My little brother and his beautiful wife are expecting baby #2 in the fall. My maiden name, while completely Italian and one I am quite proud of, is a bit unique. Not a lot of names flow nicely with it. Although I begged God to send me a dreamboat with the last name Smith or Jones, I’m sure he chuckled when he revealed his will for me to marry Mr. Wolstenholm. I am also very proud to bear the Wolstenholm name but similarly, it cannot be paired with just any first name. My kid brother and his wife have considered going with a traditional Italian name that would pair beautifully with their surname. After giving it some thought however, they’ve decided to steer clear of anything that would suggest a mafia relation. Needless to say the baby naming process in our family is tough.
There are a host of baby naming resources out there from websites to books to smart phone applications. Add to that the current trend of naming your baby just about anything (say after a fruit or a car perhaps) and you will not be at a loss for options. Options are not the issue when naming your baby. Finding the one, standout name that makes your heart feel immediately connected to the little person growing inside of you (or that you just met if you wait until you see him/her) is the tough part. You can peruse every list that comes across your path as you wait for your little one’s arrival but you will likely see the same names on every list. You can study the lists intently (as I did) and time may change the way you feel about a name or two. But more than likely, you will end up back where you started. . .with a long list of names you do not connect with.
Choosing your baby’s name may be the easiest decision you make regarding your little one (say if you’ve had a name picked out for years) or it may be the hardest choice you are facing.
The first step is to decide if you want a classic, trendy or unique name for your baby.
After landing on which type of name you’d like, focus your attention on lists that cater to those names. Several websites have lists geared towards a particular name style.
If you find you are still not connecting with any of the names you’ve come across, try these unique ways for choosing your baby’s name.
1. Research family names – Your Grandmother’s name or your mother’s middle name may be some of the first on your list but dig deeper. Ask your parents for Great and Great-Great Grandparents’ names. You never know what you’ll find.
2. Look for literary names – Make a list of your favorite reads (both current and classic) and look through the characters. Some of the most beautiful names are present in literature. Baby Center has great baby name inspiration lists including one of literary characters.
3. Consider unique bible names – You don’t have to think hard to come up with Matthew, Mark, Luke or John but what about Asher or Judah or any of the other 12 Tribes of Israel for example? (Although I’d steer clear of Zebulun.)
4. Grab a map and look at city names – This could be really fun. What are some of your favorite places? Any that ring well with your last name?
Whether or not you want to attach deep meaning to your baby’s name, I would encourage you to deeply consider the words you are speaking over their life with their name. What do you want them to become? What character traits do you hope they will develop?
My daughter’s name is Caroline Hope which essentially means “song of hope.” We named her after a long battle with infertility and multiple miscarriages and we wanted her name to reflect our journey. My son’s name is Joshua Kent. Joshua means “God is salvation” or “Jehovah rescues.” We also struggled to conceive Joshua, endured more losses and then became pregnant with him after the doctor said it would not happen (more on his miracle conception here). His name reflects our journey and considering the life of Joshua in the Bible. . .who was called to be “strong and courageous” – we new this was a name that would speak life and truth over our son’s life. His middle name is that of my husband and his father as well. It’s a family name that means “handsome.” Who wouldn’t want to speak that over their son?!
Note: The adorable shirt I am wearing in the photo above was purchased through CafePress.com I do not believe they make them any longer as I searched and searched to find one to wear while pregnant with Joshua. If anyone finds them elsewhere, please let us know!
How did you choose your baby’s name? Was it hard or easy to name your baby? What advice would you give to expectant parents on naming their baby?