Finding A Baby Name

There is a lot of pressure when it comes to finding a baby name. The name you choose will stay with your baby for the rest of their life, or at least through childhood. Whether this is your first baby or your fifth, you may be struggling to come up with the perfect name. So where should you start?

There are a variety of places you can turn for inspiration and my advice is to start a list. My husband and I already had a name picked out before I got pregnant with my son, but with my daughter it took a little more thought. Once we had a list of names we liked for first names and middle names, we started narrowing them down and eliminating one at a time.

So where should you start?

Family Names

Family names are a great option, especially if there are specific people in the family who have been especially impactful. Do you have a grandparent who helped raise you or a cousin you were close with? Or maybe a parent or sibling who passed away that you want to honor? 

We decided to use family names for our kid’s middle names. My son was named after my brother in law who passed away and my daughter was named after my great aunt.Whether you decide to give your baby the entire name of a family member or honor them in a more discrete way, this can be a great place to start. 

Biblical or Historical Names

If you are looking for something classic but don’t want to use a family name, you may want to consider a name from the bible or a significant historical figure. Names like Jacob, Matthew, and Mary are great classic names with biblical roots, and names like Abraham and Harriet are stronger because of the significant historical figures they are shared with.

We chose this route for our kid’s first names. We named our son Trajan after the great roman emperor and our daughter is Rhea after the mother of Zeus. 

Trendy Names

If old names aren’t your thing, then you can always pick from some of the most popular names of the year. Here are the most popular boys’ and girls’ names from the past couple years according to the Social Security Administration:

Boys:

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. William

Girls:

  1. Emma 
  2. Olivia
  3. Ava

Celebrity Names

Another option for picky a trendy name is to use the name of your favorite celebrity or fictional character. After the Twilight movies came out, the name Isabella rose on the list of top girl’s names and names like Ashton and Monroe are also popular choices.

You may also find inspiration from one of the unique names a celebrity gives their baby. Here are some of the latest celebrity baby names:

  • Navy Rome (Jason Aldean & Brittany Kerr)
  • Beau Bobby Bruce (Nev Schulman & Laura Perlongo)
  • Vaeda Luma (Tyler & Catelynn Baltierra)
  • Story Grey (Derek & Hannah Jeter)
  • Archie Harrison (Prince Harry & Duchess Meghan)

Gender-Neutral Names

If you don’t like the idea of picking a name that is strictly on the boy or girl side, or if you are choosing to keep the gender a surprise, there are a ton of gender-neutral options for you. Names like Jordan, Parker, and Taylor work well for boys and girls. My husband and I have already decided that if we have another baby, we are going with the name Tristan for either gender. 

One of the great benefits to gender-neutral is that you can pick a name before you find out the gender, or before you even get pregnant. 

Names from Places

You may also want to find inspiration from your favorite place to visit, or maybe where you’re baby was conceived. Cities like Dallas, Phoenix, and Paris are all popular options. Don’t limit yourself to just cities either because Montana, Asia, and Ireland are also common names. 

If the names of the locations aren’t doing it for you, you may be able to find inspiration from nature. Forest, River, and Brooke are just a couple of the nature inspired names to choose from.

Names from Words

If you can’t find what you’re looking for on the globe, try the dictionary. Here are just a few names that are also words in the English language:

Boys:

  • Chance
  • Hunter
  • Jet
  • Maverick
  • Ranger

Girls:

  • Grace
  • Hope
  • Juniper
  • Liberty
  • Rose

Gender-neutral:

  • Cadence
  • Grey
  • Lyric
  • Justice
  • Sage

Original Names

If after all of this you still aren’t feeling inspired, you can always be creative. Make adjustments to existing names or combing two or more names to come up with something new. Come up with something that sounds right to you.

Take Your Time

When the people around you find out you are expecting, they will all want to put in their two cents. You’ll be surprised how many people have suggestions (usually their own name) and everyone will want to weigh in on the name you choose. We decided not to let anyone know what names we picked until the decision was final so they couldn’t try to influence our decision.

You may pick a name before you get pregnant or you may want to wait until you see your baby to make a final decision. Either way when you find the right name, you’ll know. 

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7 thoughts on “Finding A Baby Name”

  1. I always find it fascinating noticing the trends of baby names over the years. Personally, we went with names that weren’t known as popular when we named our first two children, however as time went on, we realised heaps of other babies were also called the same names as what we chose. Not what we were hoping for. I also like the idea of using a family name somewhere. We used the first letter of my mother in law for one child’s middle name, and the other child got my father in laws letter of his first name for her middle name. Our youngest got my actual middle name, which my husband suggested. This made me feel so honored, so I was more than happy to oblige. Choosing a baby name is so important and needs to be considered appropriately. Thanks for sharing an interesting and valuable post. 

    1. It’s funny how that can happen, and a name popularity suddenly changes. There are a few names that I considered before we actually had kids but then I started hearing them everywhere and took them off our list. We ended up with pretty unique names but we’ll see when happens as the kids get older.

  2. My experience of choosing a baby name was unexpectedly stressful. Both sets of grandparents-to-be had very strong ideas about what name their first grandchild should have. “He must have his grandfather’s name! Boys in our family have always taken their grandfather’s name! How could you even think of anything else?” And so it went on for months. And I didn’t like either grandfather’s name, and they both started with a vowel so the initials would have been AIM or IAM which I really didn’t want. So we upset both sides and chose neither, instead going for non-trendy and fairly unusual names. And once he’d arrived they forgot pretty quickly and we’re just happy to be grandparents. So my advice would be to trust your own intuition and don’t let yourself be pressured into a choice you don’t like.

  3. Hi Briana, this is very helpful information. My cousin is pregnant for 3 months and still deciding for the baby’s name. She ask some naming suggestion from her closest friends including me. Giving a gender neutral name sounds a good alternative. I’ll be sure to check several common gender neutral name in our country. Thanks

    1. Gender neutral names are a great way to be prepared if she’s not planning on finding out the gender ahead of time. I’d love to hear back with some of the names that you come up.

  4. Hallo there Briana, 

    Thanks a lot for the help here. I really appreciate the insights you have shared on how to go about naming a child. Actually, my wife and I got our first baby and have been disagreeing on a lot of names both of us have suggested. I think I will get her to read your post so that we can use some of the strategies you have shared. 

    The celebrity naming tip is something that she’s interested in and I am stuck at family names. Creating a list will surely help us solve the issue. Thanks heaps.

    1. Congrats on the baby and good luck with everything that comes along with being a new parent, including deciding on a name. I’d love to hear what you end up deciding on and feel free to follow my blog on social media for other helpful tips throughout her pregnancy and parenting.

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