How to Pick a Baby Name


Well, if you’re like us, you make a big list of names that you kind of like, and then you waffle about it for 40 weeks until they won’t let you leave the hospital until you have a name.

tiny foot

But, there are better ways. And, I got these little bits of wisdom from the only two men who will be in the room while I give birth this time: my husband, Mike, and my doctor.

Mike and I were talking a couple of nights ago about how we can’t decide on a name for our little guy. I was telling him how it is such a huge responsibility picking a name for another human when he put it in a new light for me. He told me that he views the process a bit differently. Instead of picking a name for a baby, he views it as discovering the name God has already chosen. Perhaps that is why it is so hard. Instead of making a decision, we are searching for an answer. Maybe I should wise up and listen for a minute. Hello? God?

Then I went to visit my doctor (who said he has high hopes that I will deliver in about a week – I love him), and I told him what Mike said to me. He offered an additional perspective to ease my mind. Doc talked to me about how God gave us free will, and that extends to choosing to have a baby and picking out the name. He explained that it was very possible that I could have married someone other than my husband and had it work out just fine. In the same way, I could pick numerous names and they would work out just fine too.

Now, he wasn’t telling me to leave my husband and find another. Au contraire. Instead, he was pointing out that many of the big decisions I have made in my life were of my own free will; God doesn’t necessarily have a finite plan for us. Instead, He lets us choose and He works His Godly works in the background – always perfect.

So, what did I get from all of this? How do you pick a baby name?

You pray about it. You listen to God. And you trust that the decision you make will be used for God’s Will.

But, now I have to go. I have some praying, listening and trusting to do. Tick Tock.

Photo credit: Let Grow Therapy and Counseling – Helping Children to Thrive
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Copyright 2013 Jenna Hines


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  1. I’m on staff at Mary’s Mantle, a Catholic residential home for homeless pregnant women. I find myself always wanting to pick their names :))

  2. With our oldest son, he was Alexander Christian from the time we found out he was a boy. With our youngest we went mad. We read the baby books and both independently made up top 10 names for girls and boys. Then we narrowed it down to 5. We went through a ‘lets name him something Gaelic’ phase. Then we went through a Lain phase. All the names my husband liked were bad guys on Harry Potter and since he has never had an interest in the books, he saw no issue on naming a child Lucius. It took forever but a week before he was due we finally settled on a name. I posted about it on facebook and my father in law saw it and strongly objected. He wrote with a few suggestions, most of which were not our style, but we were even more paranoid about the choice. It didn’t ease when he was finally born and I spent the first 24 hours calling him by his new name. Until my husband said he didn’t look like it. How can a baby look like a certain name? So we spent the next 5 days batting around names. (in the UK you can’t name your child at the hospital and have to register it separately) In the end, after all the stressing and research, we went with our initial choice. Nathan is now a crazy 2 year old who loves to cook and doesn’t really care about the drama it took to name him. Parents today seem to have so much more pressure to name your child ‘the right thing’. It is nice to have input from family and friends but at the end of the day it is a really personal decision that should be up to the parents. I have friends who refused to tell the name they had chose until their daughter was born. It is nice to know others stress out about it too.

  3. Oh yes, before my second son was born I decided to let my husband pick out the name. His choices were Augustas, Woodrow, and Conrad(Lonesome Dove fan). Boy did I pray hard that he wouldn’t choose any of the first two!!! Well God answered my prayers and it fits him perfectly. 🙂 Praying on it works every time.

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