Baby Names: What Names Do you Love + How Do You Decide on a Name That Will Suit Your Child?

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Baby Names: What Names Do you Love + How Do You Decide on a Name That Will Suit Your Child? #babynames #uniquebabynames #creativebabynames

As Jeff and I have been thinking about names for our baby boy, we’ve gone through a pretty big list that I’ve been keeping for years. Admittedly, when I first started it I wasn’t even sure we’d ever even have kids. Remember my maybe baby post?! So a lot of the names became reserved for future pets, which was fun actually, since we’re both such huge animal lovers. But now, we have a fairly solid list of possible names for our kid. We just can’t decide! And it’s been a point of conversation in our house ever since we found out we were having a boy.

Which leads me to today’s discussion…Do you like the name your parents gave you when you were born? If you could change it to anything else in this world, would you? And if so, what would you choose? And (probably most relevant to Jeff and I’s current scenario0…How do you pick a name that will (hopefully) suit a tiny human being who you just met, for their entire life? Click through to weigh in and share your picks for baby boy names.

Before we found out the sex of the baby, we already had two girl names that we really, really loved. But boy names didn’t come as easy, which was strange because I wanted a boy from the get-go. We just couldn’t think of any that felt like the perfect match.

BUT Jeff and I are also pretty dead-set on not picking out a name until we actually meet him, spend some time with him. See what he looks like, how he acts, etc. Then, we’ll pick a name from the list we’ve come up with so far…or maybe even come up with something on the spot. Who knows!

Side note…I’ve always been fascinated by parents who have the name of their baby picked out months before he (or she) is born. The ones that just know ahead of time and are so sure of the name that they get it embroidered on things ahead of time, etc. When it comes to anything outside of personal style / design, etc, I’ve always kind of been a second-guesser in life (not my favorite quality to be honest). So, I think my fascination comes from being so sure you’ve picked the ‘right’ name without ever having met that person before.

But anyway, that’s a whole other tangent. So let me get back on track.

For us, the requirements for names are pretty simple. We want something unique / creative / cool sounding, but not so insanely unique or particular that he would feel like his only options in life are to grab a paint brush or pick up a guitar (although that would be great). Just in case he takes more of an interest in sports…or video games…or whatever. We want to pick a name that gives him room to kind ‘make his own’, but not something so simple that it doesn’t have any uniqueness at all (if that even makes sense).

Here are a handful of names that we’ve tossed around over the last few months.

River or Rivers
Rhodes
Kline (after artist Franz Kline)
Sonny
Rooney or Roonie (nickname could be Roo)
Ray
Blue (I love color names and this one has some significance to us)
Aelfie
Cy (after artist Cy Twombly)
Otis
Yves (after artist Yves Klein)
Ollie (prob too popular for us to go with, but I really like names that end in ‘ie’)
Otto (I like some old timey names like this)

Our top couple of names aren’t on this list BUT this is an idea for where we are headed. And honestly, we could end up going with any of these as well once we meet him. Or something entirely different. I’d LOVE for you to share any name suggestions you might have for us.

They don’t have to be on this list! In fact, I think some new ideas would be awesome, since I’m so lost right now. Haha. What names do you love for boys? 

*Photo above is from the Misha & Puff Fall 2018 collection

32 comments | Click here to reply

I LOVE this name list, even if it’s not your top contenders! Rhodes! Aelfie! Kline! Sooooo good. Also love what you said about picking a name that’s unique but not so unique that he’ll feel “limited.” We did exactly what you’re doing and went in with a short list! After seeing Arlo, we almost immediately eliminated our other top contending name. Just didn’t feel like him! SO excited for you, B!!
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Kelly | September 5th, 2018 at 10:47 am

I ALWAYS think about you when I talk about baby names stuff Kel. I know it’s your favorite subject. 🙂 It’s so good to hear that you were able to eliminate certain names as soon as he was born because they just didn’t feel right. I hope that happens for us too because right now, I’m kinda clueless.

Brittni | September 5th, 2018 at 10:50 am

I love that you posted about this before deciding! There is some interesting scientific information about names that I found fascinating. Unusual names or spellings can have a big impact on a child even at the subconscious level. This article covers some pretty interesting findings: https://www.livescience.com/6569-good-bad-baby-names-long-lasting-effects.html
Wishing you a happy pregnancy and joyous delivery!

Laura | September 5th, 2018 at 10:56 am

Thanks for the link Laura! I’m going to head over to that article right now. I’m always interested to read these kinds of things…though I feel like I take it all with a grain of salt. In the end, everyone makes the decision that they feel is best for them – unusual name or not. Ha! Anyway, thanks again for the link.

Brittni | September 5th, 2018 at 11:19 am

I love the name River! If we have another daughter that’s totally the name I want!

Paige
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Paige Cassandra Flamm | September 5th, 2018 at 11:38 am

I love that name too Paige. And it would be especially cool for a girl. So if you have another daughter, that would be perfect!

Brittni | September 5th, 2018 at 11:42 am

I looooove the name River. It would be at the top of our list too but we live on River Road and it seems to on point haha!
Have you ever explored NameBerry? That have great lists like “Nature Names,” “Antique Baby Names,” and “Meanings of Names.” It’s one of my favorite time wasters!

