We Can't Agree On A Baby Name

How to keep baby name disagreements from taking the joy out of getting ready for baby.

pregnant couple at computer

My husband and I generally agree on things. Whether this is due to similar outlooks or the fact that he does his best not to butt heads with me I'm not sure, but whatever the reason, the result is a home that's, overall, pretty harmonious. In fact, until recently, pretty much the only thing we regularly disagreed upon was whether or not pizza should qualify as a food group. (It shouldn't.)

Our family currently has a headcount of four. My husband adopted my 8-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, and we have a 13-month-old son together. Choosing his name was so easy that it was almost as if he'd named himself. I suggested a name, my husband agreed, we plopped a favorite grandfather's name in the middle and, just like that, our son had a name we both loved.


I was surprised to find out this past June that I was pregnant a third time, and that our headcount would be increasing again. I was even more surprised to learn a couple of months later that we were having a girl. My nausea and cravings were the same as when I was pregnant with my son and, frankly, I wasn't sure that my husband, one of a long series of boys, had a girl in him. (Plus, with a house full of gently used baby items in a sweet shade of baby blue, I may have been overly optimistic about how prepared I was.) Planning For Kids Is Futile

Before my ultrasound, we'd pretty much settled on a name for the boy we thought was on the way. Just like when we'd named our 13-month-old, we'd found a name we both loved, a name that felt natural. Unfortunately, Samuel isn't appropriate for a little girl, and the movie Sixteen Candles ruined the name Samantha for me. So suddenly, we were shopping for clothes with frills, and a name to match.


While trying to allow my eyes adjust to the pink glow of girly baby products, we began discussing our options. We needed a feminine name that was as beautiful as it was strong... a name she'll be proud to use when introducing herself to the future boyfriends my husband's already preparing to threaten... and a name she'll feel equally as confident writing on a job application. When Dating, How Important Is Someone's Name?

I have the perfect name.

So does my husband.

They are not the same name. And neither of us is budging.

There isn't anything wrong with the name he's currently favoring. It's beautiful and fairly uncommon. It just isn't clicking with me, and he feels the same way about the name at the top of my list. And we both feel strongly that you shouldn't settle on something as important as a name. A name will follow you your whole life. It should be perfect.


Luckily, I'm not due until April 1 (yes, really), so we have ample time to resolve this like the mature adults that we are. And while on one hand April seems lifetimes away, with '80s movies on the brain, I'm having nightmares that we'll be calling our little girl Baby well into her teens while she yells cheesy lines like "Nobody puts Baby in a corner!" We're still both pretty amused by the stand-off, and fighting over the name has yet to reach gloves-off proportions. I'm just feeling like the shelf life on this peace will be shorter than Jennifer Grey's career. Parenting Conflict? Make Sure Your Kid Wins

The way I see it, we have two choices.

My husband and I can each launch a campaign aimed at convincing the other that the name we're pitching is The One. I feel pretty certain that I can wear my husband down, but I'm not sure that this is how I want to win this battle. I love how naturally we named our son together, and I want us to feel just as convinced that we've chosen the perfect name for our daughter.

The other option is to delve back into the baby name websites and hope for the best, although those sites overwhelm me. If you scroll through the lists for too long, all names begin to sound odd and foreign, like if you repeated your own name 100 times in your head. ("Jane? What the hell kind of a name is Jane?")


I can also choose to be annoyed at my husband's inability to recognize The Perfect Name when it’s right in front of him, or I can be grateful that he cares as much about the details of raising our children as I do. This, luckily, is a no-brainer, which—when I look at it from that perspective—makes the approach to solving the baby name dilemma obvious.

We're going back to the drawing board.

While I'm not totally ready to give up on my name yet, I think that in the spirit of marital harmony I'm going back to the baby name websites to try to find a name that we both agree is perfect. After all, naming a child with your life partner is supposed to be fun, and I don't want to take the joy out of something that's supposed to be exciting. But we're gonna have to get through this soon. I have some pink monogramming to do.


According to this article in the Daily Mail, the mom always gets the final word when it comes to baby naming. What have been your own experiences with naming baby?

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