What’s in a name? A lot, actually…naming your child may feel like one of the hardest parts of being pregnant (besides actual labor, of course). Think about what’s important to you when naming your baby. Do you want something unique, traditional, or somewhere in between? While no one can choose your baby’s perfect name but you, here are some helpful tips on what to consider when naming your child.

Does the baby name allow for growth?

It’s true that you’re naming a baby…but it’s important that the name you choose can grow with your little one past toddlerhood. Some names are really cute for babies, but you just can't picture it on an adult. To see where your name-of-choice stands, practice saying it out loud. (What would that name look like on a job application?) Choosing an official first name that'll fit your child through adulthood might feel too mature for a tiny babe, but you can always use cute nicknames while Baby is young!

How popular is your baby name pick?

Ever hear someone call out your name in a crowded room, but they’re not talking to you? This might happen to your little one if you choose a popular name. But don’t worry: There's a ton of info out there on the popularity of names. See where your name pick ranks on the Social Security Administration’s list.

Don’t get too hung up on popularity, though. The interesting thing about modern naming trends is that even the most popular names are only bestowed on a few. For example, Emma was the most popular girls' name in 2018, but only given to 1% of brand-new baby girls. (Also keep in mind that names become popular because they’re well-loved!)

Do you want a unique baby name?

On the opposite end of the spectrum, some parents may find they want a completely unique name for their baby—avoiding popularity all together! Again, it helps to check the SSA name list to see where your favorite names rank.

When it comes to the unique approach, you may want to try it out first. Go to a coffee shop and give the barista your name of choice. How does it sound when they call it out? Did they mispronounce it? Was it spelled correctly?

Getting a “feel” for the name is an easy way to discover if your child may have difficulties later in life with something “too” different. There’s no shame in being original, though!

Do you want to honor a family member with your baby's name?

A great way to pay homage to an inspiring family member is pass on their name. Was your Grandma Elizabeth your favorite person growing up? Honor her legacy by giving your baby her name. Another fun way to use a family name: Inspiration. You could name your baby Eliza or something that starts with the letter ‘E’.

Do you like all of the possible nicknames?

Love the name Madeline but hate the nickname Maddie? You may want to consider a different option...or not! You can always guide friends and family toward using your baby's full name—or the nickname you prefer—just do it from the get-go to set precedent. Remember, it's A-okay to correct folks who nickname your baby, too. Got a Theodore on the way who Grandpa already calls Teddy? Gently say that he's going to go by Theo or Theodore, not Ted or Teddy.

Do you and your partner agree on a baby name?

It’s hard enough to find a name you like… let alone one that you and your partner both love. But it is important to be on the same page when it comes to naming your newest family member. If you’re having trouble coming to a decision, consider a compromise: One parents gets to name the first baby, then the other names the second—or one chooses the first name, while the other selects the middle.

Would you want the name you’re choosing?

Put yourself in your baby-to-be's shoes! Remember: You’re giving a name to your little one for their entire life...would you like the name you’re choosing?

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.