s name.  Which I will not tell you now. :)  The boy’s name came to me one morning in church.  My husband emailed me a girl’s name one afternoon (several weeks later) and said, “How about this?”  We both decided they just fit.  So far as we know now, anyway.

For us, the first names have never been a big deal.  I mean, we had discussions and all.  But somehow the “right” name always kind of came to us.

Middle names?  Now…that’s our struggle.

I’ll let you in on a little secret, and please don’t think I’m talking about anyone else’s choices.  I’m just talking about how I choose to name my children.  I can’t stand “common” middle names.  That is, almost every girl I know has a middle name of Elizabeth, Marie, Lynn, or Anne.  I absolutely refuse to ever give my daughter any of these names as a middle name.  (They’re all fine names…and I’d consider them as a first name…but they’re just too common.  I’d consider — for me — using them as a cop-out.)  My husband keeps suggesting these…and I keep telling him no.  I’m weird, I know, just my “thing.”

For middle names, here is what we did:

1. We each wrote a list of our favorite baby names, with meanings

2. We went through and vetoed any we really didn’t like from one another’s lists

3. We came up with a list of 5 – 10 names that we both agreed we liked

4. We looked up the meanings of the names (for us, what the names mean is really important) and paired them with the first name and its meaning (our daughter’s full name actually means “Beautiful Follower of Christ,” which we really liked)

5. We ranked the names separately from 1 – 5 or however many we had

6. The name that got the highest vote from each of us “won.”  So, for our daughter’s middle name, that was the one I ranked #1 and my husband ranked #3.  (He’d ranked “Elizabeth” #1, and while I love the name, I refuse to use it as a middle name!)

This sort of system could work for anyone, just using your own top name choices.  Baby names books or baby name websites are fun to search through for ideas.  I’ve heard some pretty interesting ones, if you’re into that.  Just please, make sure you consider what it will be like introducing him or herself in a job interview someday.  I mean, do you want your child to have to say, “Thanks for meeting with me, I’m SodaPop?”  (Trying to choose something I’ve never heard anyone name their child….)  Maybe you do, I don’t know.  Just saying…what’s cute on an infant might not be so cute when she’s 30.  Or maybe you save the “fun” name for a middle name, or a nickname….  I call my son “Snuggles” often, even in public, but it’s not on his birth certificate.  Up to you, though.

As far as announcing the baby’s name before they’re born…also up to you.  I always held out for several weeks after choosing a name before I eventually announced it.  Usually in the last few weeks, people found out (well, some) what my child’s name was going to be.  I don’t really like to hear all the comments like, “Oh, you shouldn’t name your child that!” or “What about…?”  Thanks, I can name my own child.  My mom wanted me to name my daughter Miranda Bliss.  I love my mom, but I seriously asked her, “And do you want me to buy her the stripper pole now?”

To me, it’s just not worth it.  We’ve already had people weighing in on what we should name this baby…even though we can’t possibly officially choose until birth.  We’ve been evasive.  And we don’t plan to tell.  To me, it’s just easier that way.  Others enjoy announcing it and talking about their baby by name before birth.  It’s up to you.  Just know that if you announce it, you will probably have to deal with at least a few people saying, “Really?  Are you sure?  Why would you do that?” and other lovely comments.  (We had one person, not even knowing what any of our top choices were, say, “I hope they don’t name the baby ____,” which did happen to be on our list.  Oh well.)

How did your name your child(ren)?  Did you announce the name before birth?

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