Not Sure What To Name Your Little One On The Way?

Ann Douglas, author of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: The Ultimate Guide to Conception, Birth and Everything in Between and The Mother of All Baby Books: The Ultimate Guide to Your Baby's First Year, is here at Pregnancy & Baby! Read Ann's advice on everything from keeping romance alive amidst the structure and stress of baby-making to weathering the storms of morning sickness to preparing for the birth of your dreams.
Ann Douglas

More Mom's the Word by Ann Douglas

Choosing a name
You've been charged with an awesome responsibility: coming up with a name for your baby-to-be. If you're like most parents, you may feel more than a little overwhelmed at the prospect. After all, your baby is going to be saddled with this name forever -- or at least until he's old enough to change his name. Still, there's no need to hit the panic button quite yet. Here are some tips on choosing a million dollar name for your million dollar baby.

Load up on baby name books at the public library. There's no point in actually purchasing these books, after all, unless you're intending to get your money's worth by having an exceptionally large family! You'll find plenty of books to choose from-- everything from O'Baby: The Irish Baby Name Book to What Not to Name Your Baby.

Give some thought to what you're looking for in a baby name. Do you want a name that's long or short? old fashioned or modern? Mainstream or one-of-a-kind? The clearer you are about your criteria upfront, the easier it will be for you to zero in on the baby name of your dreams.

Steer clear of names that are too pretentious. Carol McD. Wallace, author of The Greatest Baby Name Book Ever, suggests giving potential names "the playground test." Can you imagine calling that name across a crowded playground? If you think bystanders would get whiplash trying to figure out what kid was unfortunate enough to get saddled with a geeky name like Hubert Oswald or what parent was crazy enough to come up with a name like that, then perhaps it's time to scratch that particular name off your list!

A name that grows
Try to choose a name that will grow with your child. Buffy is a great name for a three-year-old in ringlets, but it's not necessarily the best choice for a 30-year-old corporate lawyer. But, then again, the name would serve her well if she grew up to be a vampire slayer -- proof that no name is ever totally hopeless.

Proceed with caution if you're thinking of naming your child after a family friend. You want to make sure that person's going to continue to be a friend for at least the foreseeable future and keep out of trouble. After all, it would be a little embarrassing to have to explain how you ended up naming your child after a career criminal!

Make sure that the name you're considering will work well with your last name. Don't forget to consider what your baby's initials will end up being if you go with a particular name. It's unlikely that a baby girl named Ashley Sarah Smith is going to grow up and thank her parents for that particular combination of initials!

Pay attention to what other people are naming their babies. As one of the moms I interviewed for The Mother of All Pregnancy Books noted, "We initially picked the name Caitlin, but by the time our daughter was born, the world was -- pardon the pun -- crawling with Caitlins."

Be prepared for the mother of all negotiations with your partner. It can be difficult to come to an agreement on a name if you've both got radically different ideas about what constitutes a "good name." Something else you'll have to agree on is whether you want to pre-announce the names you've chosen or keep them a secret until after your baby is born. The downside to sharing your choices too early is that Aunt Mildred may feel compelled to try to convince you to change the name!

Have fun. After all picking out your baby's name is one of the greatest joys of becoming a parent and proof positive that there really-and-truly is a baby on the

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