One of the fun parts of pregnancy is picking out baby names, but it can also be stressful, especially if you and your partner don’t agree or too many outsiders offer too much input. Add normal aggravation to pregnancy hormones, and you’re left with a situation like I had with my first daughter, where I spent months picking out the PERFECT name for my baby (Miranda Alison), only to go into complete hysterics when my sister-in-law named her daughter Allyson. (I eventually got over it and they’re best friends today.) Here are a few tips to make the process easier:
1.If there’s a conflict, the person who goes through labor gets the final say. Non-negotiable.
2. If you have bossy or opinionated friends and family, the best way to get them off your back is to pick out really horrendous decoy names. Your future daughter is going to be named Whiski, and if it’s a boy , he’ll be Gaylord—isn’t that cute? When you produce the real name upon birth, they’ll be so relieved you won’t hear a word of disrespect.
3. Even if you have a very accurate ultrasound picture and find out the gender beforehand, pick out an opposite sex name just in case. Nancy Drew and country music aside, it’s cruel to name your daughter George or your son Sue.
4. By all means, use this as an opportunity for personal expression, but do it within the bounds of taste. Try not to pick a name that’s too popular. Your kid doesn’t want to go through grade school saddled with a nickname like “Fat Jake,” because there are fifteen other Jakes in his class. Standard spellings are almost always preferable to “creative” ones. Avoid names that can be seen as a joke—there really ARE people out there whose names are Justin Case – that’s just cruel. And if you’re doing something unusual, provide the kid with an opt-out. One of my best friends was known as Kari all her life, but the name on her birth certificate was Karen because her parents were worried people wouldn’t get it. As it turned out, she loved it, but if she hadn’t, she had an alternative.