Checklist: The New Baby Name Game

Use our uber-creative tips to find a moniker you're mad about.

___ Check out opposite sex names. For girls, look at the boy section of your baby name book. It's a great way to find something that feels fresh and unique, without being too out-there. (Plus, gender-neutral names are so hot these days.) But be practical too, think Dylan, Campbell, or Emory -- as opposed to, say, Hank.

___ Flip through a foreign language dictionary. Conceived on your honeymoon in Venice? How about the Italian word for beautiful (Bella) or water (Acqua)?

___ Start with the nickname. Most kid's names get shortened anyway -- so why not begin with what you're going to be calling her 90 percent of the time and work forward from there (Ella...short for Isabella).

___ Mine wacky sources. Go online and dig up names from Greek mythology or from constellations. Or how about artists' names from an old college art history book? Even if you don't find anything you like, you'll definitely feel like you mined all the possible sources once you do settle on the perfect name.

___ Pay attention to everything (everything!) you read. Newspapers, magazines, menus, Yellow Pages -- you never know where or when inspiration will strike!

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