Cheryl’s Shoulder: How to Name your Baby

First of all, let me congratulate you! The journey that you are beginning is quite a ride. I am still on the journey myself and I can tell you that it is full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and it will never cease to amaze you.

Pregnancy is such a wonderful time for a couple. So many wonderful moments that the two of you get to share. Feeling the baby kick, hearing the heartbeat, seeing the sonogram, and countless others. There are also lots of decisions to make when you have a baby on the way. What color will you paint the nursery? Which baby items to put on the registry? Bottle or breast? Go back to work or stay home? The list of choices and decisions feels endless! Many of these choices will one day be a distant memory, all except for one choice.

What baby name will you choose? That choice will be on the tip of your tongue countless times each and every day for the rest of your life. You and your spouse both know just how important this decision is for your child. That is why many couples struggle so much over this very thing. Sure some couples have it easy! My parents both wanted to name their first daughter the same thing, even before they ever met one another! Other couples don’t have it so easy.

Couples with that very trouble is exactly why I am writing this article. I am going to give you several different methods for trying to choose a baby name, including the methods that worked best for my husband and I. Each method has its pros and cons, but I am sure you will find one of these methods will work for you and your spouse.

Family Names
This is a wonderful way to honor someone who was really special in you or your spouse’s life or to carry on a family name. It can be very helpful because this method limits the amount of names you have to choose from to a much smaller batch. Of course, this method can also make things more difficult. Sure the amount of names to choose from is smaller, but those names mean a lot to you and your spouse, so choosing from them may be even more difficult and stressful.

Take Turns
Yes I know, this seems like a silly way to pick your child’s name, but this really does work for some couples! If you plan to have more than one child, you can simply take turns naming the children. One of you names the first, the other names the second.

Another way to use this method is that one of you picks the first name, and the other picks the middle name. My husband and I did this when we named our son. This method does also have a downside, what if you or your spouse pick a name that they other just can’t stand? So it could still be a source of disagreement in some cases.

Yellow and Blue Make Green
Here is a method that was not suggested to me, but we kind of figured out on our own. We got a brand new baby name book, one yellow highlighter, and one blue highlighter. My husband and I each chose our highlighter color. Then we took turns highlighting the names that we liked in the name book. We went name by name and highlighted the names that we each liked individually. His were yellow, mine were blue, and then the names that we both liked were green! We then chose our baby name from those green names.

Sure, you may see what names the other person highlighted and be tempted to highlight just because they did. But in my opinion this is the best method. I think it worked extremely well for us! You may even find that a name you didn’t know you would like is a name you just may turn out to love. All because your spouse highlighted it and it made you really think about a name that you may not have originally given a second thought.

Wait and See
Some couples choose to wait until the baby is born to choose a baby name. They want to see the baby and get a feel for who the baby looks like before they pick a name. This option did not work for me, but it is just perfect for some couples. One big downfall is you have to name the baby before you leave the hospital. If you are having trouble making a decision, then this could prolong your hospital stay.

Say It
Make sure you say the full (first, middle and last) name out loud, not just in your head. The name will sound differently when you say it out loud. This simple task will throw some choices right out the window.

No matter which method you choose, try not to get too worked up over the baby name game. In the end you will have a beautiful new baby, and the perfect name for him or her!

Please feel free to submit your questions for the next Cheryl’s Shoulder article. I am always happy to give you advice on whatever issues you may be facing. Feel free to send me a question and I will give you my take on your issue.


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