Tips for choosing a baby name
Choosing a name for your baby is one of the biggest decisions
you will ever make - he or she will have to live with it for the
rest of his or her life! We asked our OHbaby! members how they
decided which name was right for their baby, and here's what they
"I had a boys name and a girls name picked out about ten years
ago, before our children were even a twinkle in our eyes!"
"My husband and I each wrote down several names on pieces of
paper and put them in a hat and picked them out one by one,
watching each other for reactions. By the end we had a shortlist of
three boys names and three girls names, and we waited until he was
born before deciding which one suited him."
"We searched the 'net for names we liked, then matched them up
with the middle name we'd chosen and read them over and over until
we found one that stuck."
"We both agreed on a boys name, so of course we had a girl!
We had a shortlist, and chose one before she was born but didn't
tell anyone as we wanted to make sure that it suited her - and it
"I always thought that babies would grow into a name rather than
the other way around, but now I think that some are definitely born
suiting a particular name, so sometimes it is best to meet them
"We picked our top three names, then waited to see which one
would suit him best. Luckily, our favourite name was the one that
just seemed to fit!"
"Naming baby number two could be quite a challenge if she is a
girl as my husband likes quite plain names, whilst I like names
that are a bit different."
"We came up with a list each and then swapped lists and
crossed out the ones that we really didn't like. That narrowed it
down to a few names, and we waited until she was born before we
chose one that suited her."
"My husband named our son, he would have had the same name
whether he was a boy or a girl, just with different spelling. And
another OHbaby! member suggested my daughter's name and I knew
instantly that it was perfect!"
"We read through a baby name book and made lists, then
watched the credit lists on television shows and ended up naming
him after a character in one of our favourite movies. Our second
was named after a rugby player - even though we lost the World
"What was not helpful was a friend sending me the names of all
the Russian gymnasts while the Olympics was on - Svetlanka
"I searched countless name books and would say them out loud
to my husband to see what he thought. When I came across her name I
fell in love with it, and so did he, so she was named on the spot.
We did keep her name a secret until she was born though."
"We had a boys name, but couldn't agree on a girls name. We had
already picked a family name as a middle name, but we didn't decide
on her first name until I was overdue. I was lying on the bed in
the nursery, gazing at the bassinette, when all of a sudden it came
to me, so I texted it to my husband and he loved it too!"
"We named our first after an actress in a movie we watched
while I was pregnant. We picked the shortened version of our second
daughter's name before we decided what it would be short
"It was great having a name for baby while I was still pregnant
as it really helped our toddler to prepare for her new baby
"Early on, we casually agreed on our favourite boys and
girls names so when we found out we were having twins, we thought
we'd be fine - as long as we had one of each! When the 20-week scan
showed two girls, we were stuck, and in the end we chose two
completely different names from the one we had first agreed
"There is an old Irish tradition that the first born
son/daughter takes the name of the paternal grandfather/mother, the
second born takes the name of the maternal grandfather/mother and
the third born takes the name of his or her parents."
"Our son has my husband's middle name, and there are a LOT
of them in the family. Our second is named after my Pop."
"I watch too much television - both of our children's names came
from television programmes!"
"I heard a name that I liked, but I didn't like the spelling
so I did some research and found a different spelling that I liked
"I picked both of our son's names from league players, but I
didn't think my husband would agree so I only suggested them
half-heartedly. I was stoked when the midwife asked what his name
was after he was born and my husband told her the names I'd
"We definitely chose names back to front. For a long time
I'd known that I wanted to use a family name, it had been in our
family since way back, so then we had to find a first name that
went with it."
"We told our older daughter that she could choose a middle name
for her baby sister. I'm not sure whether she picked the name from
her favourite television show, or a Bratz doll, but either way we
didn't hate it so we let her have it."
"I like to research the meanings of names - if it means
something stupid I cross it right off! And the names have to sound
"We got so sick of sitting there with the name books that I made
a chart and stuck it up on the fridge. It had five columns - one
for boys first names, one for boys second names, one for girls
first names, one for boys second names and one for "over my dead
body" names. Then we stuck names on post-it notes as we thought of
them, and moved each others names around until we came up with a
combination for each that we agreed on."
"With our second, it was important that the name have
special meaning to us, but we weren't up all night glaring at the
name book and arguing over it."
"I had quite a strict criteria - it had to be short, not in the
New Zealand Top 50 baby names, it had to be easy to spell, and it
had to have a good meaning. I also leaned towards old-fashioned
names. I got a bit obsessive over it towards the end and spent
hours poring over websites, but in the end we went with one that
had come into my head long before I was even pregnant."
"We couldn't agree on a name for our second baby. One night
my husband was looking through the Bible for inspiration and came
up with one we both liked."
"Our first son is named after a family friend, but we named the
second after a tradesperson who did some work on our house. He
responded to an ad we had placed and when I heard him say his name
I thought "that's perfect!"
"We started a list of baby names before we were even pregnant,
and we'd add to it as we came across names we liked. Once we were
pregnant, we had different favourites every week, but one seemed to
stick more than the others."
"We had a special girls name picked years ago but it was
really difficult to come up with something as special for a boy. I
ended up going through the dictionary and taking the first letter
off each word to see how they sounded, and we eventually found his
"Our son's name is related to astronomy - I am a huge fan, and
my husband is a keen boatie so uses the stars to navigate."
"There's no particular story with my son's name, my husband
just suggested it and I liked it."
"We chose a name that was in our family on both sides."
"We STILL can't agree on a boys name!"
"We narrowed it down to two names and let our daughter choose
her favourite for her baby brother."