Friday, March 19, 2010

the quest for the perfect name

Naming a child can be really hard. It's a big responsibility parents have to bestow a name on a baby. The name they will carry throughout their life. I've always loved thinking about baby names, and I love discussing the subject with other moms-to-be. I mean what girl doesn't have a running list of her favorites going from the time she is 5?

I remember for years my favorite boy name was Jackson and my favorite girl name was Stella. But then Jackson and Jack become super popular and trendy. Plus I married a man with the last name Anderson. Two "son"s in one name is too many. I still really like the name Stella, but I now know too many Ella's and Ellie's and the like, so Stella is no longer on my list. One of my requirements is that the name not be trendy. I refuse to use a name that is in on the Top 100.

I chose the name Asher after reading My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok when Jared and I were engaged. Right then and there we decided our first son would be Asher. Super easy. I love that it's biblical but not super common. It has gained in popularity in the last few years, but since it's in the Bible, I don't think it can ever be deemed trendy.

Now we are trying to decide on a name for our baby girl. We have a much harder time with girls names. We don't agree on them as easily. I have spent A LOT of time online looking at names. Although there are lots of names I like, I've been having a hard time feeling like one is the one. I would love to use a Biblical name again and we have two that we really like, but I just can't seem to commit.

I loved that when I was pregnant with Asher, we called him Asher from the day we knew he was a boy. I loved having that extra connection and having him feel like a real little person even before he was born. I would love to name this baby before she comes so I can have that same connection. I'm just not sure I will be able to name her until she is born and I see her.

How did you choose your child(ren)'s names? Do you have a running list of your favorite names for your future children? Did you pick your child's name before they were born? Did you and your spouse have a hard time agreeing on a name? Have any of you had a spiritual experience in naming your child(ren)?

Two really fun baby name websites are Baby Name Wizard and Name Berry.


  1. I feel your pain! Well, maybe pain isn't the right word. :) I had my list of names that I had been "collecting" for the last few years and B went through and cut most of them out of the running. We now have 2 (TWO!) names that we agree on. That is a very short list. One of them is the same girl name you told me that you guys loved at Red Butte. Remember? But neither of those names have grabbed me and I haven't had that "THIS IS THE NAME!" feeling. I hope it comes though. I want to feel inspired.

    I'm planning on buying this baby name book:

    I saw it on Desgin Mom but I have heard that it is great from others too. You can borrow it! :)

  2. oh i can so relate. i love baby names and thinking of them and writing lists of names i like, but when it comes to actually settling on a name for an actual real live person i find myself unsure and wondering if i have found the right one. that is why i have waited until both of my babies were born to look at them and decide that the name was right. with both of them we had a few prayers in the hospital (sounds a little cheesy, but i needed the peace for my sanity) to make sure it all felt right.

    i also cannot do trendy. or made up. i love classic, strong names, but they CANNOT be popular. which is getting harder because those types of names are coming back in style (hello henry and william!). so we chose george for our boy, naming him after one of my little orphan babies that i took care of and adored in romania for 8 months in college. i loved that it was an old, regal name but not popular. and while it felt weird to look at a newborn and say "george" at first, i love LOVE it now. it is perfect. and then for our girl, we settled on pearl. i love that it is the same kind of name as george (that is also a must-- names need to go well together) in that they sound like the names of your great grandma and grandpa, but that i don't know of a single person under the age of 65 named it.

    good luck choosing-- the baby name wizard book really helped me come up with a short list this last time. i have it if you want to borrow it-- we do live pretty close to each other i think :).

  3. I know exactly how you feel! When we got pregnant with Dean, we always know that'd be his name, after my grandpa. We always had a list of girl names, but when we were actually pregnant they all went out the window, because I couldn't imagine ever calling my daughter any of those names. Weird. Addie (whose name is ridiculously popular, and I hate that) was 2 days old before we could agree. Adelyn Nanette. Addie is my great grandmothers name, and I have always felt this strong pull to use fmaily names, which is how we came to choose Addie even when it was so popular. I sometimes still struggle with it being too "in" right now, but I know who it comes from, and I love it anyway.

