I seriously thought once pregnant I would focus most of my attention towards finding the perfect first name that would suit my growing baby. Pre-pregnancy, I didn’t really consider the type of childcare provider I’d prefer, or the color of his or her bedroom furniture. I never really took time to think about the multitude of prenatal classes you should take when expecting with your first (Breast Feeding 101, Infant CPR, Caring for Your Newborn and so on). My greatest curiosity and interest rested with the two most common questions that I wondered myself and that I am routinely asked by others – 1. Are you having a boy or girl? And 2. Do you have a name picked out?
And then I became pregnant and only cared about our baby’s possible first name for the first twenty-four hours. The night we learned we were expecting we rushed to Borders Bookstore to purchase “What to Expect When Expecting” along with the “100,000 Baby Names” book. That night I started to flip through the name book (first of course) only to become quickly overwhelmed with how many names started with an “A”! How the heck would I ever get through 100,000 names?! And shortly after discovering the baby name book I started to learn and care about the “real things” that mattered – his or her health, growth, and heartbeat. I focused on preparing for our child and the researching of items that could ease her transaction into this world – breastfeeding, pacifiers, bottles, tethers and more. My husband and I discussed childcare options, our job plans, and setting money aside. All these more relevant issues seemed to push the naming of our child to the back of our brains. It also made me feel that although important, the name wasn’t as significant or rather, as much of an immediate need, as I first thought. The “things” I wanted to put more time into were the things no one asks you about when expecting! Most people haven’t even believed us when we respond to their # 2 question with “No, we don’t have a name picked out yet”. They think we are keeping it a secret and are not willing to share, and although that might be the case when we DO have a name, right now we simply haven’t put as much energy into naming our child as others may assume.
Now don’t get me wrong – as we turned the corner into our six month of pregnancy and with the last weeks of my second trimester facing us head-on, the baby name discussion has been reborn, but the stress and immediate need to name our child is removed knowing the most important “things” have taken precedent.
So now the “name game” has become fun and part of the common process of expecting a child. And although we have a short list of names that we like, we by no means have decided on “the one” name that will forever brand our child. In fact, I have been disappointed with the regular choices that I come across – The Charlotte’s, Olivia’s, and Emily’s. I love them all, but so does every other mom on every other message board! In trying to find and hear the right ring for our baby girl’s name I have started to expand my curious search from the States to aboard.
Here are the baby-naming online websites I have found most helpful (so far):
Nymbler is unique in that you can enter a name you like and it will respond with similar names or names that are commonly associated or liked with that name!
Social Security lists the most popular baby names throughout the U.S. (even by State and year)
Babynamewizard has an awesome search engine that let’s you search by syllable-count, first letters of a name, and more!
Babynames is “all things names”. You can see lists of celebrity baby names, athlete baby names, the most popular baby names, and wait…you can even get inspired by lists of soap opera names, characters from Gilligan’s Islands and more.
Babynamescountry allows you to search names by country, origin, and meaning. So if you want to ensure that you are not naming your baby something that translates to something weird in a foreign country, check this site out.
Babynamesworld allows you to search for a name and also see common nicknames associated with the name as well as other spelling variations of the name.
BabyNamesPedia has pronunciation guides with their information based off the history and etymology of each name. They also have complete lists of “foreign”
And if you are interested in checking out names across the globe to see what is popular in other countries here are a few links I have found worth taking a look at: