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Picking a name you absolutely love is definitely difficult when your husband might love one name and you love another. Many times people fantasize about what to name their babies for years before they get pregnant, but the reality can be somewhat less fantastic because you want to pick a name you feel really great about — a name that fits the kind of boy or girl you imagine you might have. You could also take the route of “you name this baby, and I’ll take the next one,” but that assumes you’ll have more than one child and requires one partner to have enough patience to wait until the next! I have definitely heard mothers who say, “Well I am having the baby so I get to name it!” but it is important that it is a joint decision between you and your partner.

As pregnancy progresses, I bet you are bombarded by friends and family members with opinions, as well as your own inner dialogue about the baby: names that are so in they’re over, names about to be so in they will be over, names that were never in for good reason, and so on.

Sometimes a good solution is combining names. For example, use the last letter of a name that you love. Combine your favorites! For example if you like Lilliane and he likes Ella, you can put them together as Elliana. Think of it like Brad Pitt and Angelie Jolie and calling them Brangelina!

It’s always a nice tribute to name a child after a beloved grandpop or great-aunt, but while some old-fashioned names are back in style, others can seem dorky and not that great. Fortunately, you can honor a relative by using your relative’s name as a middle name, or consider names that are similar.

My best advice is to give yourself some factors: first initials, ending sounds, unique spellings, names that connect to experiences you’ve shared with your loved one, to one of your families or pasts, etc. Prioritizing will bring the list to a manageable length. Also, always remember to say the full name aloud as well as look at it written down. Lastly, another thing you can do is stop talking to people about the name choice. If YOU like it, you can use it.

It’s quite possible that your feelings about “getting the right name” might not make you feel less anxious as soon as the certificate is signed. It is completely normal for a name to feel “weird” or “wrong” for a while after the baby is born about his or her name. You will have plenty of times to hear people say it and you to say it, but it will become more clear as your baby develops. But once it ‘clicks’ and you have a good feeling, there’s a pretty good chance that whatever name you pick is going to feel very right.

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