Keeping the Love Going for Baby Name #3, 4 or More

Keeping the Love Going for Baby Name #3, 4 or More

By Melissa Willets

There’s nothing like your first love. It’s uncomplicated, pure. It’s an easy love you don’t question or overthink. You simply enjoy the ride.

A second love can be just as beautiful, but there’s baggage now. You might battle insecurities, or fears that this relationship won’t stand up to your first love, or, ultimately, be what you want.

By a third, fourth, (or fifth, etc.) love, there’s even more baggage. You overthink everything, at every turn. What if this? What if that? And so it goes, no matter how many times you fall for someone.

Falling in love is actually much like the process of baby naming. Just stick with me… I’m thinking back to naming our first daughter. How, much like my first love, it couldn’t have been more effortless. Never did I feel any reservations that it was meant to be. Dana. Perfection.Naming our second daughter wasn’t nearly as easy. Because our firstborn’s name was up on that pedestal. It was the bar I’d measure all other names against. And could a second name ever compare?

There were so many things to consider: the second child’s name had to “go” with the first. How would the names look together on a holiday card? How would they sound together, when I called the girls to dinner? In other words, baggage.

I made lists of baby names for months, overanalyzing dozens of monikers, from Ava to Willa. On napkins and with chalk on the driveway, I doodled names from Lindsay to Lola.

Finally, we had it: Brooke was the perfect name for baby #2. And yes, I loved this name just as fiercely, albeit differently, than our first daughter’s name.

Being open to loving a third name; phew, brutal! In the end, compromise was the name of the game, as in many relationships. My husband and kids rallied hard, and won me over with the name Madison.

Now, as we consider trying for baby #4, I’m road-weary from my baby-naming journey. Bruised by past love affairs with baby names friends’ chose. Scarred by baby name regret, and unforeseen nicknames, over-popularity, and misspellings. I worry I’ll never be able to fall in love again.

But no! I believe there are plenty of names out there for each of us. We just have to be open to them; willing to start fresh, and accept that nothing is perfect, but maybe, just maybe, a new and wonderful experience is waiting just around the corner.

It’s with an optimistic heart, that I humbly offer some tips for falling in love with a new baby name:

Think outside the list. Sure, you have a type when it comes to baby names. But swipe right with a bit more abandon! You never know; you might connect with a name you never could have imagined falling for. For example, I’m currently obsessed with the names Saylor and Dakota.

Go back to basics. What’s really important to you in a baby name? Originality? That it honors a relative? Identify what made you fall in love with the first name, and then, try to replicate that, but with your well-earned perspective.

Find common ground. What do names you love share in common? The baby names I’ve “fallen for” have a unisex feel, so surfing unisex baby name forums for ideas is great for inspiration.

Let fate decide. Don’t pressure yourself to be in a relationship with a baby name, so to speak, just yet. Wait and see what feels right when baby is born.

Melissa Willets is a writer, mom and unabashed yoga and coffee addict. Find her on Facebook.