Name That Baby!

Name That Baby!, pg. 3

4. Honor thy pregnancy craving. "Our fifth daughter's name is Molly Marie," says Jean Hoffman of Battle Creek, IA. "I insisted on the initials because I craved M&Ms during my pregnancy."

Hmmm. Had Gwen and I actually carried through with this suggestion, Jacob's name might now be Cocoa Pebbles.

5. Celebrate the nearest holiday. It's not unusual for December baby girls to be named Noelle, but our daughter was due closer to Thanksgiving. David Levy of Cincinnati, whose wife was expecting their son in November 1999, can relate. "We were joking about naming him Butterball or Perdue," he recalls. "But when we landed on Tyson, we realized it was the best name we'd considered." It went to the top of their list, where it remained. And just in time, it turns out, since Tyson was fully cooked (so to speak) by October.

We weren't so sure about this. With Gwen coming down to the wire, we figured Thanksgiving would be a rather low-key affair, and Stove Top somehow didn't seem suitable. Then we had a revelation: What if somebody else chose a name for us?

6. Use a baby-naming service. These are proliferating on the Internet; a quick search-engine query will turn up at least a half-dozen services that, for a fee ranging from $15 to $75, will provide five or more names selected "just for you." We used one such service, which asked us for a variety of information (friends and family members we might want to honor, ethnic names we prefer, trendy or traditional tastes, and so forth). Forty-eight hours later, we received six interesting choices: Delia and Madelyn (variations of Gwen's mother's name, Madeline), Cathlyn (my mother's middle name was Catherine), Claire, Elise, and Ashling. Well, maybe.

7. Allow the siblings to decide. Marjorie and Robert Sims of Cordova, TN, had run out of ideas with their fourth child on the way. "My two oldest children were riding in the car with their dad," Marjorie says, "and my husband asked them, 'What should we name the baby?' One said, 'Benjamin,' and the other said, 'Joseph.'" Benjamin Joseph Sims is now 6 years old.

This seemed like a great idea, so Gwen and I asked Jacob for a suggestion. "Harriet Flowertree," he said. Next!

8. Let the baby name itself. Julie Gibson of Orange Park Acres, CA, says she and her husband, James, kept playing the name game for days after their third child was born: "Finally, we narrowed it down to three names. My husband leaned over the bassinet and said the first one, and the baby cried. He said the second one, and the baby cried. He said the third name, and the baby cooed. The name our baby chose is Matthew, which means 'gift of God,' and we truly feel that he is our little gift."

Nice. Here's one that's maybe not so nice.

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