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12 Ways to Choose a Baby Name When You're All Out of Ideas

Photograph by Twenty20

Finding a baby name is hard. Many names come with serious baggage (you don’t want your kid to share a name with the school bully or the mean girl you used to work with). Name decisions are also often made by committee, as you potentially have to get a partner, family and friends—not to mention the internet—to all agree on a name. Sometimes there are also family names, certain letters or other sibling names that factor into the decision.

So, have you been through all the usual baby name list books and websites and still not found "the one"? Are you nearing the end of your rope? Here are some less conventional naming methods to try.

1. Attach a picture of the alphabet to a dart board. Throw 10 darts at it, and write down each letter a dart hits. Select a name from the letters.

2. Combine half of you and your partner’s name to come up with the baby name. Abigail and Elliott could have a beautiful baby Elliogail or Abigett.

3. Stop searching the family tree, and pick up a book about trees to choose a name from. Perhaps Deciduous or Bitternut.

4. Google “Local hero” and choose the first name that comes up.

5. Google “Local spelling bee champion” and choose the first name you find.

6. Google “Local child that slept well as a baby and grew up to have a fulfilling life and still calls his mom on a regular basis.” If you find any name matching this search, definitely use it.

7. Is there a name that your partner loves that you hate? Try spelling it backwards. Any better? No?

8. Ask a toddler for a good name for the baby and choose the first word she mentions. There is a pretty good chance it will be “No.”

9. Have a neutral person select the name. Perhaps the barista at your local coffee shop.

10. Pay attention to how much your baby kicks when you eat different foods. If the baby always kicks after eating something, then it’s a sign: They want to be named Sauerkraut.

11. Ask a preschooler to draw you a picture. Turn that into a symbol that you use for your new baby’s name. Baby names that you can actually read are so last year.

12. Each night before bed, close your eyes and try to will the name to come to you in a dream. If that doesn’t work, just name the baby after the first thing you see in the room after he or she is born. It might be your partner, a close family member or a light fixture.

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