How To Pick A Perfect Baby Name

May 15, 2014

How To Pick A Perfect Baby Name

How to pick a perfect baby name…well it’s hard, isn’t it?

How to pick a perfect baby name

Picking a perfect baby name seems like the fun part of pregnancy and birth. Everyone has a name they’ve loved since childhood, or some kind of mental list of cool names you could use.

Turns out it’s a veritable minefield of missteps, explosive and argumentative vetoes and potentially political social faux pas trapdoors. So many names remind you of other people are too popular, have strange associations or you just don’t like, for whatever reason.

Picking A Perfect Baby Name – For Your Second Baby

Think it was hard the first time round?

It’s worse the second time round because clearly, you already picked the best possible name for your first baby (read our post on nicknames for Eliza).

Tips to pick a perfect baby name - for first and second babies

How We Decided On Our Name

We actually named Eliza backwards. Before I was even pregnant we somehow had a name we both loved. There you go, Bob’s your uncle (or your first born, if that’s the angle you are going for. It wasn’t ours, by the way). And then at the 22 week scan we found out she very much wasn’t a he, so went right back to the drawing board. And the baby name book.

Things To Consider When Naming Your Baby

The holy grail of baby names seems to be something that’s lovely, not common enough that there will be five in their class, or too out there that people will say “That’s…very…interesting…” Which, funnily enough, is what lots of parents also seem to want, and why so many lovely names are really popular. You also, I guess, want something that won’t make your beautiful new bundle of joy sound like a 55 year old accountant, or your future middle-aged offspring sound like a toddler. There’s also the responsibility of knowing they’ll have it for their whole life, so you have to get it right. It’s tougher than you’d think.

Then there are the other rules. It’s a completely personal thing, but for us, we avoided a C or K due to a last name clash, and sidestepped anything that sounded like either of our names. We wanted it to be something we both equally loved, with good nickname potential. And there was absolutely no letting on to anyone until the baby arrived.

There’s always the risk that a z-list celeb or minor royal will pick it first, at the last minute, just when you’re about to pop (seeing as most people are pregnant at the same time as me, this is a bit of a worry).

And this time round, we’re also avoiding:

  • No double E’s or Kardashian style komplimenting of letters
  • Something that goes well with Eliza, but not too well – so nothing that’s themed, has repetitive sounds, or makes an odd combination (especially as it’ll be shouted up the stairs lots when they’re both teenagers)
  • As Eliza’s a short form of Elizabeth, no Elizabeth variants – which rules out Isabel, Betsy, Bess, Beth and so on. Easy with a boy, though

All this would be tricky enough, but on top of that my husband is the king of the vetoes. He can no a name, and a give a reason, in less than five seconds. And because he actually came up with the goods last time, he’s sticking to his guns that he’ll be able to do it this time round. Which also means sticking to the same formula where he won’t discuss it until we know the sex. Which is infuriating, so say the least.

So in the meantime, until next week, I’m sticking to texting him odd name after odd name, just to get the amusing veto text “no…that’s a space station…no…it’s a baby, not a 1950’s cleaning lady…no…that’s a fat wrestler…no, just NO.”

Wish us luck.

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  • Eleanor (thebristolparent)

    May 15, 2014 at 10:01 am

    Think about their initials too. As in how they look when you write them, making annoying acronymns. Me and my sis are A&E for example.

    1. gillian

      May 15, 2014 at 10:08 am

      Good point! Ahhh, so much to think about. This is why it’s annoying me that Alex won’t discuss it till next week (too practical!) x

  • Lia

    May 15, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Good point about the initials – my little boy is D.E.B! It’s so tricky isn’t it, we have a Dexter, a Florence & an India. We had Dexter picked out from the start, we named Florence when we met her and I loved India but wasn’t sure, until the student midwife came in & she was called India! It was a sign!!

  • Michelle

    May 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    Good luck! We chose our sons name while I was in the throws of labour. In Montreal, French-Canadians often don’t have middle names so I had to convince my French-Canadian husband that it was worthwhile! He still doesn’t really understand the concept though…!!

  • Lina

    May 15, 2014 at 2:25 pm

    Somehow baby names get harder with each child I think! You have to like the name and worry about other people liking the name and it also has to match siblings names. I don’t think ours (number 3) will have a name for ages – we just can’t agree on something we both like!

    1. gillian

      June 14, 2014 at 11:15 pm

      Number 3 must be so tricky! It just gets harder each time round, doesn’t it? All the names I seem to like are either E names or and end in an ‘a’ sound which we really want to avoid as too similar. Arghh xx

  • Jess @ Along Came Cherry

    May 15, 2014 at 7:44 pm

    It is so much harder the second time because like you said it has to ‘go’ with the eldest child’s name. We just couldn’t decide and even after a week we ended up picking something we weren’t entirely happy with, we both had different first choices and didn’t like each other’s so had to go for a compromise in the end which neither of us loved but we did ‘like’. Good luck! x

  • Fiona

    May 15, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    Haha! Which name is the 1950s cleaner?! I hated picking names. I hated HATED the name my husband wanted for a boy, and he didn’t like my name for a girl. In the end we didn’t choose one, and when the baby was born a girl, I simply announced her name (the one he didn’t like), and he couldn’t really argue because I’d just pushed out a 9lb baby. He now likes the name, so all is well that ends well 😉 x

  • Polly

    May 15, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    lol…. we REALLY struggled with number three, esp when it was another girl!! good luck!

