How to agree on a baby name
Agreeing on the perfect baby name can be a challenge. Feelings or memories associated with a certain name or flat out disagreement on the type or style of name can make baby name choice a rocky road to walk. We’ve put together tips to overcome any potential hiccups along the way.
Let’s face it, finding a name you truly love is a challenge in itself, but finding one your partner also feels is ‘the one’ can take the challenge to a whole new level. Often it’s the case that you have one or two names as firm, personal favourites, only to get instantly shot down by your other half and vice versa. Rather than push back on their names, or retaliate by shooting down their favourites. Our advice is to take a step back, have faith and return to the drawing board - together!
Make a list...Then make another list
Once the ‘personal favourites’ have been run down without any luck, the best place to start is in front of a blank piece of paper (or spreadsheet). It will save a lot of time and effort if both parties involved write a list of names they like the sound of and would be happy to discuss further, let’s call this a ‘shortlist’ (although in reality, the longer the list the better!)
Aim for at least 10 names each, then share the lists with one another and cross off the names each of you might oppose. To avoid having to repeat this process again and again, try to take a good amount of time populating your list with as many names you like the sound of as possible. 30-50 names each can sound like a tall order, but once you get into the swing of researching and uncovering new names the list will grow very quickly. If you’re looking for inspiration then head over to the Baby Names section at Bounty.com.
At this point we’re not expecting any of the names on the lists to match, however if they do then great! Once the lists have been whittled down to a handful of ‘maybes’, it’s time to come together and discuss the reasons why these names appealed to each of you. Is it the letters of the word, the style of the name, the length, origin or simply the way it sounds?
Try to pin down some reasons why you both did not instantly bin these names, and use this information as a focus when continuing your search. It can also help if you both write and share a list of ‘no-go’ names, these can be names of mortal enemies, rivals or ex-partners, classmates or colleagues. This can save time and energy and can also avoid awkward conversations.
Give it some time
If a name you both agree on does not present itself after a lengthy discussion (or two), then try taking a step back and putting the discussion on ice. Although it may feel as if all options have been exhausted and you are locked into an eternal stalemate, time does wonders for the subconscious when confronted with decisions. It’s human nature to ‘try on’ the potential names in your head so allow some time for your mind do this.
It may simply be a case of of getting familiar with a suggested name you had not fully considered before. This could take a couple of hours or a couple of weeks but often these thoughts come to you when you least expect it.
A break from racking your brains for new names and inspiration also means you can take note of the names you hear every day all around you. For example, favourite characters in films and TV shows or even the after programme credits, can offer a mass of new ideas.
But don’t get drawn in by a feeling of having to decide on a name right away, as this is often when decisions are rushed or made for the wrong reasons. If you have heard a new name and looking for some information on meaning or origin, we have a helpful search tool at Bounty.com.
If you’re both set on a name each, that your partner is also happy with, and you both simply cannot decide between the two, here are a couple of final options:
Take turns: Pick one as a first name and the other as a middle name. Chances are this will result in a quirky and unique name. Be sure to try both ways round, as often one will simply flow much more nicely.
Toss a coin (for the brave): If you have two beautiful names you can’t decide on, then leave it to fate to make the last decision.
Wait and see: Often parents say they instantly knew when they laid eyes upon their little one which name was right for them.
Open it up to the jury: Although asking for advice on the matter can feel like opening a can of worms - try approaching close friends, trusted colleagues and family with a simple A /B vote, this is one sure way of finding a winner.
Remember that the naming of a child will always feel like a massive decision for you both, and that’s because it is. However don’t forget to take a minute to spare a thought for the child in the middle of the debate, picture how the name will suit a toddler, a child, a teenager and an adult. It’s easy to get caught up in simply ‘naming your baby’, however in reality you are naming a human of every age, so consider this in your final thoughts on the decision.
Avoid getting drawn into justifying reasons why each of you does not like a certain name; the aim is to choose a name you are both comfortable with, rather to ‘win’ the baby name choice.
Finally, never forget that you are both on the same team. At times it may feel like a battle or competition, when in reality it is the mutual compromises that both of you are comfortable with that will make your decision stand the test of time and last your little one a lifetime.
If you’re looking for more baby inspiration, check out our top 100 boys’ names ad top 100 girls’ names at Bounty.com