Don't poll friends and family
It can be tempting to poll all your friends and family on the right baby name -- but this is top of my list of baby name mistakes! Why? It may be awkward for those friends who dissed the name that you ended up picking for your baby ("Taylor is a girl's name!" or "That name is so boring!"). Plus, you don't want too many cooks in the kitchen, and that is exactly what will happen when you get too many people involved in picking a baby name.
Try to keep the baby name list between you and your husband or significant other.
How do you spell that again?
I know Rian instead of Ryan or Ashleigh instead of Ashley looks cool on paper, but it can be frustrating for your child (and for you!) when people are constantly misspelling the name and pronouncing it wrong. Try to stick to traditional spellings as much as possible.
Look beyond Jacob and Isabella
Check out the list of top 100 baby names from the Social Security Administration -- and avoid naming your child anything in the top 50 (or at least the top 25!). Otherwise, your child may forever be known as Jacob S. or Emily T. throughout school.
On the flip side, try to not get your child a weird name (Apple, Pilot Inspektor) that will cause them to get picked on at school.
Avoiding Seymour Butts
This holds true especially for boys (because girl's names may change once they get married), but write down your child's full name to see how it flows with the first and last name. Look at the initials to make sure it doesn't spell out anything unsavory. The last thing you want is Sam Thomas Davidson with the initials STD -- or a child named Oliver Klozoff.
Consider meanings and origins
Check out the meaning and origin of your baby name (use our advanced search here) to get a deeper understanding of your chosen name.
Quit being a baby name bully
Try not to dictate the baby name choice -- let your spouse have input as well. If you are having difficulty finding a name you both like, sit down and write out a list of 25 names you like and compare notes. Find names you both like and go from there. If the names are completely different, try to find a common ground (classic names, sporty names, Irish names, etc.) and go from there.
Baby names in the digital age
It may be a good idea to Google your chosen name to see who else has the same moniker. It may not necessarily change your mind, but it is a good idea to be informed so you are not unknowingly naming your child after a famous exotic dancer or notorious crime lord. While you are at it, consider reserving your child's domain name.
More baby name ideas