When I was pregnant with Darah, I came up with her name long before we even knew that she was a girl. I was completely confident in my choice for her first name. Her middle name did take us a while longer, but we had it all settled by the time I was 7 months pregnant.
This time around, we settled on Layah at 38 weeks pregnant. Talk about a nail-biter! I do believe that we over-thought the process, and I also think that naming your second child, particularly of the same gender as the first, is just a lot harder!
I started out quite optimistic, having roughly 25 girl names on my list. I got that list thanks to the book, The Baby Name Wizard. This is a book that I HIGHLY recommend. It is so different from your typical name book because it divides names up into categories. Some categories will resonate with you and you might find 5 or 6 names from that list that you love, while other categories you will find yourself skipping right over because you don’t like how any of them sound. It’s a much smarter approach to thinking about names, and it just really made a lot of sense to me. It certainly got us off to a good start when we were first thinking about names.
And then I made the mistake of over-analyzing each and every name, picking them apart until I found flaws. So I was left with nothing!
But then I got some additional help. I got an expert subscription to babynamewizard.com. This online resource takes the information found in the book to an entirely new level. It has a tremendous database that you can access and that can help you find the right name match for your child, based on particular preferences or dislikes that you have (for example, are you drawn to Irish names? Do you NOT want the name to start with a particular letter? Do you want a name that is popular or more rare?). This database gave me an entirely new crop of names to consider, and I really loved that I was able to save anything I liked online so that I could go back and look at it later.
I also really liked that for each name, there was a place for people to leave comments about the name. For example, people would leave comments about how much they enjoy (or don’t enjoy) having that particular name and why, or why they chose that particular name for their child. Reading that insight was extremely helpful, as it caused some names to rise further up our list, and others to fall off of it.
But the very best resource of all for me was the forums. There’s a section where you can post your baby name dilemmas and ask for advice, and we did just that! We didn’t mind sharing out list of possibilities with people who weren’t personally invested in what we name our child, so their feedback was more objective. What we discovered is that the name at the top of our list was preferred by ABSOLUTELY NOBODY. And there was one name that stood out quite a bit from the rest. In the end, we didn’t go with the online crowd favorite as her first name, but gave it to her as her middle name, because we realized based on feedback that a name we thought might be perceived as incredibly weak actually wasn’t, and in fact, was seen as quite strong by many. We really needed fresh perspectives on our names, and we definitely got it on this site. I can’t say enough what a big help it was.
Win it!: One lucky Stuff Parents Need reader will win a nine month expert subscription to The Baby Name Wizard!