How To Name Your Baby

A name. A name. What’s in a name?


While picking out a baby name might sound like fun, in reality it is hard and quite often frustrating. Sure, there are hundreds of great names that you could bestow upon your little one, but which one is right for your baby?

Do you bow to tradition and go with a family name or theme? Do you break the mold and pick the craziest name out there? Or do you land somewhere in the middle of tradition and your personal style? However you do it, it won’t be without a great deal of thought, and probably a dash of worry too.

In my family, we have a “J” thing. There are +15 people on my father’s side who’s first name begins with a “J.” As a lover of tradition, I always imagined my children would be blessed with “J” names too. But when it came to naming my first born, there just wasn’t a “J” name that excited me AND my husband. And when we landed on Kendal — we both knew we found the right name. (Thanks to a Pottery Barn Kids’ catalog, Kendall is the name of a line of furniture.) But we didn’t ignore tradition, I made sure her middle name started with a “J.”

Now we are faced with naming baby #2, and the stress is settling in — big time.

From the moment we found out we were having a girl (to my great delight), people began to ask if we had picked out a name. Come on people, it’s only been days since we learned the sex — stop the pressure. Nearly four weeks after learning we would have a girl, we are no closer to a name, and the questions as to the baby’s name continue to increase (both from well-meaning friends and complete strangers).

For our part, we keep rehashing names that didn’t make the cut last go-round. Not really a helpful move since they were vetoed for one reason or another last time…

And now another problem. While I have no intention of starting another letter thing… we seem like “K” names! Oh sheesh!

Baby naming ideas include:

  1. Staying with a letter theme
  2. Coordinating kids names
  3. Naming the baby after a family member
  4. Closing one’s eyes and picking a name from a list or book
  5. Reading every kids catalog that comes in the door
  6. Scouring baby name books and websites like cramming for a mid-term
  7. Picking a top 10 name
  8. Picking a celebrity name
  9. Following a crazy fad
  10. Waiting for inspiration to strike

Once lighting strikes and a name has been chosen, there are many theories on telling friends and family.

  • There are  the secret keepers, those who refuse to share the baby’s name until it’s arrival as if it is some top-secret government secret that will determine the fate of our race.
  • There are the monogram lovers, those who will only share the initials of the baby so gifts can be monogrammed appropriated but they can still keep that top-secret name from the world.
  • There are the nicknamers, those who nickname the baby so early on that the nickname sticks and even after a name is chosen people still tend to call the baby by the nickname long after the baby is born.
  • There are the namers, once that name is chosen that’s the name and everyone might as well know it. (This is us, by the way.)

Names oh names… we have months to go until the baby arrives and yet somehow I feel like the sands of time are sliding by…

Once we finally decide  on a name, a new problem arises… a middle name!

4 thoughts on “How To Name Your Baby”

  1. Jessica is a WONDERFUL “J” name! JUST KIDDING! I heard so many suggestions about my son’s name, my best advice…name her what you LOVE. Forget tradition and everything else. Your daughter will have to live with her name forever, so make sure you love it. For the record, Kendall ROCKS! Great name!

    Also, I was not Jessica at birth, I was Laura. No kidding, read about my ordeal here. Here’s my blog on baby names (nice picture, huh?). 🙂

  2. Kendall is a beautiful name! I stressed over naming our son, so I know how you feel. But I’m sure you’ll whatever you name her, it will be perfect for, her.

  3. Ugh, it is SOOOO hard to pick a name. My first is strictly a family name. They told us my second was a boy and I could NOT come up with a name to save my life-there are so many girls with boy names now so I didn’t want the kid to be in a class with a girl that had the same name! Thank goodness it turned out to be a girl. 🙂

    I like Kendal!


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