The Great Baby Name Debate: How to Find the 'One'

What's in a name? A lot. It can help your baby land a job later in life, stand-out on Facebook, and make a first impression. No pressure. Here's how to choose one.

The Great Baby Name Debate: How to Find the 'One' kryzhov/Shutterstock

Naming my girls was a relatively easy process. Nelson's grandmother from Portugal was named Julia. I had always loved that name for as long as I could remember, so it was the perfect choice. When I became pregnant with Elise, the name search was easy once again. Looking through our family tree, I discovered that my father's grandmother was named Elise and new instantly that we would use that name for our second daughter.

Now that I'm halfway through another pregnancy, it seems like a good time to start seriously contemplating boy names. But Nelson and I are stumped. We only have two possible contenders at the moment: David, after my brother, and Richard, after my father (who passed away five years ago). We love the name David, but I think it would be hard for me to identify my son as David, when, for me, that name belongs to my brother. As for Richard, I love the idea of naming my son after my father. My dad died when he was only 56. His death was devastating for me, and I miss him every single day. I would love to honor him by giving our son his name. Yet I have to confess that I've never loved the name Richard all that much. Actually, it's not Richard that I dislike, but the nicknames that will inevitably result. Rick, Ricky, and Rich are not my favorites. And then there is the dreaded Dick. Need I say more?

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So I've been kicking around some alternatives. I like the name Jordan although Nelson isn't so sure about gender-neutral names—not to mention I was hoping to use a family name, which Jordan is not. But Jordan David or Jordan Richard both sound nice to me. I also like the names Jude and Hayden, but again, Nelson isn't so sure.

The problem we face is that I'm the name generator. Nelson is good at exercising his veto power, but not much else. Then again, he would be happy if we just went with David. And like most things that involve our children, I tend to fret over every little detail, and so I need months to consider our name options. I'm already stressing over the name—worrying that we won't have one come delivery day.

So maybe it will be David Richard or Richard David. As the next few months pass, perhaps those names will grow on me more. Until then, I'm trying not to stress about it. And I have faith, that whatever our son's name will be, when we finally decide it will be just perfect.

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