When You And Your Partner Can't Decide On A Name For Your Baby

by A. Rochaun
Originally Published: 
fizkes via Getty

Picking your child’s name is serious business. The ease or difficulty of the task greatly depends on your partner in the task (if you have one). Because let’s face it, some people’s partners kinda suck at picking names.

Some couples wear matching outfits and “mutually” view each other as best friends. They seem to stay on the same page and often punctuate each other’s sentences with laughter. These couples will (likely) have no trouble picking a name they both love for their bundle of joy. That may or may not be because one person secretly makes all the decisions. They will announce it on their joint Facebook page.

Other couples enjoy each other but have respect for each other boundaries as well as the importance of individuality. They have best friends but prioritize their relationship. Unlike the joint-Facebook-page couples, we admire them for their hashtag relationship goals. They strike a perfect balance between individuality and group cohesion. This couple will run into a few bumps, but in the end, they will work together lovingly to find a name each of them loves.

Then there are the couples who just can’t agree on anything. For this couple, passive-aggressive comments might lead to a fight over who is responsible for leaving the juice outside of the fridge. They not only have their own Facebook accounts, but they occasionally get into fights and use the block feature to post statuses about the other partner. This couple has widely varying opinions on what is important in a baby name. One believes an important quality is the uniqueness of the name. The other values tradition and wants a strong classic name. This couple will have to pick their baby’s name by telling the nurse what to put on the paper while one is absent from the room or still in a post-labor fog.

Alright, it’s possible I oversimplified the diversity present in relationships. Most of us are a mix of two or all three kinds of couples. But either way, selecting a baby’s name is a big deal. Picking the baby’s name is one of the highlights of new parenthood. It exists in the ranks of highly exciting moments like the first and twenty-week ultrasounds and the birth itself.

But if you find yourself fighting with your partner about the name because you believe they (like their mother) have terrible taste in names, well, the whole process can get a bit more complicated. Here are a few possible options for resolving the debate:

Each of you picks one.

Couples have all sorts of solutions for avoiding the baby name quarrel. An idea that leads to mixed feelings is giving each partner the chance to pick a name — one picks the first name, the other picks the middle name. Of course, the coolest part is choosing the first name. I feel sorry for the poor sucker who has to pick the often overlooked middle name. Though not without flaw, this option helps each partner feel equally involved at name selection.

Some couples employ an alternate form of this approach if the couple is planning to have more than one child, with each parent choosing one child’s name. I guess it doesn’t matter as long as it works for you. Though if you have five children, one person is getting the short end of the stick.

Exclude names that one of you dislike.

The second kind of couple above might appreciate this option. It means if one partner hates one of the names on your list, it goes. My husband and I tried this with our first pregnancy. I was so in love with the name Emmanuel that I started calling our yet-to-be-born baby “Manny.” Naturally, Hubs hated it. I reluctantly removed my favorite name from the list. And we decided to pick a name we both thought was “okay” instead of a name one of us loved, and the other hated.

A potential consequence of this option is having one of you resent the other for making them give up their favorite pick. This may not be the best route if you have a petty “I hate everything” partner.

Allow a trusted third party to pick.

This baby naming stuff can get pretty heavy. Sometimes you will decide it’s easier to call in the referee.

It might sound strange at first, but having a third party select the name isn’t that uncommon. Sometimes this option shows in the form of naming the baby after a special loved one. It can also be as simple as asking one of your other children what name they like most after you have narrowed down the selection.

For families like mine, there is no shortage of opinions. Think of it as having lots of names to choose from. One of them is bound to have something good, right?

Are you struggling to come up with the perfect name? Let Scary Mommy help with our new baby name section!

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