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 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.
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:
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)
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:
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.