Kelsey | September 5th, 2018 at 11:43 am

Hi Kelsey. Yes! I have been on NameBerry before, but the only thing with the name sites is that I feel like if they’re on there, they may be too common for what we are going for. Although some of the names on those lists are pretty out there. Haha. That said, I haven’t looked extensively…didn’t realize they had nature names and meanings of names, etc. So maybe I should give it another look. 🙂
-Brittni

Brittni | September 5th, 2018 at 11:51 am

We almost went with Nico for our son (he’s almost 2 now) but eventually my husband vetoed it. I still love it!

Natalie | September 5th, 2018 at 11:56 am

I knew someone growing up named Nico, Natalie! And he was a pretty cool kid. 🙂 What name did you end up going with for your son?

Brittni | September 5th, 2018 at 11:59 am

When I see those baby names I always think about that your child will have to live with it for the rest of his life, so…maybe nothing too funky? But, that’s just my opinion!
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Michelle | September 5th, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Yep, I hear you and that’s what we’ve been thinking about too Michelle. I don’t personally think any of the names I listed are too, too out there (although maybe Yves is a bit much). But its all relative, I guess… We just aren’t the types that are going to go with a traditional name like John, Tom, David, etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with that either. 🙂 It’s just not something that we would personally choose.

Brittni | September 5th, 2018 at 12:27 pm

My husband and I talked about baby names waaaaaaay before we had kids. We both had weird names picked out that the other didn’t like so we settled on family names. Our baby girl is named for his grandmother and mine. What makes it even better is that the first time I met his grandma she asked when we were having kids.

Jessica | September 5th, 2018 at 12:51 pm

Love that Jessica! Deciding on a name that both you and your partner like is definitely one of the more challenging aspects of the name game, right? That’s so sweet that you went with family names. We had briefly considered that as well, but there aren’t really any boy names in our families that felt ‘right’ for either one of us. So we’re still over here at the drawing board….with less than 3 weeks before baby arrives. Haha. 🙂

Brittni | September 5th, 2018 at 12:59 pm

Wowww great post, i love Ray like a name
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The Pink Pineapple | September 5th, 2018 at 2:44 pm

Thanks Pink Pineapple. I like the simplicity of Ray as well. Though it may be too plain for my taste…I can’t decide.

Brittni | September 5th, 2018 at 3:09 pm

My Birth name of Vashti (means beautiful) although pretty and in England extremely rare when I was growing up. I only heard of two others when I was in my 40’s it was incredibly hard to live with until I was an adult. Comments were usually `weird, where does it come from?’ `Where were you born with a name like that?’ `What do you get called for short?’ `How do you spell it?’ `Can I call you something else, I can’t say that.’ I know more unusual names are acceptable now but just a thought. Also you’re not keen on more traditional names, but what about as a second name? That way if your son reaches a stage where he doesn’t like his name he might have something to fall back on. Without feeling that he’s completely abandoned your name choices.
I knew a family who had Reuben Gerald (the second a male family name), Caleb Brian (Father’s first name) this at times in their lives gave both boys options on having names that fitted with the people they were with.
I kept my birth name of Vashti Avryl, and my Maiden name but combined them with Lucy Caitlyn names I feel are me.
Whatever you name your baby boy enjoy each other.

Lucy Wynne | September 5th, 2018 at 4:49 pm

Thanks so much for sharing your perspective, Lucy. We’ve definitely thought about that and will continue to think about that until he’s born. That is the tricky balance that every parent has to deal with it when it comes to their child’s name, right? Something that will be fitting for his/ her whole life from baby to adult.

Brittni | September 5th, 2018 at 5:00 pm

I love the consideration here. We picked our son’s name on a whim while traveling in Italy. We decided over drinks outside the Duomo that if we had a son, we would name him Lincoln after president Lincoln. Two years later, when we met him, it still felt right.
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Kate | September 5th, 2018 at 6:39 pm

Love that his name came to you while traveling, Kate. One of the names we really like is inspired by our travels too…though ours is a location based name. It’s so cool that two years later it still felt like a good fit for your little guy…that’s how you know you have a good one!

Brittni | September 5th, 2018 at 7:00 pm

We had a hard time with a boy name too, and it took a whole lot of just going through name sites before we decided on Nolan. It was our top name for awhile at the end of pregnancy and it just began to feel “right” after awhile. It also went well saying it with the rest of our names (Michelle, Nik, and our daughter Stella.) I also really loved the name Luca or Luka.

Michelle | September 5th, 2018 at 7:15 pm

Michelle. I hadn’t really considered looking too deep into name sites before…but someone else recommended that in an earlier comment and I looked last night more in depth and there’s actually some really good names on there. How did I not realize this before? Kinda nice to see a ton of names at once to see if any name in particular triggers another idea, etc.

Brittni | September 5th, 2018 at 7:45 pm

I am a teacher and I have met soooooo many kids that do not look like their name. I always have a hard time remembering their names when that is the case. We are expecting our 3rd and will wait to name her until we meet her. Kids today have all sorts of names, pick your top 2 or 3 and when you meet him you will know it is the right one. Our 18 month old is Enzo, it was the third name we came up with as we were waiting to be induced and as soon as I saw him I knew that was his name.

