Understand that finding a name is a process, so expect it to take some time and plan to enjoy the journey. Don’t try to rush into a final decision, as that creates pressure on both partners, and your opinions might well change during the pregnancy. Names That Stick® Baby Name Magnets recently completed an informal survey of parents regarding their name selection experiences, and in fact, almost 40% of our respondents reported finalizing their decision in the hospital!

Here are a few suggestions and reminders that can help expectant parents narrow the thousands of name options to the one that they both feel good about.

Try to make the process fun. Have “name dates” when you plan to sit down together with the baby names book, when you both have time to focus. But try not to get too serious…a little humor can go a long way towards creating a cooperative atmosphere. Couples can identify a few “joke” names (that both partners agree are jokes…like BowWow, Blinky, or such!), and use them to diffuse the tension if they feel that a naming discussion is heading in the wrong direction. Bringing that name up can serve as a gentle reminder that they need to get back on track and work together. And if they get to a point in the conversation where they clearly can’t make any further progress, they can adjourn for the day with the agreement that “until further discussion, the baby is named Blinky!” (With Names That Stick® Baby Name Magnets, they can even write their joke names on the blank magnets that are provided.)

Do your research. There are a lot of resources available to couples, including the traditional baby name books, baby name sites on the Internet, and sites like the Social Security Administration website, which tracks the popularity and gender association of names over time. And don’t skip the basic checks like initials and possible nicknames. Couples can divide and conquer on this, assigning research responsibilities for several names to each partner, with a challenge to see who can come up with the most interesting information on the names. They can reconvene at an agreed-upon time, and report their findings to the other. If a couple feels like they’ve really given their name selection good thought, and worked together as a team, it is easier to be happy with their choice (and they reduce the possibility of negative surprises down the road!).

Think hard before you share your possibilities with others. Most respondents in our survey did not feel that sharing their name possibilities with others was helpful. A third kept their choices private, while another third shared them with only a few people, after they were certain of their choices. Couples should understand that if they do choose to share them, they will need to be prepared to hear others’ opinions, good or bad.

Know that there is a world of name possibilities. If a couple doesn’t agree on a name during their first pass, there are literally tens of thousands more choices out there, so take the time to keep searching.

The good news from our survey is that despite the struggles our respondents went through to agree on a baby name, almost 90% would select the same names if they had it to do over again.

by Julie Ellis, Names that Stick Baby Name Magnets
…We created Names That Stick® Baby Name Magnets to provide couples with a fun, interactive and convenient way to search for their baby name, which can hopefully reduce some of the tension associated with choosing a name. 500 popular names (250 each for boys and girls) are printed on individual magnets that can be shifted around to maintain an up-to-date list of top choices, to track each partner’s personal favorites, or to create different name combinations. There is an endless variety of way