  • Georgina

    May 15, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    Good luck picking a name 🙂 It’s a minefield isn’t it! It’s like, if we have a girl, we’re sorted, lots of great names to pick from. But if we have a boy, we’ve literally only agreed on one name, and that name the hubby isn’t as keen on anymore… there’s just not enough good boys names out there!


    1. gillian

      June 14, 2014 at 11:13 pm

      Agree on boys names! We had one we loved picked out last time but it was the only one. We’ve completely gone off it now (and it’s so associated with the first pregnancy that we couldn’t use it!) But saying that, we can’t find a girl’s name we like either…yikes x

  • Caroline (Becoming a SAHM)

    May 16, 2014 at 8:08 am

    Great post and I am so with you! We knew Monkey’s name before he was born – and we have a girls name we love this time round. But if it’s a boy (which with hubby being one of 3 boys, it may well be) we are stumped. If you’ve ever known someone with a particular name it makes it hard to then name your child the same I find – I love Ben, but hubby works with 3 bens, so that’s a no! So difficult to find that perfect name isn’t it? Good luck and I think we need some luck too!! xx #blogbumpclub

    1. gillian

      June 14, 2014 at 11:12 pm

      So difficult! My sister-in-law is a teacher and she found it impossible as she’d taught so many children with names and associated them. And when you already have a child you know so many others from playgroups and NCT don’t you? Lets hope we both find on we like soon! x

  • Pregnancy week 18: heartbeat |

    May 16, 2014 at 8:41 am

    […] don’t find out the sex out for a week or do, and only then will my husband finally talk baby names. But if the speed of the heart beat is anything to go by – an old wives tale, but it was true […]

  • Circus Queen

    May 16, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Naming is such a complicated and interesting process now. Not like the good old days where you’d probably just be named after your granny, aye? We chose Talitha before we were engaged. We were talking about the story of Jesus raising Jairus’ daughter from the dead and the fact that his words raising her were spoken in Aramaic: “Talitha cumi” – “Little girl, arise”. I mentioned that I’d once met a Talitha and we decided it was a name we both liked. Unfortunately, lots of people think she’s actually called Tulisa (from NDubz)….decidedly lower brow!

  • laura redburn

    May 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm

    hope you find the perfect name for your little one!

  • mamasVIB

    May 17, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Just read this and it made me smile as I have posted this week about choosing my daughter name and how picking a name makes people say the worst things about your choice!

    Hadn’t even thought about the problems with second names… ha ha. Am sure you will pick a lovely name and I guess I should start making a list for any potential brothers/sisters!


  • Laura

    May 18, 2014 at 12:55 am

    Great post! It can be hard to find a baby name – our problem was not the lack of names but the lack of ones we agreed on. I wanted to call Mr A – Zepher and sometimes I still wish I had put my foot down and just called him that

    Laura x

  • Globalmouse

    May 18, 2014 at 7:44 am

    I LOVE picking names…but it’s true, they take A LOT of thought!! Good luck, can’t wait to hear what you’ve picked!

  • fritha

    May 18, 2014 at 10:50 am

    that such a good point about having to go with the first child’s name! My SIL is called Ellen and her son is called Evan and when you call either name it’s really hard to differentiate. She thought about an E name for their second but was convinced from the rest of the family not to, ha! We both loved the name Wilf even before I was pregnant so it was pretty easy for us but the girls name we liked at the time we don’t like now! x

  • ghostwritermummy

    May 19, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    My husband and I have never really agreed on names after our firstborn. We both agreed on her name straight away but the next two we took turns in naming. This time its my turn but, again, my husband is doing his infuriating thing of refusing to discuss names AT ALL!! Haha it is hard choosing a name though, but one of my favourite bits of it all!
    x x

    1. gillian

      June 14, 2014 at 11:09 pm

      Why do husband’s do that? At what point is yours going to discuss it though? Mine finally relented after the 20 week scan (when I made him go through the entire baby book). We’re still no closer though! x

  • Jennie

    May 20, 2014 at 7:54 am

    I love choosing names! I have written about it so many times on my blog and would continue to do so but David has asked me not to this time around. Finding a fourth name is proving tricky. We want a name that compliments Esther, William and Matilda. We want a name that gives this new baby a character of her own but also nods to the fact she is our Rainbow and has a big sister in the sky. Naming a child is a huge responsibility. Today I think we have it narrowed down to two names but who knows what we will think tomorrow xx

    1. gillian

      June 14, 2014 at 11:04 pm

      We’re finding it tricky and it’s our second, must be so hard with your fourth! I’m sure the perfect name will come to you soon, and you’ll just know it x

  • lori

    May 21, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    I love LOVED picking out names for F and it I find it the most fun part of pregnancy. I think it could be trickier next time round but mainly because I have such differing opinions to my husband. x

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