    Good Luck! Keep us posted on names... I can't get enough of them!

  4. Chris has this hugely long list of rules for naming children. I find it hilarious so I mocked it openly on my blog when I first started it. But some of them make a lot of sense. The problem is that there are so many rules, and so many different people from our combined pasts that it makes picking and committing to names for kids HARD.

    The Boy was named from day one. His was the one name we could agree and commit to 100%. Likewise, we have 1 girl name that we can agree and commit to 100%. Anything beyond that and we're in murky waters. I have several boy names and 1 more girl name that I like...Chris is wishy-washy on ALL of them. So we'll wait until we are with child again and then we'll reopen the debate.

    I'm so with you though. I LOVED having the boy named from day one. It made the pains and discomforts of pregnancy much more endurable to be able to say, "[Boy's name], you can't kick through my stomach...sorry, I know you're cramped in there." It made a painful situation somewhat comical and it was just between me and him which was so cozy and nice.

    Along the spiritual lines, before we even knew we were having a boy I had dreams about mine. Only he was older, a teenager, we were sitting at our kitchen table talking about serving a mission. And even in my dream he had his name.

  5. Oh good, someone already mentioned the book on Design Mom, because I totally thought of you when I read that post!

    Neil and I were actually talking about this the other day--we always start debating names for the next baby a few months after the last one is born. It takes us forever to agree!

    When we named Abigail, I had no idea her name would be so popular, so we went the other way with Juliet. Isaac was sort of in the middle. I like names that are classic, NOT trendy, and that work equally well for a little baby or an old person. Some that we're kicking around for the next baby: Katherine, Elise, Eleanor, Portia, Luke...can't agree on any other boy names (except Neil wants Lucas and I think that sounds like mucus).

  6. My offer still stands to name this one for you.

  7. Rebecca, Sarah & Hannah = favourite biblical girls names, but I won't be naming my girls that, since my sisters name is Rebecca and she has already laid claim to Hannah.

    For me, the first girl will be named after my Grandmothers maiden name (Delaney). By the way, isn't it tradition in some places to name your first daughter after your maiden name?

  8. Cool post! Gets you thinking. :) Mark and I came up with Mont... because we kept bouncing around lots of names, but Monte kept coming up, but I didn't LOVE the name "Monte"... so I was thinking aloud once and said, "what if we just dropped the 'e'?" "Mont?" "Yea, Mont." "I like it!" " Me too!" hahaha and that's how it went!! :P I was never a girl who had a list of names when I was little, but when Mark and I stared the long process of trying, I started the list. Though we came up with "Mont" about 5 months into the pregnancy, I didn't start calling him by name until about 7 months along; then the bonding began. :) It was great!! I'm so excited to hear about your little girl's name. I'm sure it'll be beautiful! My jewish friends names are "Asher and Ahava" - just had to share. ;)

  9. It is hard naming a baby! We were pretty blessed to find names that felt right for both of our boys. Although, we couldn't come up with a good girl's name for Evan. I actually did have a dream about Parker and his name... during my first trimester actually, before we "found out" that he was indeed a boy! (well, he still is...) I'll tell you about it sometime.. if you want to know! It's funny though, I didn't feel as sure about Parker's name until after his baby blessing at two weeks, and then felt great. Evan's just always been Evan... before he was even conceived!

  10. Ahava is really pretty; it means love in Hebrew.

  11. get a lot of LONG comments...lucky! Did you see that I wrote a post on our blog about Maxwell's name? (coincidentally, on the same day you wrote this post). Good luck with naming your little girl!

  12. I picked Olivia out, a LONG time ago, before it was popular. I mean, I don't come across any Olivias older than 10. I found it in the Work and the Glory books. I thought Livvy was the most beautiful name ever. I was embarrassed to tell my husband I wanted to name her that because it was so rare.
    It is tough to name a kid. I always tell new parents to take the name and pay a 13 year old boy $5 to make fun of the name. If you are okay with what he comes up with...then go for it!
    I like the name Eleanor too...