A friend of mine forwarded me your blog when I told her how much trouble we are having with a girl's name for our little one due in March. My husband and I have pretty similar styles so it hasn't been that hard to get a meeting of the minds, the only problem is we haven't found any names that "wow" us. We have two that we are both okay with, but I really feel like my daughter's name should be something that I just love. This is both of our first child, so we have no sibling names that we have to fit with.
I like traditional names but nothing too old-fashioned like Ruth, Pearl, or Jean. I think trendy names are okay as long as they aren't too far out there. I don't want an extremely common name like Jennifer or Stephanie, but if I fell in love with a common name I would probably go with it anyways. We have already decided on the middle name (which we want to keep as a middle name). Elizabeth has been a family name on my side for centuries. So we need ___ Elizabeth. Our last name is pretty common, it starts with an M and ends with a y, two syllables.
I like Mya and Mia, but neither one work with our last name. I loved the name Madeline, but I cannot deal with the nickname Maddy which my family is sure to use. So far we are stuck on Katelyn and Payton. Like I said, we both like the names but neither one of us love them. I keep thinking that it will come to me when I least expect it, but so far I've got nothing. I'm starting to worry that we will end up with a name that is "just ok." I have searched the baby name books but they are not very helpful and too overwhelming. Can you help us??
I remember this stage of baby naming so well! Paul and I would have a short list and I'd be like, "Any of these would be FINE and I'd be happy ENOUGH, but....*SIGH*." With one of my children, we went with FINE and I ended up loving the name. With one child, we went with a name we loved and I ended up having doubts about it. With one child, a name that was "fine" early in the pregnancy was "LOVE" by the end. And with two children, we went with LOVE names. The happy news, I think, is that NOW I'm happy with ALL the names.
Have you tried The Baby Name Wizard? (I'm linking to what appears to be the first edition because Amazon says they're selling the first/second editions as the same book; I wanted to be sure of getting a second edition so I bought my copy at a Barnes & Noble store.) One of the things I like about the book is that you can look up the names you like and get suggestions for other names you might like. For example, you like Katelyn/Kaitlyn, and The Baby Name Wizard suggests Makayla, Hailey, Ashlyn, Kaylee, and Jordyn. For Peyton/Payton, it suggests Skylar, Addison, Parker, Carson, and Kendall. For Mya/Maya: Zoe, Ava, Jada, Chloe, Nadia. For Mia: Zoe, Jada, Ava, Sofia, Lily. For Madeline: Isabelle, Angelina, Caroline, Lily, Sophia.
Then if any of those suggestions seem ALMOST but NOT QUITE, you can go look up THOSE names and find suggestions. So let's say you think, "Addison! YES...well, except for the nickname Addy." Then you can go look up Addison and find the suggestions Reagan, Emerson, Parker, Aubrey, and Mckenna.
PLUS, each name is put in categories, and then you can go look up those entire categories and see if anything appeals. Kaitlyn is "Bell Tones" and "The -ens." Payton is "Last Names First" and "Androgynous" and "The -ens." Mia and Maya are both "Short and Sweet" and "Nickname-Proof," and Mia is also "Nordic." Madeline is "Antique Charm" and "Literary and Artistic." If you look up "Nordic" you'll find 57 girl names including Annika, Britt, Elsa, Karina, Linnea, Malin, Maren, Minna, Thora. If you look up "Bell Tones" you'll find 60 girl names including Braelyn, Brinley, Cadence, Jaelyn, Kiley, Laney, Paisley, Tayla. If you look up "The -ens" you'll find 68 girl names including Adelyn, Emlyn, Janson, Jillian, Keelin, Larkin, Linden, Tamsin, and Teagan. If you look up "Antique Charm" you'll find 72 girl names including Annalise, Cecily, Genevieve, Georgia, Lucy, Molly, Nora, and Sadie.
I found that as I browsed the categories I pretty quickly found that I liked practically NO names in some of them and practically ALL the names in others. Finding your own naming style categories can help eliminate some of the overwhelmingness of the choices, and can also help make sure you use a name that will go well with names you may want to use for future children.
Name update 04-01-2010! Kelsie writes:
Well, like did turn into love for us with this name. Katelyn Elizabeth was born March 24, 2010, 7lbs2oz and 19 inches long. We had a backup list of names that we took to the delivery room with us, but didn't need it. When we laid our eyes on her, we felt like she was a Katelyn. Thank you for your help and for all the suggestions!