There’s a lot of pressure when it comes to choosing the perfect name for your baby. First of all, you probably already have very specific names you like and have a strong opinion on ones you don’t. Then the pressure really comes when you have to agree on one with your partner who also has very strong opinions too. So let’s take a look at the process, shall we?
1. Are you a celebrity?
No? Then it’s probably not in the cards for you to name your child after a piece of fruit, a rainbow or a direction like North, for example. Remember they have to live with this name for the rest of their life, perhaps “Mermaid” isn’t the best way to go.
2. Put yourself in your child’s shoes
Remember that babies turn into adults eventually and they didn’t get to choose their name (unless they go through a name changing process down the road). Choose something that can suit more than one personality type. Tagging them with a name like “Wanderer” or “Bubbles” might not suit the type of person they turn out to be.
3. Do the initials stand for something recognizable?
So you’ve landed on Faye Marie Little. Perhaps FML will send the wrong signals when they have to sign their initials on a document. It’s not a deal breaker, but perhaps initials like PMS, STD, FML, SOL, DFL could be avoided.
4. Consider the many nicknames other kids will give them
Kids will be kids. One way or another your child will have nicknames along the way no matter what name you choose, but you can at least attempt to avoid some of it. I never really understood the connection between the name Richard and Dick, nonetheless it’s an association that if you don’t like, maybe choose a different one.
5. Remember that spelling matters
Do you want to achieve a unique name by changing up the spelling? Remember that names are mostly spoken. So, the only thing unique about it is all of the times your child is going to have to correct the person spelling it, or repeating the spelling over and over their entire life.
6. You can’t please everyone, so don’t try to
There will be people who just don’t get it, and that’s ok. There will be people who suggest names to you and you don’t have to feel obligated to listen. The name you choose will be perfect.
7. How popular is the name?
Maybe you want a popular name. Go for it. If you don’t, search for the top 50 names by birth year and cross those ones off the list. If you’re a “keep it simple, stupid” kind of person, a popular name might be right for you. There’s always that list of names that are popular but not top 10 that could be just the right fit for you.
8. Does the name remind you of someone else?
Maybe it reminds you of someone else in a good way. Keep it. If it reminds you of that bully who used to pull your hair in middle school, just ditch it. There’s a million names out there, don’t dwell on one that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.
9. Do you and your partner both love it?
You may be completely attached to a name and have no intention of compromise, but really it’s not fair for one person to be completely in control. If both of you are raising the child, both should have equal say on the name. Maybe one person chooses the first name and one chooses the middle name, it’s up to you how the compromise will work, but if one person hates a name – just ditch it.
10. Keeping it a secret is up to you, but it’s not in the rulebook
Some people keep the name a secret until the baby is born, some don’t. To each their own. If you think you may change your mind, keeping it a secret would be a better option. If you are dead set on something, why not share it? You probably want to start referring to your baby by their name anyways, so telling other people will be good so they can reference them by their name too. People generally have the same reaction to a name whether or not the baby has already made their appearance.
A little extra: Why we chose the name Marley Joy
We decided this name fairly quickly and both loved it right away. After listing quite a few baby girl names, this one just sort of stuck out throughout the whole process.
We loved Marley. It’s pretty, it’s not super popular but not absurd either, it can fit multiple personality types. It was the perfect balance of what we wanted in a name.
The middle name, Joy is after my Granny who I’ve always thought to be one of the kindest, sweetest, most personable, funnest person I know. I wanted the name to take after at least someone in our family and Joy is a name and a person I’ve always loved and admired.
This baby (still brewing inside me) has already brought so much joy into our lives, that choosing the name Joy just fit. So Marley Joy Bruner it is. See you soon cutie!