Start with the non-negotiable names
There will be certain names that make you cringe. But these might be names your spouse doesn't realize will trigger a visceral response. So start by telling each other your no-go names (an ex-boyfriend, that kid who bullied you in the fourth grade).
Whoever it is and whatever their name, you both need to understand why it won't be embroidered on your baby's onesie.
Bust out the baby name books
Start with the most up to date baby name books you can get your hands on. Divide the books between you and your husband and start marking the names you like. Mark every name that strikes you. Also, check out websites like Babynames.com that divide up lists of names by the most popular, those that are trending, those that belong to celebrity's babies and of course boy and girl.
Narrow it down
Before you show your husband your master list and he shows you his, decide on a number of names you each have to narrow your list down to. A suggestion would be that you each have a list of ten to 15 names. Keep the others as a back up.
Do you have any of the same names on your lists? If so, congratulations -- you have a place to start. If not, swap lists and rule out any of the names you dislike. Then hand the list back. Are there any names still on it? If so, great. At least you have a few names that you both like. If not, go back to the drawing board. Look through books and magazines for inspiration and repeat the process until you come up with a list of potential names you're both happy with.
Ways to compromise
Still can't decide? Some options for meeting in the middle are:
- One of you can choose the first name and one of you can choose the middle name
- One of you can name the first child and one of you can name your next child. (If you're planning on having more.)
- Name your child after a family member. (Of course you'll need to agree on that name, too.)
- Ask your friends and family to vote on your combined top names. (Tip: Approach this one with caution.)
Still can't decide?
If all else fails, agree to table the discussion and decide on a time when you'll revisit the topic. The good news is, you will come to a decision. We personally haven't heard of any babies who have gone through life with the name T.B.D.!