Naming a Boy if You’ve Only Had Girls…
By Melissa Willets
After picking four girl names, for me the prospect of picking a boy name feels almost as overwhelming as being pregnant for nine, long months. Seriously, no sushi or rosé until August?
Indeed, naming a child of the gender opposite to what you’ve become accustomed to is no easy task. After a few girls or boys, you may find it almost impossible to identify a moniker that fits. Here are some things to consider when picking a boy or girl name if you’re an experienced parent, but are new to team blue or pink.
Go back to that name you’ve held on to, just in case. I’ve had to return to the girl-name well several times, never dreaming I’d be able to use that boy name I’d loved for so many years. If you find yourself in the same boat, it’s time to bring that neglected name back out into play, at last.
Find a common thread among your kids’ names. If all your boys’ names end in “n” – Brayden, Justin, Mason – it’s clear that you like that construction and would probably want to continue it. Start brainstorming baby girl names that end with the same letter. Maybe Lillian, or Vivian.
Look to family names for inspiration. When in doubt, probe your MIL or grandma for names from way up on the family tree. It turns out we have some great names to choose from including Erik and Norman.
Peruse the most popular baby name lists. I know that this may seem counterintuitive to some, but obviously there has to be a reason why everyone loves certain names for boys and girls. Some popular names to consider include Abigail (so many cute nicknames!), Charlotte and Emily for a girl and Ethan, Noah and Liam for a boy. Hey, if you can’t beat ’em, join ‘em, right?
Listen for names in the playground or at school pick-up. I heard a mom call out to her son, “Graham!” And I thought, hmm, I like that. Another time, my daughter was talking about a boy named Hunter in her class and it clicked that I might consider this for a son. By the same token, certain names don’t feel like they right fit when you hear them spoken aloud.
The bottom line? You aren’t the first parent to have a baby of the opposite sex after a girl or boy streak. The right name will come to you eventually. Even if it’s the day you meet your little one, and realize he or she looks just like a (fill in the blank).
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on December 27th, 2017 at 1:03 pm
Been there and done that!
We wound up picking our little guy’s name from the family tree, and it suits him great. You can rarely ever go wrong with a family name.
on December 27th, 2017 at 1:52 pm
As an Abigail, I’d like to know what other nicknames there are besides Abby and Gail? I’ve never thought of Abigail as having a lot of nicknames.
on December 27th, 2017 at 2:10 pm
I disagree with some of this advice. Three or four out of eight pieces of advice are about how to make a boy name match the girl names you already have. While I think it’s good to have a common thread, of sorts (family names, for example, or all nature names), in my opinion it’s equally important to make a differentiation between boy names and girl names when you have more of one than the other. I’m a mom to 10 kids, 9 girls and 1 boy; my boy is number 8. While I want my boy to feel like he (and his name) fit naturally into this family of mostly girls, I also felt it was important to make sure he (and his name) were not the same as the girls. I feel like that’s a reflection of the natural differences between boys and girls. For example, several of my girls’ names end with a long E sound, so I avoided boy names like Jeremy. I also avoided unisex names, or boy names that have been co-opted for girls (I’m looking at you, Rory). I wanted it to be obvious when I listed out my kids’ names that there was a boy in there. So while I didn’t go for a boy name like Axel or Drake or Rocco, which to me are on the far end of the masculine-feminine spectrum for sound and/or meaning and/or vibe, I did put names on my list that reflected ‘definite boy name/will not be mistaken for a girl.’
on December 27th, 2017 at 7:08 pm
Denmama9, I totally agree. I dislike unisex names in general, but especially when there’s only one girl or boy in a family. When the names are listed, it’s unclear who is a girl or boy. We have three boys and if we have a girl next, she’ll have a lovely, feminine name (which I prefer anyway).
on December 29th, 2017 at 12:12 pm
I had three boys before I had my first girl. While I was hoping for more children I didn’t know if I’d have more girls and wanted her name to be perfect. I stuggled a great deal to find a name I really loved. I finally did and ended up giving her two middle names. I’ve had two more girls since her. One my husband named and I think that took a lot of pressure off me to find the perfect name. It didn’t have to be a name I absolutely loved, just liked (and I do, her first and middle!). When I had my third daughter though I again struggled to find a name I loved as much as my first. I think that for me girl names are just hard, and I may have set the bar too high with my first. It *almost* makes me want to let my dh name any other daughters we might end up having, lol!
Both of the girls that I’ve named, we’re names that I had loved since a teenager. I’d even written stories with characters with those names. We also did not keep the same theme for the girls that we had going for the boys.
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