Choosing a Baby Name {AKA The Great Debate} – Frugal Novice

Choosing a Baby Name {AKA The Great Debate}

Now that we’ve been told with 95% certainty (by the way, who else wonders how they decide what percentage they’re “sure”?) we’re having a GIRL, we’ve begun the search for her name. We had discussed names a little bit, but at that point we’d assumed we were probably having boy #3. Lincoln and Finn were our top two boy name contenders, with Lincoln being the front runner. But girl names? There weren’t any that just stood out as the one.

It’s funny how my feelings toward names change over time. Of course, I’m not surprised (& Brian is pretty thankful) that I’ve deviated from my love of “September Rain” I had in 7th grade, but other names that I used to like aren’t bad at all. Chloe was a top choice when I was in college (because apparently I’ve always had baby names I like) but then that got really popular and less appealing. Post-marriage and pre-children, Audrey was my favorite girls’ name, and I held on to it as an option with each of my previous pregnancies. Now, though, it just doesn’t seem to “fit”, so nymbler has become one of our favorite sites to browse.

I do know some qualities that we like and don’t like in a name. We don’t want anything that sounds really high-brow/fancy, and we don’t like names that are overly perky/feel like they belong to a cheerleader. There are some names we like, but that good friends or family have already used, so we prefer to avoid those too. I tend toward liking old-fashioned names, some of which Brian has vetoed. And he tends toward pushing sci-fi, Lord of the Rings, or video game references. All of which I’ve vetoed. :)  There are a few names on our short list but I’ll wait to share until we’ve figured out what we’re going with!

What’s your criteria for picking a name? Any suggestions you think we ought to consider?

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  • Daniel Barcroft May 7, 2012 at 10:33 am

    It seemed like the minute we knew the gender of our first, people were appalled we didn’t have a name yet. We’d narrowed it down to a couple of (other) names, and then we came up with the final name rather suddenly about two weeks before the birth. We told immediate family, and that was it; everybody else learned the name at the birth.

    For our second, we didn’t go to as much trouble to keep it a secret, but it was almost as late in the game when we decided on one, and it was similarly a sudden discovery that beat out current frontrunners. Also, our firstborn’s name is pretty traditional and “conservative,” while our second’s is a little less common and more “whimsical” (even though it’s a pretty old name with some tradition behind it), so that surprised some people.

    Seems like it just takes a while to come up with names at our house, but when we get one we like we usually really love it a lot. So our first rule is not to give in to outside pressure, and give plenty of percolation time before making a decision.

    Also, we’ve found with both of ours that “preconceived” names (names we’ve considered during previous pregnancies, names we’ve always really liked, names that run in the family, etc.) are really great starting points. Even though we haven’t really gone with strong family-tradition names, both of our kids’ names have little “nods” to family members in one way or another.

    • Christi May 9, 2012 at 9:44 am

      It is always funny to me how opinionated people are about OTHER people’s name choices! We were told by a friend that he did NOT like J’s name, and being the hormonal pregnant person I was, I cried. But we loved it, and that’s all that mattered.

      I love both of your kids’ names, by the way!

      • Daniel Barcroft May 9, 2012 at 9:57 am

        Ha ha! That’s funny to hear; I’d never considered that name to be all that unusual or controversial. I think your kids’ names go well together.

        Another approach I was just reminded of was that we know a couple who sat down and made a list of conditions for their kids’ name before they started. For instance, they wanted something that could easily be figured out phonetically from the spelling (So, “Michael” might have been iffy, but “Jonathan” would have fit the rule). The name they came up with was pretty unusual, but it was interesting to hear how specific they got with it, and in the end they had some very practical reasons for liking the name they chose.

  • Bethany May 9, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Have you been coming to our MOPS group and I didn’t see you?! There is a Lincoln, a Finn, and a brand new Audrey in our Moppets rooms! And I think Audrey sounds nice with the boys’ names. :0)