So you’re going to have a baby! And now you need to come up with a name, or a few names. Where do you start? How do you narrow down a huge list? How do you get your partner to actively participate? While there are lots of methodologies out there, here’s a fairly simple way to go:
Write down every name that you don’t hate. This is the hardest part, because it is going to be long and take a while to compile. Use a baby book. Take names from favorite novels, scientists, public figures, historical figures, places, animals, celebrities, surnames, etc. and put them all in one place. I used a spreadsheet, which was really handy during steps 2 through 5. If a list of all the names you don’t hate is just too much, you can go for all the names you like instead – I just wanted to start with the broadest strokes possible, personally.
Present your compiled list to your partner. Tell them to mark both the names that they like and the names that they hate. This will narrow down the list considerably.
Go over the entire list one more time. Mark any names you absolutely love (as long as your partner doesn’t hate them) and any that you hate from your partner’s list of names that they like.
Delete all names that are not on the A list. If neither you nor your partner picked the name as good, it isn’t good enough and it has to go away. With this new list, sit down with your partner and pick out the top ten names that you both like.
Arrange all the names into first and middle name combinations. Say them out loud. Look at them on the page. Consider what possible initials would spell out. Think about nicknames (both ones you would use and ones that other children or bullies might bestow upon your child). Consider picking a couple of people who can keep a secret to test your favorites on (but tell them in advance that if they hate your name selections, you might end up choosing them anyway – don’t pick someone who would be offended by this!).
Bring your shortlist to the hospital with you, and when you meet your baby, decide what fits!