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Create your own baby name

Sarah Caron is a Connecticut-based freelance writer and editor. She lives with her wonderful husband, two adorable kids and two funny beagles. Check out her food blog at Sarah's Cucina Bella.

Unique baby name finder

If the top 100 baby names list is getting old for you, look beyond the list for customized and unique baby names for your girl or boy. With a little creativity, you can invent your own special baby name.

Baby Boy and AlphabetIt seems like everyone knows an Emily, Daniel, Isabella or Anthony. Those names are among the most popular, according to the Social Security Administration's list of top baby names . While those are all nice names, if you name your child a popular baby name, they are likely to contend with lots of classmates with the same name.

Don't let that happen. Instead, go a more creative route by developing a unique name for your baby. Don't worry if it's something you've never imagined -- creating a baby name is easy and can be a lot of fun.

Now, let's get started. These five options for creating your own baby name offer a variety of ways to step away from the norm and find

Option 1: Combine parts of names

In some cultures, it's traditional for parents to take parts of both of their names to form a new and unique name. For instance, if mom is Melissa and dad is Samuel, baby could be Meluel or Samissa. Don't limit it to just your names though. You could use the baby's grandmothers or grandfathers names to create a new name. Or even favorite aunts and uncles. Whatever the case, you will end up with a name that is familiar, but different.

For more ideas, check out our pick of the top 25 unique baby names for girls and boys.

Option 2: create a Unique spelling

If you have a name you like, but aren't so into the traditional spelling, switch it up a bit by respelling it. Turn a C into a K or a i into a y and devise a special new spelling. For instance, Madison might become Madysen, Chloe might become Khloe or Michael might become Mikael.

A word of warning: the so-close-yet-so-far-away spelling of a common name might not sit so well with your baby as they get older and want the cute pencil emblazed with their moniker.

Click here for more ideas on baby names with unique spellings.

Option 3: Make a combination

Annemarie, Maryanne, Annabella ... combined names are nothing new. But your combination of two names can be. Simply take two short names and combine them to form one. Perhaps you can string together Sarah and Maria to form Sarah-maria. Or Dan and Ed can come together to make Daned. The best way to make a name like this is to go through baby names and make a list of short names you like. Then imagine the possible combinations until you find one right for your baby.

Check out our list of the top short and sweet baby names to help you find the perfect combination.

Option 4: Use a special place

Pay homage to a special city like your hometown or the town where you were engaged by using the place name to create a unique baby name. Consider what towns and cities might be important to you, and figure out which would work best to create a special name for baby. But don't limit yourself to the traditional spellings -- let Paris become Parys or England become Englynd.

For more ideas, read our pick of the top 50 destination baby names.

Option 5: Repurpose a last name

Last names can make perfect and unique first names. Consider taking your mom's maiden name (or your mother-in-law's or even your own) and using it as a first name. It's a great way to keep your family name alive -- even if you are no longer using it. It's really just a matter of looking at the name in a fresh way. Think how nice Jackson, Kennedy or Jones would sound as a first name. Just make sure that whatever you choose fits with baby's last name.

For more baby name ideas:

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