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Parents' most common baby name questions

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Written by Mary Fetzer   

There are thousands upon thousands of baby names out there, and every parent has unique reasons for choosing a particular one of them. But no matter how different we are with our choices, we are not all that different with our concerns. The majority of parents struggle with the very same questions... and BabyHold is here to help. 

Q: How can my partner and I overcome the differences in our baby name ideas?

A: When each parent has his or her heart set on a particular name, it can be difficult to compromise. Start with each of you making a list of your top picks. Talk about why you like yours (it was Grandma's name) and why you don't like your partner's (it's the name of a bully from your childhood), and vice versa.

As you narrow down your respective lists, consider alternate ways to come to an agreement. Perhaps you name this baby and your partner names the next. Or you choose the baby's first name and your partner selects the middle name.

If these tactics don't work, then flip a coin and agree to accept the results. Above all, remember that this is neither your name nor your partner's. It's your child's name — so make sure it's right for him (or her).

Q. How can we rise above the unwanted baby name advice we get from family, friends, coworkers, neighbors…?

A. The easiest way to keep the peace is to politely entertain the advice. After all of the well-meaning busybodies have contributed their two cents, you can smile, walk away and file their suggestions in an imaginary "keep the peace" folder.

If you'd rather not hear others' suggestions, then simply let them know that you've already settled on a name (even if you haven't) and you're keeping it a secret until the baby is born.

The decision, of course, is yours. But do keep an open mind — just in case one of the unsolicited ideas turns out to be a really good one.

Q. Should we tell people our name choice before Baby is born?

A. This is strictly up to you. You may want to refer to your unborn baby by name, so it makes sense to share. And you may find that being forthcoming about the name will help ward off that unsolicited, albeit well-meaning, baby name advice.

But brace yourself for the possibility that some may be critical of your pick. Until the name is legally entered on a birth certificate, people may decide that there's still an opportunity to choose something "better."

Also, you may find that when you meet your baby face-to-face, that name you thought you had settled on is really not the right one at all. While it's easy enough to come up with a more suitable name, it's not so easy to undo gifts and other items already personalized with your original choice.

Q. How can we avoid giving our child a name that's too popular?

A. Your child will be unique, of course, so you don't want her to be one of several with the same name. As you're putting together your potential picks, keep an eye and ear out for names that are commonly used in your area.

Read the birth announcements in the local paper. Make note of the names that you see frequently in your social media circles. Browse school yearbooks. And talk to other parents — at the playground, at church and anywhere children are present.

If every other boy is named Jacob or Noah (two of the decade's most popular boy names), then consider something less common.

More baby name discussions

How other parents selected their babies' names
Challenges with giving your baby a family name
Coping with baby name regret

Photo credit: Nastia11/iStock/360/Getty Images

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