Name That Baby

Mistakes To Avoid

Avoid These Oops!

Mom and dad tug-o-war

Thayer Allyson Gowdy

Skip the gender benders. Unisex names are enjoying a moment, but think twice before giving one to your son. Those names usually end up being used for girls.

Don't get starstruck. Before settling on a name, question whether or not you would have liked to have it yourself. Are you confident that the name would have served you well? If so, then you've hit on a winner.

Remember, less is more. If you have a hyphenated last name, keep the first short. Otherwise you could sentence your kid to heaps of frustration each time she fills out a form.

Make it your own. Before settling on a name, question whether you would have liked to have it yourself. Are you confident that the name would have served you well? If so, then you've hit on a winner.

Spell it clearly. A unique spelling can seem like a way to make a common name stand out, but Maddyson and Jaykob may not love continually correcting people.

Reverse! Reverse!

Learn from these parents' regrets and bypass a blooper.

1. It's a Boy! ... Not
"I bought pricey bedding personalized with my son-to-be's name, Daniel. About two weeks before my due date, during an ultrasound, we discovered he was actually a she! I decided on Daniella so we could just add a 'la' to everything!" GG Benitez, San Diego

Lesson Learned: Resist naming your chickens (or at least ordering costly personalizing) until they hatch.

2. Initial Thought
"We wanted something easy to pronounce, so we decided on Adam and chose Richard for his middle name, after my husband's father. But we realized after naming him that we gave our poor child the initials A.R.F. -- like a barking dog!" -- Kendra Fleener; Battle Ground, Indiana

Lesson Learned: Play with all scenarios. Are there weird nicknames? Unfortunate initials? Try again!

3. Spelling Shocker
"Two days after our daughter was born, we finally decided on Rozzalind. But the second after I handed in the birth certificate form, I started bawling -- I was suddenly sure her name should have one Z. I was convinced we were stuck with it!" -- Emily Reed; Phenix City, Alabama

Lesson Learned: Do what Reed eventually did: Visit the Social Security Administration website to make a change.

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