can’t agree on a baby name

What to Do When You Can’t Agree on a Baby Name

Naming a baby is a huge deal. It’s even bigger if you and your partner can’t agree on a baby name. If you’ve devoured our baby name articles (if not check them out here) then you’ll know that choosing a name for your little one is one of the biggest decisions you’re likely to make before they arrive. It’s a decision that’s often fraught with emotion along with strong opinions both for and against and that’s before you’ve even spoken to your other half! Sometimes there needs to be quite a few (long) conversations before you land on a name you’re both happy with. If this sounds like you, we’ve got 6 things that you should do when you can’t agree on a baby name.

can’t agree on a baby name
  1. Set out your non-negotiables

Put your cards on the table. Do you have really strong feelings for or against a particular name or style of name? Maybe you’re desperate to honour your late grandmother but they hate the name Sybil. The key here is to respect what your other half comes to the table with and their reasoning. 

  1. Listen, objectively

It’s natural to dismiss your partner’s objections to a name suggestion, particularly if it’s one that you feel passionately. Listen to what they say, really listen. Hear what they’re saying. Is the name too typically feminine / masculine? Is it too common? Does it remind them of someone? Taking a neutral stance when discussing each other’s reasons for disliking a name tends to remove the emotion from a conversation. What does that mean in practice? Less likely to end up in an argument! Remember you’re on the same team! 

  1. Write a list with only 3 vetoes each

Both sit down and write separate lists and then swap.. Not only does it tend to give you time to think internally before responding directly but it may well throw up names you hadn’t even considered. You can even set up your own rules like allowing each other the ability to cross out up to three names. This leaves you with an ‘edited’ version of each other’s lists that can then be combined in a master list that can be whittled down as you continue the process. One step nearer to the end goal. 

can’t agree on a baby name
  1. Stick them on the fridge

Once you’ve got a list of maybe-baby names, write each on a post it note and stick it on the fridge. You’ll both see them in passing every day and may start to develop clearer feelings for or against a name. Plus, it always helps to see something written down. Motherhood Edit editor, Beth, swears by this tip

  1. Compromise

Yep, that dreaded word. Before you resort to the “I’m carrying the baby therefore my vote is worth two” argument (though, we do hear you…) consider ways in which you could compromise. A middle name can totally change the overall vibe – can you use that to honour their wishes or give the name a different tone? Check out our list of 100 great middle names here.

  1. Take time out

If things are getting a little tense, it’s time to put the breaks on.  Naming your baby should be a good experience so if it’s starting to become fracious you both need to take a step back and let the dust settle. At the end of the day there’s a lot to be said for waiting until you have your little one in your arms before deciding on a name – they tend to just ‘suit’ some names rather than others for no apparent reason. You may find they end up naming themselves! 

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