How did you decide on the name of your baby? If you’re currently expecting, are you fed up of going through all the books and not finding a name you like? The problem with names is that they can bring up memories. One name that may sound great for your partner reminds you of that high school bully or the ex-girlfriend in college.

You may have parents pressuring you into using names from the family that you really don’t like or people coming up with names that sound terrible. So how do you come up with baby names? Whether you know the sex or not, how do you choose something to call your child that you are going to say for (hopefully) the rest of your life?

Here are a few tips for coming up with baby names and a few don’ts thrown in the list.

Baby finger and mum's hand
Credit: Ohmega1982/

Do you have an idea for your baby's name yet?

Consider Some of the Family Names

Have a look through the family tree. While your grandmother’s forename might not be something that you want to use for your baby girl, there may be another name in there. Many traditional names will have been used in family trees somewhere along the line. In fact, you may find something from the early 20th century that still has a modern sound today.

If you’re not too sure about the first name, consider using it for the middle name. This is something that many people opt for and is a popular Royal tradition. You don’t just have to have one middle name, so you can use names from both sides of the family tree to avoid favouritism.

Choose a Different Spelling of a Traditional Name

If you love the sound of a traditional name but want to make it slightly different, there is always the option of choosing a different spelling. There is nothing to say that you have to use the spelling “Catherine” for that name. While “Katherine” is the next popular way to spell it, you could opt for “Kathryn” to make it more unique and modern.

There is also the option of opting for the shorter version as the official name. You may have a family member named Charles but not like the traditional sound. Charlie is a great shortened alternative and there are many other names that you could do that with. Of course, sometimes the names aren’t exactly shorter, such as Jamie instead of James!

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Look at the List of Popular Baby Names

You could always take a look at the list of popular baby names. If anything, it may give you the list of names to stay away from if you want something more unique and uncommon. It can also give you ideas of the names that have been around for decades and will be respected. Celebrity choices are another option to consider.

Avoid opting for the latest trend in names, though! Remember that this is a name that will stick with your baby for the rest of his or her life. It needs to be something that she will like and something that won’t get her bullied! Don’t just choose a name because it is currently at the top of the list. Choose something because you like it and it will have good implications in the future. Choose something that you are going to like saying.

Remember that baby names are just like fashion. They go in a cycle of the things that people love and hate.

Opt for Your Favourite Name

For some people, the choice of names has been something they’ve thought about for a long time. You may have had a list of your favourite options since you were a child. Go for your favourites; after all, it is your child! However, don’t just pick one from your favourite TV show without really thinking about whether your child will be bullied because of it in later years.

Get yourself and your partner to sit down and write out the top five baby names. You can then go through and cross off the ones that you definitely want to veto. Most of the time, you will find some names that you can enjoy together.

Pregnant woman with teddy bear
Credit: Stuart Miles/

What baby name are you thinking about choosing?

Let One Parent Choose the Name

If you really get stuck for the name choice, consider letting mum choose the name for a girl and dad to choose it for a boy. You are both allowed a set number of vetoes (usually two or three) but after that it is up to that parent.

This is great if you both have similar tastes in names but if you both have different tastes it can be difficult. However, this only works when you don’t know the sex of the child beforehand.

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Think About the Sound of the Name Later in Life

Remember that your baby will grow up to be an adult. You need a name that is easily transformed for the different stages in life. Think about nicknames during childhood—and remember that children can be mean—and then consider the different variations he or she could use when they grow up. Consider the problem for business needs and how a name will look on wedding invitations and other important stages of his or her life.

Choosing a baby name can take some time and effort. Think about the way it sounds during different stages and avoid just going for the latest trend. You want something that is timeless and you’re going to be happy saying for the rest of your life. At the same time, you want something that your child will be able to love, while keeping the rest of your family happy!