How to Pick the Perfect Baby Name

The Big Questions
If only choosing your baby's name was as simple as following a sign!
If only choosing your baby's name was as simple as following a sign!

If you have a preliminary list, it's time to narrow it down, so here are a few questions to help you along. You might not find the perfect name this way, but you can definitely weed out imperfect ones. If this process raises a red flag about any potential name, just trash it before you get too attached.

  • How does it sound with your last name? You've zeroed in on Liam … but your last name's Sheehan. Back to the drawing board.
  • What about the initials? Isabella Claire Kennedy is certainly a beautiful name. You've found a winner, then, right? Think again.
  • Does it pass the "CEO test"? Maggie Mae is cute as a button for a baby, but it's not going look so great 20 years down the line on a business card. So think about naming her Margaret -- you can still call her Maggie Mae, of course, but she can put a grown-up name on her résumé.
  • What would a really mean 10-year-old say? If there's any potential fodder for taunting, do your kid a favor and cross it off the list.
  • Will people misspell or mispronounce it? The simple answer for just about any name is: yes. So you're just adding fuel to the fire if you go with Aedynn or Makynzee.
  • Does the baby have siblings? Aedynn probably doesn't need a brother named Braedynn. Or Braden, for that matter. Or Caden. And, unless you're a Duggar or a Kardashian, be mindful of excessive alliteration.

Many names could fall by the wayside during this screening process. That's disappointing, for sure, but now you know the names that survive are solid. But if you and your partner haven't come up with anything yet, it's time to hit the books.

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