Do you have kids? Are you expecting? If you’re answering yes to either of those questions, then I’m curious… how did you pick names for your children? There are a handful of different ways to go about picking names for littles so I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts on how to pick a good baby name as well as a little bit of the story behind Rowan’s name. I am fascinated by names and always love reading the most popular baby names from the year when a year comes to a close (here are the most popular baby names from last year in case you’re curious).
I think names reflect so much of who we are so I understand how it can be overwhelming for expecting parents to pick baby names. Names stick with us forever, after all. I think middle names are beautiful too so it’s important to pick a first and middle name that balances each other and has a nice ring to them when paired with the last name.
How To Pick A Good Baby Name
Edwin and I waited to find out the gender of our baby until Rowan was born so we were prepared with a boy and girl name. We knew our names before we even got pregnant too so we were prepared to sign the birth certificate and leave the hospital, ha. Since we knew our baby names right out of the gates, our friends often asked us if the names were still a go or if we’d changed our minds since we had so much time to mix things up. Neither of us waver that much so the names stuck!
Our son, Rowan Clarke Eversole, has a full hand-me-down name. Edwin and I both have first and middle names that are family names so we really liked the idea of going in this direction. My name, Jillian Anne, comes from my grandfather, Julian, and my grandmother, Peggy Anne. Edwin is Edwin Tobias for his grandfather. So Rowan was named in this same vein. Rowan was Edwin’s great uncle and Clarke was my other grandfather. Rowan also happened to be born on my grandpa Julian’s birthday. I truly love that he has a little bit of each of my grandfather’s with him in his name and his birthday that he will carry with him forever. Now for the fun stuff! How to pick a good baby name for your baby.
P.S. Rowan’s embroidered cardigan is the CUTEST little sweater for kiddos! It has different font, color, and sizing options. So precious for littles or as a gift for a loved one’s new baby!
Consider Full Names Instead of Just First Names
As soon as I learn of a baby being born, I’m dying to hear the full name. If I’m only told the first name, then I immediately ask what the middle name is. Full names tell such a more complete story to me. I think it’s important to consider full names instead of just first names. You want the first and middle name to compliment and balance each other. Plus, they need to sound good with your last name.
Take Nicknames into Consideration
Does the name you like have a nickname you love or hate associated with it? I always think that taking nicknames into consideration is hugely important because I identify so much as “Jillian” and not as “Jill.” There are also names that have nicknames that sound completely different than the name like “William” and “Billy.”
You can also go the other way with this and pick a name you love with a nickname you love even more so that you baby goes by the nickname right away. Either way works but it is definitely important to consider nicknames!
Spelling, spelling, spelling! My middle name is “Anne” spelled with an “e” on the end because that is how my grandma spelled it. It was an easy decision for my parents. My sister’s name is “Sarah” with an “h” at the end. This was a spelling choice by my parents. Our son, Rowan, has a name that is historically spelled two ways, “Rowan” and “Rohan.” Other names like Megan, Katie, Allie, Kristin, and Erika can all be spelled a handful of ways so make sure you love your spelling choice.
Don’t Forget Initials
This is something I wouldn’t have necessarily thought of but the initials I was born with were “JAA” and my mom says that, looking back, she might not have chosen to do two a’s next to each other for the sake of my monogram. There are also certain 3 letter arrangements out there that you clearly want to avoid. Even if monograms aren’t your thing, your baby might go on to love monograms so consider giving them the gift of strong initials.
Honor Family Members with Hand-Me-Down Names
This strategy for picking a baby name has been the most important and meaningful strategy for Edwin and me. We take great pride in being able to honor family members we love who have had a significant impact on our lives by naming our baby and future babies after them. Hand-me-down family names will absolutely stand the test of time in your little world and your family tree so you can never go wrong with using family names. You can also never go wrong with honoring a loved one who is alive or has sadly passed away.
Your Most Cherished Place
A strategy for picking a more modern or unique name can be naming your baby after a place you and your partner cherish. If you are choosing a location as a baby name, first or middle, then you might want to consider the culture or history of the location or lifestyles lived in the location. You would never want to project people’s preconceived notions about a place onto your baby through their name.
An Ode to Fame
In addition to naming your baby after a family member, a popular way to go with baby naming is to name your baby after a public figure. In my experience, I’ve seen parents most commonly name their children after famous people when it’s a musician or a historical figure of significance. With this route, I think the most important thing to consider is how much you love the famous person you’re naming your child after. Will you always love this famous person and their music or their work? Or, is it just a phase?
Super Unique Names Versus Super Classic Names
Do you want a classic name or a more unique name? I think a lot of expecting parents put a lot of pressure on themselves to think of a distinctive name. However, just remember that classic names are classic for a reason… because they have stood the test of time. Also, remember that if a name is super popular, it means it is a widely loved name. You might not want that but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.
Where to Look for Baby Name Inspiration
Below, I share a few lists of baby names to browse for baby name inspiration. Also, have your ever heard of Laura Wattenberg and The Baby Name Wizard? If you are as fascinated by names and the stories they tell as I am, then you’ll be super into this book! It is all about finding the perfect baby name for you. Just read the book synopsis and you’ll be hooked or super curious to see what it says about your favorite baby names.
Baby Name Ideas
When it comes to choosing a classic name that will stand the test of time or a more modern unique name, people tend to be pretty split. If you’re in need of inspiration or struggling to pick the perfect baby name for your baby, then these lists might be helpful. The Social Security Administration releases the top baby names every year based on social security cards. They also have this amazing list of the top 5 names in each of the last 100 years… it’s a hoot! I also love this list of the most popular baby names the year you were born. The Social Security Administration hasn’t officially released 2020’s top names yet but this list from Baby Center is pretty comprehensive. Also, this list is a blast to peruse: the most unusual celebrity baby names.
There is no right or wrong way when it comes to choosing the perfect baby name. The important thing is that you love the name. Then, it will always be perfect! As soon as your baby is born, your life will forever be changed and his or her name will be written on your heart forever.