Of all the preparation my husband and I have done for the arrival of our first child, choosing a name has been, by far, one of the hardest things to accomplish.
Early in the pregnancy, when I was convinced I was having a little boy, we were mostly in agreement on our top choices. It was easy to come up with a short list. Once we learned we were having a girl, it was sort a deer-in-the-headlights moment. There just weren’t any names that stood out to me that also stood out to him.
It seemed like every time I would suggest a name I really liked, my husband would respond with, “Meh.” When he’d throw out a name he really liked, my reaction was usually the same. Around Week 25 or so, we finally sat down and spent and afternoon creating a list – going through every possible baby name we could find or think of. I was drawn to fancier names like Genevieve and Vivian. He liked simpler names, like Brooke and Kelly. Eventually, we found a perfect fit (which we’ll reveal once she’s born.)
The thing is, I felt real pressure to make the “right” choice on a baby name. I mean, it’s going to stay with her for her entire life! There’s also real evidence that what name you choose for baby can impact how others perceive them as well as how successful they will be.
One study found badly chosen baby names can lead to low self-esteem, low education and even more smoking. Polls show classmates, teachers and job recruiters judge individuals based on their names. A recent trend favoring exotic spellings of names like Rian (instead of Ryan) or Aeryn (instead of Erin) may also not be such a good idea since it forces a child to have to “defend” the spelling of their name.
Given all that, my husband and I used the following criteria to make our pick…
1. Does it flow well?
First, middle and last names all need to sound nice together.
2. Can we include family names somehow?
We looked for ways to incorporate family names in honor of lovedones.
3. Is it classically pretty but still unique?
We sought out names from older generations that would hopefully have positive connotations but not be overly popular – thus giving our daughter a bit of individuality without having to give her an alternate spelling or “reach” for a name that is too wacky.
Moms and dads, what criteria did you use to pick a name for your little one? Was it hard or easy to come to consensus? For those with older kids, how do you think the name you chose fits your child as they’ve grown?
Share your thoughts below! Can’t wait to hear from everyone.
Oh, and you can also vote (for fun) in our baby names poll! Pick your fave out of some of the top contenders my husband and I liked… and we’ll reveal the results live on-air Wednesday, Feb. 27th on WHNT News 19 This Morning!