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The Baby Name Stalemate: When Couples Can't Agree on a Name

The Baby Name Stalemate: When Couples Can't Agree on a Name


The Baby Name Stalemate: When Couples Can't Agree on a Name

Gasp! Did hubby seriously just veto the beloved baby name you’ve had picked out for a decade? You’re not alone. Many couples find that choosing a baby name is a challenging process, requiring significant communication and compromise. To help you play this team sport successfully, we’ve tapped Circle of Moms members for 5 harmony-producing baby-naming strategies.

1. Communicate Likes and Dislikes

Do you like traditional or unique names? Alternative spellings? Family names? Communicating your preferences is an important first step to finding common ground with your partner on baby names. As mother-of-three Kitty T. advised, it’s also important to explain why you don’t like specific names: “Make sure you are both communicating about why you don't like certain names instead of just saying ‘no.’ If you know what bothers your partner, it will make it easier for you to find names that you like that will fit within his criteria.” Jess L. agrees: “When my partner and I couldn't agree on baby names we would always ask what it was about that name the other didn't like. Often it was just how it looked on paper...we just changed the spelling!”

2. Prepare for Compromise

As Denise G. advises, both parents should expect compromise: “Just like anything else in a relationship, you can’t throw aside respect and compromise to be a momzilla. If your husband absolutely hates it, then it's time to find something else that you both love.” Even if your basic goals are polar opposites (e.g., tradition vs. originality) Vanessa T. suggests there are ways to meet in the middle: “Agree on a more universal first name and unusual second name—when your daughter gets older she can pick which one she goes by and it’s perfectly legal. Or perhaps try a plainer, more traditional name with a bit of a twist on the spelling...that’s what we did.”

3. Cast a Wide Net

If you can’t agree on a baby name, many Circle of Moms members advise that both parents should spend some quality time with a baby names resource: “Just start writing a huge list of names for both boys and girls until you both agree,” recommends Carolee Y. “You can also both write down names, and then whichever ones match, pick between those.”

4. Bring in Backup

Many moms, including Andrea A., find that having extra opinions can provide extra insight on names: “We bounced our ideas off of our closest friends to see what they thought as well.” Having extra brains involved can be especially helpful in pointing out nicknames (good or bad) associated with your top picks.

5. Truly Can’t Agree? Take Turns

If you’re absolutely deadlocked, mother-of-one Kimberly H. suggests simply taking turns, as her parents did: “They ended up alternating who got to choose first names, and the other got to choose the middle.” Of course, as Ashlee D. warned, this strategy involves some risk: “I personally choose the first name then let my partner pick the middle name…but be careful, my son’s middle name is Che.”

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