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Moms Share: How I Picked My Baby's Name

Photograph by Twenty20

I'm not a fan of giving or receiving advice on specific baby names for children. It's a personal decision that doesn't require input from anyone except the parents. What I am a proponent of, though, is sharing stories of the motivation behind choosing a baby's name.

My son is named after my paternal grandpa. He was my hero and had kind of an unusual name (Selmer), so we named my son Sam for his nickname. It makes me smile knowing he's got such a great man as his namesake! My son's middle name is Zachary, my husband's name.

As for my daughter, her name is Sophie Michelle. I speak French and have always loved the name Sophie because it's beautiful and sweet. And Michelle is my mom's name, who passed away three years ago; it's also my own middle name. My mom always told me how she loved her name; it was something she was so grateful to her parents for giving her. Her name is so special to me, and I hope she loves it her whole life, too.

I decided to ask real moms how and why they picked their babies' names, beyond just "liking" it. Here is what they said!

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"I got my son's name, Dexter, from a book ("Something Borrowed"), and even though the character is kind of a jerk, after reading the name over and over I started to love it. We wanted something unique but not totally made up." – Britt H.

"I saw Porter on a sign at a local brewery, and I loved it. So yes, my son is named after beer, in essence." – Cory B.

"My daughter's name is Winter, as it was snowing on the day she was born." – Sarah T.

"I just loved the name Henry, and thought it a solid name for a squishy little babe that would become a man." – Lauren U.

"We chose the name Cole for my son because we love the meaning: strength and prosperity. So we hope!" – Kim M.

"My husband and I had our daughter's name (Sloane) picked out eight years before we had her. Our son (Liam) is named after both of my husband's grandfathers, but we didn't have it picked out until we got to meet him." – Nicole S.

"My husband's brother sadly passed away right before we found out we were pregnant. Needless to say, once we knew it was a boy, the name was a no-brainer. Russell, it was!" – Mandy N.

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"Julia is my nana's name, who is basically the sweetest little nana on the planet!" – Cassie M.

"When she was born they handed her to me and her eyes were just so big and bright and full of life, Zoey was the name that came to me. The name means 'life.'" – Sara J.

"We named our daughter Avonlea Darling from the 'Anne of Green Gables' series. Avonlea means 'simple beauty, noble purity and compassion for the least.' Darling means 'beloved.' Name meanings are big for us, and since we didn't have any family names we wanted to carry on, this is what we fell in love with!" – Autumn C.

"Declan because I love everything to do with Ireland." – Gabrielle D.

" I chose Michael because it was my father's name and he passed away three years ago." – Stephanie B.

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