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The Hardest Decision of All: Naming Baby


The Hardest Decision of All: Naming Baby

The minute you discover you’re pregnant, you have a slew of decisions to make. Choosing a car seat, nursery furniture and bedding, debating whether or not to circumcise your newborn son, and deciding whether to order your epidural the minute you see the pink line on the pee stick, or waiting until you actually go into labor are only a few of the difficult choices you’ll have to make. But I think the hardest decision of all, as Jessica P.'s question in the Expecting community attests, is figuring out what to name your new baby.

It’s hard to come up with a name that both you and your spouse like, doesn’t make your mother-in-law’s head implode, is unique without being too off-the-wall, and doesn’t remind you of someone you hated in high school. And you not only have to come up with a name, but you have to consider the nickname. There’s no way to avoid the nickname no matter how adamantly you might insist your child be called by his full name. By the time your child is in kindergarten, he’ll have acquired a moniker that will stick with him for life. My son is fondly known as “Punk” (although I may have possibly started that nickname myself).

Some people like to dream up unique names for their offspring. They envision having the only child on the planet with that name. The thing about those unique names, however, is that the stranger they are, the more people like them, and before you know it, your child’s unique name has made the top ten list of popular baby names for the year.

Other people like to give their child a common name, but with a unique spelling. It may seem like a great solution because your child won’t have a weird name, but they’ll have a spelling that sets them apart from all the other “Marys" in their class. That is, as long as you realize your daughter will spend her entire life correcting everyone. “No, it’s not M A R Y. It’s M A R E E E.”

Everyone loves to give advice on baby names whether you want it or not. My sister and her husband couldn’t agree on a name for their baby, but she was dead set against hearing any advice about baby names, so she refused to tell anyone the names they were considering until well after her son was born. That was probably a good idea since my four-year-old insisted she name her baby Lightning McQueen. There’s no way to avoid the name suggestions from everyone. Even if, like my sister, you refuse to discuss name possibilities until after your baby is born, you don’t avoid the advice; you simply delay it.

I personally, bypassed the baby name books and consulted an atlas when naming my kids. They’re all named after cities. It didn’t start that way, but after the first two, I realized I had a theme going and I needed to stick with it. By the time I was pregnant with my fifth and sixth babies, I had a hard time coming up with names I liked. Fortunately for me, I had friends, family, and strangers who were more than willing to give me helpful suggestions like Tallahassee, Punxsutawney, Schenectady, and Rancho Cucamonga. I’m pretty sure you’re guaranteeing your child will be beaten up daily at school if you name him Schenectady. Not to mention the fact that he probably wouldn’t learn how to spell his name until he got to junior high.

As difficult as it is coming up with a name for your baby, just wait. After he’s born, you’ll need to decide which preschool to send him to, which sport to sign him up for, which colleges to apply to, and how long to ground him when he takes the car without permission.

Author and award-winning mommy blogger Dawn Meehan is the creator of the popular and hilarious BecauseISaidSo.com. Laugh your way through your pregnancy with Meehan’s humorous new book: You’ll Lose the Baby Weight (and OTHER LIES about pregnancy and childbirth.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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