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How to Choose a Baby Name

Naming Baby With Confidence


Updated June 30, 2014

Close up of a caucasin newborn in its mothers arm
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Naming a baby isn't always an easy thing. Depending on your personality, there are many factors to consider. Browse through our baby naming articles for assistance on how to choose a baby name.

Consider Popularity of a Baby Name

For some parents, popularity is an important issue. Some parents want to stay away from overly popular names because they want there child's name to be somewhat set apart. Other parents find popular baby names contemporary and comfortable.

The surprise can be that parents sometimes a name is more or less popular than what it actually is, so you may want to look through recent popularity charts. You might want to start by looking at the Social Security Administration's Popular Baby Name list. It gives each uniquely spelled name its own rank position on the chart.

The problem with this list is that it doesn't paint the entire picture of how popular a name is because it doesn't combined similarly spelled names together (like Aiden, Aidan, Aidyn, etc). When names are grouped by similar pronunciation, it does change the overall ranking of names. The lists below use the SSA's list as a base of information, but then accounts for names of similar pronunciation.

Consider Current Baby Name Trends

In addition to popularity, you may want to familiarize yourself with current baby naming trends. Browse through what trends seems to have caught on in current pop-culture, decide which trends you love and which you dislike. These trends might help point you in the right direction of how to choose a baby name.

Consider Sibling's Names

This may or may not be a factor for you, but some parents want to make sure that the sibling's names sound good together. Choosing the best sibling name might be a matter of finding names of similar sound, cultural background, or other factors.

Consider Family Traditions

You may want to flip through your family tree to get some baby name ideas. Whether you choose a name close to you or see a recurring pattern in family names (all names begin with the same letter, for example), you may want to build on the heritage of your family

Make a Baby Name List

For me, I was all about name lists. I would make a list, sit on it for a long time, and then look back over the list and see how many feelings changed over time. Often a name that I originally loved somehow waned in how I felt about it. Then over the months of pregnancy, I focused on the names that stayed consistent in how I felt about them.

Wait Until You Meet Your Baby

This happened for me and my husband on our third-born. We had a small list of names that went to the hospital with us, and it wasn't until she was several hours old that we finally were able to say, "Well of course, she's clearly a _______!" Giver you and your partner time if you need it. A name will eventually come to you!

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