Naming a baby is a deeply personal undertaking. Parents want a name that reflects a unique identity, heritage, or a good vibe. All too often, others (friends, in-laws, coworkers) feel free to weigh in on your choice, or you and your partner don't see eye to eye. Here are some common problems, and how to resolve them.
Q. My husband and I have different naming styles. He is much more traditional and conservative, while I am drawn to more creative, unusual names. What can we do?
A. You could flip a coin to decide who gets to pick the first name and who gets to select the middle name, but that wouldn't make either of you very happy. It would also result in the kind of divisiveness that leads to dueling names or a dull compromise that nobody likes.
If your lists are far apart stylistically, keep an open mind. You may be surprised by what you discover. There are so many names to choose from that the possibilities are unlimited. Consider creating a new name from one of your husband's favorites, combined with one of yours. If his top pick of Emily, for example, is too conventional for you, you could suggest Emilie, Emme, Amelia, or Emerson.
Don't shortchange the process or each other. Take turns suggesting potential names, listen respectfully to each other's choices, and agree from the start to choose a name that both of you like and accept. This way you'll be sure to defuse any power struggles, and you'll move that much closer to achieving a happy collaboration.
Here's one exercise that always gets people to cooperate: Start with a list of names you both hate, and work your way up from there.