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How to choose between two baby names

How to choose between two baby names

When our little girl was born, we had two names that we loved: Ophelia and Ottilie. So, sitting in the hospital room the day she was born, we presumed that one name would just “fit” and we could announce what our little one was called. Fast forward three days and....that hasn’t happened.

So what happens if you love two baby names and simply can’t decide? Here’s my top tips on how to choose between two beautiful baby names.

1.  Check out how both names will sound with a middle name and our surname. Also have a think about nicknames. Writing down all the possibilities for both names might mean that one of them stands out all the more for you.

Our options were: 

Ottilie Alys Aurelia Norris, Ottilie Alys Ophelia Norris, Ottie, Ottie Norris, 

Ophelia Alys Ottilie Norris, Ophelia Alys Aurelia Norris, Ophelia Norris, Figgy, Lily, Isla... 

 

2. Put the names into sentences and say them out loud. Things such as “Ophelia, it’s bath time” to “Ottilie, can you ask your brother to come to the table please?” puts your names in real life situations and therefore makes them more “real.”  This “road test for baby names” is pretty good (and. A great way to keep you entertained whilst on hospital!) 

3. Check out what each name sounds like alongside their sibling or the rest of your family. 

Ottilie and Rupert Norris

Ophelia and Rupert Norris

Patrick, Tiffany, Rupert and Ottilie

Patrick, Tiffany, Rupert and Ophelia  

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4. Have a look at how popular the name is. I was adamant that I wanted a name that was slightly more “unique” and so wanted to check that both names were not rising in the popularity charts. Unfortunately for me, it seems both names are on equal par when it comes to how popular they both are!  One of things to consider re popularity is how popular the name is within your local area and your social group. Ottilie for example is very rare up north but in Chelsea and Kensington it’s far more popular.

5. Flip a coin. This might sound a bit too flippant when it comes to choosing the name you are going to call your baby for the rest of their life, but there is a method to the madness. It’s not actually about whether you get heads or tails, it’s more about how the outcome makes you feel.  So for example, you toss a coin and get a “heads for Ophelia” - how does it make you feel? Are you secretly pleased? Or do you get a disappointed feeling in your gut? Maybe your gut is trying to tell you something.

6. Have a think about a third option. Maybe If you really can’t chose between two names it means that neither names as right. We attempted to do this and added Violet, Tabitha and Matilda to our list. But when we then compared them back to Ottilie and Ophelia, none of them matched up in our eyes. 

7. Don’t ask too many opinions. When you are stuck between two names if can be easy to ask friends and family members for their preference. We did this and, oh my goodness, I wish we hadn’t. Suddenly we were bombarded with peoples thoughts on how “Ophelia sounds harsh” and “Ottilie too pretentious.”  

8. If you are hesitating over a name because of a nickname (perhaps you don’t like some of the nickname options) it is something that can be easily fixed. We hated “feely” and “lia” as a nickname for Ophelia but quite likes be slightly unusual “Figgy” option. However If there  really isn’t a nickname that appeals to you then just stick your heels in and tell everyone that you want to call your baby by her full name. 

9. Test one of the name out for a few weeks. You have six weeks until you have to register you child so why not pick one of the name and see how it feels. If every time you say it, you don’t feel completely comfortable then swap around and try the other name.  

 

Did you have trouble choosing between two baby names? Let me know any tips you have (and the name you chose in the end!) by commenting below! 

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About me

I run the UK’s only ‘mummy concierge’ service helping parents plan from bump to baby.




 

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