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The Best Baby Name Advice

The Best Baby Name Advice

Over the many months of How I Named My Baby, our Berries have shared incredible tips and valuable insight on navigating the baby name process.

Here, the best baby name advice from our readers:

On where to begin:

“Start off by asking your partner what names they don’t like! Are there any names that are off-limits? (i.e people they met and didn’t like, or maybe a relative they don’t want their kid named after). That way you can cross those names off your list immediately!” — Hayley Maxey

“Keep a running list, even if you're not pregnant. You never know when you'll come back to a name and find that it feels just right. Mercer has been on my list for the past three-plus years and we kept returning to it.” — Allison Carrera

On working together:

“Instead of focusing solely on finding one perfect name, focus on creating a pool of names that you both appreciate and really like. This makes it easier to talk about styles and form opinions together rather than just shooting down name after name that the other person likes.”  — McKenna York

“A veto is a veto — if someone hates the name, it doesn’t matter how much you love it. Our strategy was always to find names we both like and go from there. It takes a long time to do that, but it’s best to go from that mentality if you have a partner. It should be a joint effort. You should want them to love the name as much as you because it’s their kid too.” — Andrea

On inspiration:

“Write them all down, even if they seem super out-there or quirky. Often one will lead to another. You get into a rhythm of what you like, whether it’s three syllables, ending with an A, a certain origin. It helps you see the patterns of what you like. Nothing is too weird to write down and go from there.” — Jessica Lopez

“Just have fun with it! What you may think in your head does not end up being “the name” for your baby. Take inspiration from road signs, menus, magazines, songs, and tv shows! Or make it a game — we had a list of 20 names per gender and each week would agree on one to eliminate and then move on. In the end, your name for your baby will be perfect. They will grow into it and love it, and will love you for giving it to them!” — Evelyn Woodbridge

On keeping your distance:

“We sat down one day and typed out our list, and then we forgot about the list. We put it on our phones and shared it with each other, and every time we heard a name that we liked, we’d add it to the list, but we didn’t go back and dwell on it. That was great because when it came time to pick his middle name, we already had the name we liked. We’d already done the looking, we’d listed everything we could think of, and we had enough distance from it where we weren’t overthinking our options. It was easy enough to pair the first name with the other choices and see how they felt together.” — Dara Bloomfield

On involving others:

“Keep any names you like to yourself and between you and your partner only — until you are at your end of the pregnancy or until after the baby is here. We found that everyone has an opinion, and some will make comments such as, ‘that’s lovely but…’” — Lily Whymark

“I would tell [expats] to try very hard to get their loved ones involved. That helps — I talked to Anders’s parents about the names of people from their childhoods. The names were all pretty similar to what’s around now, but I was able to pick up on the vibe and if there were trends within the family.” — Nila Latimore

On thinking beyond yourself:

“Really think about your child at all stages of life with that name. What will that name represent for and about them? In the baby name process, it’s so easy to get caught up with what you like and what you want. And while I definitely think you should go with a name that speaks to you, it’s so important to think about how that name will impact the person who has to wear it their whole life.” — Lainie

On personal meaning:

“It’s nice to be able to tie in your personalities. I think that’s more important than certain trends that are happening wherever you live. If what’s important to you as a couple is keeping tradition alive, or you want boldness or creativity, or if being intellectual is your thing, then those themes within your partnership should be reflected in a baby name.” — Nila Latimore

“Try to find those interesting connections! If you like a name, go beyond the name itself. Think of the meaning or connections to your family tree.” — Sammi Z.

“Definitely research the meaning of a name. Look for purpose and qualities you want the baby to embody — they just might happily live up to their name.” — Kinda Saunders

On name regret:

“Don’t be afraid to change your mind! Even if you’ve already told everyone, bought something monogrammed, or even signed the name on the birth certificate. We changed her name when it was technically “too late,” and now I could not be more in love with the name we chose for our little girl.” — Paige Rodriguez

On following your heart:

“Name your baby what you want to. I know a lot of times people are like, 'I have to name him after my dad,' or 'I have to put a family name in there.' But only do that if that’s what you actually want. This is your child, you have the responsibility and privilege of naming them, of creating this life, so I would say just do you. You don’t have to please anyone else.” — Tiffany Moore

“Names on a piece of paper are hard. You write them down in different fonts and say them over and over until the syllables sound like a different language. Don’t over-analyze it! Go with your instinct and pick the name you love. When your child arrives and begins to grow and develop a personality, it will no longer just be a name, it will represent the most joyous little soul you’ve ever met.” — Kellie Brown

“Go for broke! You just don’t know what your fertility journey is going to look like. Don’t be afraid and have fun. I’m really happy I went with the more unusual choices on my list. Naming should be a rich tapestry and you should add to name diversity if you feel drawn to that.” — Taylor Olsen

See the entire How I Named My Baby collection here.

About the Author

Sophie Kihm

Sophie Kihm has been writing for Nameberry since 2015. She has contributed stories on the top baby name trends of 2021, baby name synesthesia, and the top names in each state. Sophie is Nameberry’s resident Name Guru to the Stars, where she suggests names for celebrity babies. She also manages the Nameberry Instagram and Pinterest. You can follow her personally on Instagram or Pinterest, or contact her at sophie@nameberry.com. Sophie lives in Chicago.