When my sister was pregnant with her daughter, she said something that I won’t ever forget. “The name is the first gift you will give your child.” I had never thought of my name as a gift. I have heard a vast range of baby naming experiences. Some couples have names picked out before they even start having kids. Others can’t decide what to call their baby even a day or two after birth. For some it comes easy; for others like Andrea and myself, it is a bit more difficult. We still haven’t named our son.
Since we have yet to name our child it may come across odd that I am giving advice on baby naming, but here are some tips that Andrea and I will do next time we need to name a baby.
Decide on the type of name – Sit down with your spouse and figure out what type of name you want to give your child. For example, I knew I wanted to use a family name. Andrea agreed to this so we instantly had a guideline when picking a name. Other types can be; uncommon names, biblical, celebrity, gender neutral, classic, cultural and fictional characters. Set this in stone before you start throwing out names and it will help you narrow down your options.
Set your limits – Are there certain names you can’t stand? Is there a particular sound you want to avoid? Maybe you are like my wife and you don’t want to call your child by their middle name, these are the limits you need to set. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page. This will further help you narrow down your options.
Consider your spouse’s suggestions – Andrea and I have gone through numerous names. Over the past few weeks she has suggested some names that I thought were… less than desirable. However, I could tell some of these names were important to her so I told her I would consider them. When I stopped attacking a name and used it instead to refer to my unborn son, I found that I would start favoring most names. Sure there were some that still never won me over, but at least I considered it. It meant a lot when Andrea considered names that were important to me. It was only fair that I returned the favor. This is important because the last thing you need during this time is an argument over having opinions valued.
To tell or not to tell – This depends solely on how you and your spouse best make decisions. Do outside opinions energize you, or do they frustrate you? The only reason why I mentioned this is because Andrea and I never really gave much thought on whether we were going to share our baby names with others. Now most of our family and close friends know of our options. As much as we love these people, we are finding their opinions or comments frustrating, even though we know they only mean well. It is entirely our own fault. Think about this before you start telling people your options. Will you be energized by hearing their opinions or will it only frustrate you. Also I don’t recommend only telling a few and keeping secrets from others. Even the most honest people have a hard time keeping their lips sealed when it comes to babies. Feelings are bound to get hurt. This may not matter to some, but if the goal is to not tell many people to keep down the drama, the potential for hurt feelings is not worth the risk.
Communicate – The best piece of advice I think I can give from my own experience is to communicate with your spouse. Andrea and I have disagreed with many names and we still haven’t finalized a winner, but since we have kept our communication up throughout the entire process the frustrations and hurt feelings have been held to a minimum. Remember to value each other’s opinions and that no matter how crazy of a name your spouse suggests, they still have the baby’s best interest in mind.
I must admit, I am a bit envious of those who have gone through the baby naming process without an ordeal. If you fall into that category be thankful. There can lots of external pressure. But if you are like me and it hasn’t been a cakewalk, just remember that you are preparing a gift for your son or daughter. Regardless, be intentional and put thought into naming your child.
What are your stories? Share some methods that have helped you. Thanks for reading and sharing. God bless.