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Naming Your Baby: Solutions to Common Conundrums

Choosing your baby's name could turn into a big battle. Here, the pros tell you how to handle sticky situations gracefully.
couple picking a baby name

Sticky situation: You want to use the same name your friend used.

Solution: Tread carefully in these waters -- your friends may not be super keen to have another Emmaline or Henry in their inner circle. "We're all pushing to be distinctive, and today's parents choose names specifically to stand out," says Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard and founder of NameCandy.com. "So people get very proprietary about their creative choices."

Your best bet? Broach the subject of sharing the name with the other parents, before you put it on your child's birth certificate. "If you phrase it right, the question can be flattering," Wattenberg says. "Try something like, 'Wow, you have great taste -- I love that name so much that I can't get it out of my head. Would you mind if we named our baby that, too?" If they blanch at the idea, you may need to go back to the drawing board. "If you name-nap, you do it at peril of ruining the relationship," says Pamela Redmond Satran, a baby naming expert and cofounder of Nameberry.com. "What's more important, the relationship or the name?"