My husband and I had our first experience of choosing a name when we had been married for two years. After three days, we chose the name LUCY for our cat. Seriously. Three days to name a cat.
With that in mind, it should not surprise you that it takes us a LONG time to name a baby. It certainly doesn't help that we don't learn the sex of our child in advance. That means we need a first and middle name for both a boy and a girl.
I seriously believe choosing names is a form of torture for my poor husband. It can't be too trendy/popular. And it certainly can't be off-the-wall-weird. We both lean toward traditional names (in my opinion), but I also like old-fashioned names. (My name is ANNETTE!) Derek does not care for the "old" names.
In 2006, for our first pregnancy we borrowed a baby name book. However, we found the US Social Security website to be extremely helpful (especially since we didn't want too popular of names). It ranks baby names according to popularity. (And unlike other sites, it is official!) You can look at the top 1,000 (or just 20) names or search by year or by name.
In 1976, the year I was born, Annette made the top 200. However, by 2008, it wasn't even in the top 1,000.
So just how unpopular are our kids names? Well, M ranked in the 300's in the year she was born (for her particular spelling which is not the most popular). E was in the top 50 in 2008, but it has gained in popularity.
At the time of this writing, we have one boy name and two girl names chosen. The boy name is in the top 50 (more popular than ideal), but both girl names are less popular in 200's. We have not chosen any middle names yet. Oh my, they are really tough this time, but I am hoping there may be a family name chosen.
I'm very thankful that I didn't come into my marriage having a baby name already chosen as some women do. My husband may not like to discuss baby names, but he definitely has an opinion! It seems that with baby names there is not much compromise. We determine our lists separately, and then narrow it down from there, crossing off names that are just not an option. Often (for girl names) there are a few names that are on both lists or we realize we like after seeing it on the other's.
This post was written in advance...to be scheduled hopefully after baby's arrival. Maybe by then we will have determined a name. With both M and E, they were a full week late...and we needed all 41 weeks of pregnancy to come to a conclusion on their names.
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