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When Naming Your Baby Becomes a Battle
by Rebecca Garland

One of the most exiting things about becoming pregnant is deciding what name to give your unborn child. Your excitement builds as you imagine yourself calling the name up the stairs in the morning or thinking of how you want to monogram his tiny blankets. It’s a wonderful way to pass the time in pregnancy – until your partner tells you he hates the name.

The Emotional Side of Naming
Everything about pregnancy is emotional. This includes naming your precious baby. As the mother, you might feel that you have the right to decide, but as the child’s father, your partner might feel strongly that he gets equal shares. Things get especially tricky when there is a tradition to be carried out on one side of the family that isn’t being respected by the other side. For example, you might have hated having a middle name that was connected to your family until your partner told you under no terms was his

daughter going to have the same middle name. Suddenly, it’s of the utmost importance that you continue the family tradition – years of hating the name yourself simply disappear in the hormones and emotions of the argument.

Playing Fair
When your emotions are riled up, the hardest thing to do is play fair. But when it comes to working together, this is exactly what you need to do. Of the tens of thousands of baby names available, there is certainly at least one you can compromise on. The trick is agreeing to work together and then working hard enough to find that perfectly balanced name.

The Name Game
There are lots of ways to compromise on naming your child, but one of the easiest involves making a list. Take a week to compile a list of every baby name you can think of or read that you like. Your list should be at least ten names long. Then, when both partners are ready, swap lists. (Find Baby Names names on GoBabyName!)

Keep an open mind as you read through the names your partner has chosen and mark off the ones that you absolutely hate – this includes ones that have a negative connotation for you such as the names of exes. Then, compare the final lists. If you happen to have the same name on both lists, you’re in luck. But most often in the case of naming battles, this is not the case.

You should have at least a handful of names you like left on both lists, but if not grab a few new baby books and start making a new list of new names and try again. Once you have a few names to work with, try them out in different combinations and get ready to compromise. Consider nicknames that can be created from more formal first names if this would satisfy both parties, or try changing spelling to suit the other person’s preferences.

It took two to create the baby; it will likely take effort on the part of both of you to name him well.

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