Searching for great name for your girl? Here are 10 key considerations that will lead you to the perfect baby girl name.
Some parents are lucky and have a handful of top baby girl names in mind from the get-go—some even before their conception date! Others struggle with how to pick a baby name, heading into labor without a set choice. Both are valid ways to go about your naming adventure.
If you’re struggling, here are some things to think about before naming your baby girl.
1. Tune Out Opinions
It’s normal to feel a little anxiety when choosing a name. A name is more than just letters and syllables paired together, after all. It’s part of who you are and a vital piece of your identity.
Couple those feelings with unsolicited opinions, and it’s enough to make your head spin! As hard as it may be, you need to tune out the opinions of others right from the start. Remember this is your child and your journey.
2. Discern What’s Important
Because thousands of names are floating around competing for your attention, it’s important to hone in on what’s most important to you and your partner. Ask yourselves these important questions:
- Are there any names you want to veto from the get-go? Maybe you have a bad association or dislike a certain sound or letter.
- Do you want to honor your heritage? If so, narrow your search by origin to help make things a little easier.
- Do you want to pay homage to your religion? There are all sorts of beautiful religious names out there to choose from, like Sarah, Phoebe, and Talia.
- Are you planning on naming the baby after someone? Are you looking for a spin-off, like honoring Grandpa Joe with your little girl Josephine? Or are you set on Miriam as a middle name to honor your favorite aunt?
- What do you think about nicknames? Some names like Elizabeth have a few nicknames to contend with, while Ava is nickname-free.
At this early stage, you may discover that you and your partner’s baby name interests clash. While it may be initially upsetting, this is a great opportunity for early compromises. Perhaps he’s dead-set on honoring Great Aunt Bertha, but you’re not a fan of the name. Can you compromise by using a similar name like Birdie or Beryl? Can the name or variant be used as a middle name instead? Having an open and honest discussion about your wishes is essential when choosing a name.
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3. Settle on a Style
Picking a baby name is a whole lot easier when you have a style in mind. Do you gravitate towards a particular type of name? This can include things like nature names or Biblical names. With your partner, explore various styles by considering the following:
If you aren’t 100 percent sure, check out our baby girl name lists for some inspiration. You never know what gem you’ll find!
4. Consider Popularity
Another important step is to determine how important popularity is to you. Do you mind your little one potentially sharing their name with more than one classmate, or do you prefer a rare find? You can examine the popularity of a name nationally in the U.S., as well as by state. You’d be surprised how different the top 100 per state can vary from the national charts!
If you love a name, but hate how popular it is, remember to take alternative spellings into consideration. For instance, Sophia is number five on the charts with 14,831 baby girls receiving the name, but her alternate spelling Sofia sits at number fifteen with 8,134 babies born. (Check out 2019’s popular names here!)
5. Think Big Picture
When looking at baby girl names, it’s important to think beyond adorable swaddled babies and teetering toddlers. That little one will one day be an adult and worthy of a mature name. Some cutesy names may feel great on a little girl, but may feel immature on a grown woman.
At the same time, going for a unique spelling may seem appealing, but can lead to a lifetime of your child having to spell their name out or correct pronunciation issues. Do yourself and your child a favor: Think long and hard before going for elaborate spellings.
6. Consider Your Last Name
Think of your surname and how the entire name flows when picking out your baby’s moniker. It may be that a prospective name rhymes with your last name or has a famous association when paired together. For example, if your surname is Addison, the name Madison wouldn’t work well. In the same way, if your last name is Grande, Ariana may not be the best first name to pick—unless you want your child constantly compared to the pop star. Keeping your last name in mind can also avoid unsavory initials. No one wants the initials of SAG or PEE, for instance.
7. Try the Top Contenders Out
Once you have a few contenders, try them out in day-to-day life in a few ways:
- Write your favorites by hand
- Practice using the names in everyday conversation with your partner (ex: I need to pick up Elena from school, or I need to pick up some teething toys for Tabitha)
- Pair two names together to see how they sound — if you’re having twins
- Sing happy birthday with each contender included
- Pretend you’re making a doctor’s appointment for your child using their first and last name
- Call your child from across the house (ex: Lucy, can you please come here?)
- Announce your child’s name as if they’re at graduation
These exercises may feel ridiculous at the time, but these small steps help give baby names life off of the written page.
8. Don’t Rush Yourself
No one said you need to follow a strict timeline when picking a name. You have months to explore baby girl names. There is no rule book that says you need to have a name picked out to have a baby. Name or not, that baby is going to come when she’s ready.
While many parents do name their child immediately following delivery, others want some time to “get to know” their baby. Don’t stress as the days tick by. This is the happiest time of your life. If you need a name searching break, take it. You never know when the perfect one will appear.
9. Keep It Private
If you do have a set name in mind, you may be conflicted whether to share it or not. Others may pressure you into revealing your pick by constantly asking about baby’s name. Some parents don’t mind sharing the name from the start, while others may feel more comfortable waiting until after the birth.
It’s important to remember that the name of your baby is your choice—it’s your decision to discuss it or not. There is no right or wrong time to share a name.
10. Enjoy the Process
Finding a name shouldn’t be stressful. Remember to enjoy this incredible journey of new life and beginnings. Exploring baby girl names can—and should—be fun!
Ready to find the perfect name for your baby girl?
Click over to the Mama Natural Baby Name Finder, where you’ll find tens of thousands of options, as well as curated lists and articles from our baby name experts.