Choosing a name for your baby is a huge responsibility. It will be one of the first ways your baby identifies herself, and names — whether you like it or not — convey something about a person even before you’ve met her. As such, naming a baby can sometimes feel like a burden. But inspiration for a baby’s name can come from either an obvious place — or somewhere that is a little unusual. We polled moms about how they chose their baby’s name, and got many different, lovely answers.
All in the family
Some moms had easy inspiration — family members, past and present, made an appearance on their baby’s birth certificate. Often, moms delegated the middle name spot to honor a beloved family member, like Meredith, mom of two. Her son, Kai, has two middle names. James is a family name on her husband’s side of the family, and Whale is her mother’s maiden name.
Others chose a family name, but in a different way. “Cavan's name is a county in Ireland where one of my grandfathers was born,” explained Lisa, mom of one. And Heather, mom of three, had inspiration come from family due to a grandma’s error. “Vera got her name from when we were expecting Vada,” she said. “Her vovó (grandma) sent us a bunch of monogrammed items with the name Vera. We joked that if we had another daughter we'd have to name her Vera — and that's exactly what we did because we loved the name so much.”
The meaning of a name played a big part in some decisions. “With Hannah, we had narrowed down our list to a few names we both liked — and when I saw that the meaning of Hannah was ‘Grace of God,’ I knew that had to be it,” shared Diana, mother of two. “I used to pray every day that God would bless us with a sibling for Melanie (being that I was older, I wasn't sure I would be able to conceive again). So Hannah seemed very fitting.”
Carrie, mom of three, had an “aha!” moment when looking for the name of her second child. “With Meriel, we were looking for an Irish name and looked though a baby name book,” she told us. “When we saw the name Meriel and what it means (girl that shines like the sea) we knew it was the one. We didn't know if she was a boy or girl yet, but we liked the name so much we took it as a sign that the baby was a girl.”
Others enjoyed the unique background story that some names are attached to. “I picked Lorelei from Gilmore Girls,” shared Lindsay from Texas. “I love that it's different and it's a little saucy. It is also the name of a German mythological siren that lures sailors on the Rhine to their death. I love people's faces when I tell them that.”
Special meaning from the heart
And Ashley, mom of four, has an amazing story on how she chose her youngest child’s name. “We made a list of names when we got married of boy and girl baby names,” she explained. “Each child we had, we would go through the baby name book but always ended up choosing one off of the list. We chose Natalie for our fourth child and soon realized the beginning of each letter of our kids names in birth order spelled AMEN. Alexis, Mackenzie, Ethan, and Natalie. It was easy for us to pick a middle name for Natalie. We chose Jordan after our friend Staff Sergeant Jordan Bear, who was killed in action in Afghanistan March 1, 2012. Staff Sergeant Jordan Bear was a hero and we couldn't think of a better way to memorialize him than to name our child after him.”
When you named your baby, how did you pick the name?
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