Renae | September 5th, 2018 at 10:43 pm

Thanks Ranae. We definitely have a few contenders, but nothing that we’re super sure of. Hope you’re right thought that we’ll ‘just know’ when he’s born. Fingers crossed…or we may have a nameless baby for a little while. Haha.

Brittni | September 5th, 2018 at 11:43 pm

I still love the name Otto best! We picked Ro’s middle name right after my epidural kicked in. We had been pretty set on Rosemary Katherine (an ode to my aunt who passed when she was a teenager) for most of my pregnancy. But three weeks prior to her birth, Jonathan had a dream and in the dream and women came and said to him “Rosemary Wednesday.” We thought for sure it meant she would arrive that Wednesday. Come to find out, she came the Wednesday after her due date, to which we still dubbed “Rosemary Wednesday” and In between contractions, I tossed out the name Wynn to Jonathan. He hadn’t really loved the name before when I brought it up, but I loved that it meant Joy and that on her birthday every year we could say “it’s Rosemary Wynn’s Day” and tell her the story of her birth on. I was still scared to proclaim it to the whole world right away until we had more time with her, so we waited until the next day to announce it. All of her hospital documents and wristbands say “Baby Girl Lawrence” which I find funny 🙂 you’ll pick the perfect name, and it may not be until day 3 in the hospital! So don’t stress too much.

Amelia | September 6th, 2018 at 9:57 am

Amelia! Love the story of Rosemary’s full name! AND Wednesday shortened to Wynn is THE BEST. I just love it.

Brittni | September 6th, 2018 at 1:41 pm

With our daughter we had a pretty long list of names. In the weeks leading up to my due date we would choose a name each day and call her that all day to see how it felt. Eventually we kind of realized we kept coming back to one of the names. We hadn’t actually confirmed the name until she was born though. In the recovery room we looked at her together and said all our top names trying to decide which seemed right. Lo and behold she’s Jude. Which was the name we kept coming back to over and over again. She’s almost 2 now, and it still fits her perfectly.

Rachel | September 6th, 2018 at 11:38 pm

We wanted something a tad unique for our daughters, but not so unique or oddly spelled that they would have to constantly repeat their names or spell them to people. I also thought about nicknames and initials for all the choices. Aside from people being confused by the way a name sounds and is spelled, also consider whether their name would help or hurt them as they are making their way in the world. It’s an unfortunate truth that people are pre-judged by their name!

Bonnie | September 7th, 2018 at 12:26 pm

Although unique names sound cool to us, most of them get a child teased in school. As a teacher, I will never understand why some parents put their child through such torture.

My son was named Brian. Not a name I had even considered. My husband and I couldn’t agree on girls’ or boys’ names. One day I said I like the name “Brianna.” My husband’s reaction was, “What kind of name is that?” I explained it was the feminine version of Brian. He liked that name. I said, “Well, I hope to God we have a boy then,” because at least I didn’t object.

There were some uncommon names I considered the second time: Trevor and Trent were the ones I remember. We decided on Blake.

JC | September 8th, 2018 at 1:03 am

I had a daughter and we wanted something unique but normal – if you know what I mean. She could be an artist or President! We nailed it and so happy with her name but it can be difficult to land on something until you actually meet them! Ollen is a name that isn’t on your list but that you might like!

Heather | September 8th, 2018 at 3:45 am

My husband and I had girl names picked out early on in our pregnancies. However, my first was a boy – and we decided we were going to give him a name that we personally didn’t know anyone else who was named it: Parker. Jackson is his middle name and we figured we could do PJ for short if he did t like Parker. Or Jackson later on too. He’s 3 now and he is definitely a Parker.

My second pregnancy was a shock when we found out we were having identical twin boys, they are now six months old, but coming up with two MORE boy names almost killed us. Hahah. We ended up going the family route this time: Benjamin Charles (my husband’s father’s middle name is Charles) and Harrison James (Harry is my grandfather’s name, which he had passed onto his son. He had two sons and both of them had 7 girls total … no boys! So, we have Harry and Benny! We use their nicknames a lot, but also figured we could go the middle name route if needed – such as Charlie or Jaime.

We did have names picked out prior to their birth, and especially with the twins – I was able to know who was who from their movements. One was temperamental. The other not so much. So, we named them for that as well.

So much thought goes into it, and then you meet them, and I fell in love with not the namesake, but them. And their names just fit perfectly. Excited for you to welcome your bundle of joy soon! It truly is a love you can’t ever describe. 💙

Katie | September 12th, 2018 at 1:56 am

My son’s name is different but straightforwardly written and sounding. I think that is the key to a name. His middle name is the same as my Dad’s, my brother’s middle name which is my Grandfathers. My daughter who I was pretty sure was going to be another boy. Her name is from 3 unrelated aunts and my doctor’s name! I like having a personalized name added being the first or middle. I love Otto as that would have been my daughter’s name after her great-grandfather!

Lisa | September 12th, 2018 at 8:43 am
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