For the nine months of pregnancy, a subject that is foremost in our minds but so elusive at the same time is what to name the baby. I’m sure we’re not the only couple that has ever struggled with the naming game. It seems like such a daunting task at times– this is a name that this child has to live with for the rest of their lives and it needs to fit their personality and looks also.

Some expectant couples name their unborn children and talk to them or about them for months before they are born. That works for some, but I have trouble with that. My husband and I like to have some favorite names picked out and then wait until we meet the baby and can get to know him or her for awhile before finally putting a name on the birth certificate. I have heard of others that have a list of names even before they get married, and then it’s just a matter of going down the list starting with Boy #1, Girl #1 and so on as the children come.

When we were expecting our first baby we did not find out if it was a girl or boy, although my husband was convinced that it was a boy from the very beginning (he was right!). We went to the hospital with a few name possibilities, delivered our little boy and then finalized the name. Our second baby we knew was a boy and this time around we had the hardest time choosing names… again we didn’t make the final decision until after the baby was born and we had held him and looked at him for a few hours.

We thought for sure that choosing a girl name would be easier, but we made it all the way to 32 weeks pregnant without even having a tentative list. Then we figured that we better buckle down and find some baby girl names that we liked before we had to rush to the hospital with nothing even in mind.

It’s not like our resources for finding names are limited. First we have names that we’ve heard from friends and acquaintances throughout our lives. Usually the problem with these names are “No, I know too many…” or “No, I knew a person once with that name and they ruined it for me…”

Another resource that we like to utilize is names from past generations of our family. So far each of our children has a unique first name and a family middle name and I think we’ll stick to that tradition for all of our kids. The problem with finding a family name is that on one side of the family we’ve seen all kinds of possibilities for both boys and girls, and on the other side of the family we’ve been told “You don’t want to name your kids any of these names– Fred, Raphael, Marvel, Ardith… just don’t go there.” We don’t want to be one-sided, but even after asking to see farther back than the great grandparents names we haven’t been given any suggestions. Another trouble is that both Grandpa’s have the same first name, so after our second boy was born (even on his Grandpa’s birthday) we were asked why we didn’t use the name. Our answer: “It just didn’t fit this baby and there are too many Steve’s in the family already!”

Another almost unlimited resource for finding baby names is the Internet or baby name books. Name books can be pricey for the content and let’s face it, will only be used a few times while it sits on your bookshelf. And it can be difficult to read through an alphabetical listing of all names and their meanings and feel any sort of attachment to any of them.

There are multiple websites that have baby names listed by gender, listed alphabetically, by popularity or even by the meaning or origin of the name. These lists of names on the web are free to browse through and you can even search by specific letter of the alphabet or how many syllables you want in your baby’s name. Of course there are always outrageous names that I would never even consider listed here also, so it can be time consuming and difficult to choose the perfect name from a list of thousands. Some websites that I’ve found to have some good name listings are: www.babynames.com; www.ssa.gov; www.babyhold.com ; www.thinkbabynames.com.

Good luck in your quest for the perfect name to fit your baby. Tell me how you choose your baby’s names and add your name suggestions to our directory by posting your own thoughts and comments below.