By Lisa Milbrand
April 21, 2015

Reader Amy started a baby name trend with her first three daughters—should she keep it going? She writes,

We are expecting our fourth girl. Our older girls are name Madison Reagan and Cailyn. We originally thought we HAD to go with a name that ended with an N or n-sound, so we had Kathryn Lauren and Laine on our list. We were struggling and felt that we were limiting ourselves, so we decided to simply go with a name we both liked regardless of whether or not it ended with an N. Well, 2 months later we are still struggling. I love the name Emma Kathryn. My husband likes it, but feels it is too popular and that we would be "settling" for that name for lack of finding something else. We also like the name Harper, but again we worry about the popularity. It seems there is a lot of pressure these days to pick a name that is not too common/too popular. However, I hate to dismiss names we like just because they've been used "a lot." I also worry that picking a name that doesn't end with N will seem odd to people at this point or that this baby's name won't flow well with her sisters'. Any suggestions or advice? Our baby is due at the end of June and I'm starting to worry we'll just have to simply pick something from our list and might have naming regret later.

Amy, relax! No matter which way you go with the name, as long as it's one that you love, you're golden. So if you can't find a "n" name that resonates for you, or all the names in your top 10 are in the overall top 10, it'll be just fine. (And I think both Harper and Emma are lovely choices for daughter #4.)

I hate to see people who start out picking all "J" names or all nature names feel trapped by their decision when they get to later sons and daughters, and they can't quite muster up the same enthusiasm for the names that remain. So don't feel saddled by the "n" factor. Your daughter won't mind.

If you'd like to stick with the "n" names, here are a few more offbeat choices that fit nicely with the baby names you picked for your older daughters. Consider some of the lyn/line names that have started climbing to the top of the charts. I adore Clementine, Evelyn, Madeline, Emmeline, Adeline and Evangeline. (Of these five, I think Evelyn makes the nicest addition to the sibset, but Emmeline would be a nice way to get your pick Emma in but still follow your name tradition.) If you're into nature names, Wren, Fern and Aspen could all be possibilities. And don't discount some of the cooler unisex names, like Rowan, Quinn, Sloan, Arden, Cameron and Emerson. (I'm liking the idea of Emerson or Cameron, both of which share a lot of the same consonants as the big-sister names, so they'll flow nicely.) And of course, I can't help but recommend the birth month. I like June for its vintage vibe.

And if you don't want to go with "n?" Well, the world is your oyster! Since most of your name picks are more unisex in nature, I'd go with names like Avery, Parker and Marlowe, which share the same vibe. Along the lines of Emma, consider Amelia, the slightly less popular variant, or the celeb-worthy Mila.

Okay, readers, your turn. What should Amy consider for her fourth daughter? And if you were in her shoes, would you continue that "n" trend, or go your own way?

If you're looking for the perfect baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at for advice. (You could find your question answered here!) And don't forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names!


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