Read one of our editors tips for picking the perfect baby name

Some girls start planning their weddings in their heads when they are just little kids. I personally didn’t do a ton of fantasizing about my wedding when I was a child, but what I did have was a long list of baby names. I’m now the mama to a two-year-old, but I chose her name literally a decade before she was even a twinkle in my eye, back when I was in high school.

I’m not sure what it is, but I’ve always loved thinking about baby names, and I’m always the first to click on the lists of most popular names when they are published each year. And now that I’ve had a chance to actually name one child, I realize how fun it really is—but also how big of a responsibility it is. At the end of the day, there are very few hard-and-fast “rules” when it comes to naming your baby. The most important thing is just that you yourself (and your partner, of course!) love the name. But there are many questions to consider when deciding on what the “perfect” name is to you. So with that in mind, here are 5 baby-naming rules to help guide you…

Rule No. 1: Consider the meaning.

In my opinion, the best way to know that the name you chose is the “perfect” one for your baby, is if it holds special meaning. There are many ways that a name can hold meaning. The name itself will have a definition, and it can also hold personal significance to you and your family. When you are thinking of potential baby names, consider the names of family members, along with literary characters, poets, presidents, artists, scientists, and any other public figures you admire. But keep in mind that if you want your baby to be named after someone in particular, you can still give the name its own unique twist by spelling it differently or simply using the first initial as inspiration.

Rule No. 2: If you pick a popular name, be prepared to meet lots of other kids with that name.

I know I’m not the only one who loves looking at the annual lists of most popular baby names. And for many expecting parents, those lists serve as great naming inspiration. But on the other hand, it’s important to consider whether or not it will bother you if your child’s name is super popular. If your baby’s name has made the Top 10 or even Top 25 list in recent years, chances are there will be a handful of ‘name twins’ in your little one’s classroom when they start school. Is it going to bother you if you show up to the first day of kindergarten and there are 5 other Liams or Avas besides your own? If so, don’t pick anything that ranks too high on those lists. That said, some names are popular for a good reason! If you still love the name and don’t mind that it is going to be widespread, don’t let the popularity alone stop you.

Rule No. 3: Consider how easy it will be to pronounce.

For parents who stay far away from those Top 100 lists in search of a more unique name, consider whether it will be easy enough for others to pronounce when they see it spelled out. Sure, you might love the name Saoirse (pronounced sur-shə, by the way), but are you going to tire of hearing every possible mispronunciation there is? And even more importantly, will your future kiddo enjoy having to constantly correct people? This isn’t to deter you from choosing a unique, interesting, and even hard-to-pronounce name if you really love it. It’s just a reminder to be prepared for the inevitable mispronunciations that will come with that decision.

Rule No. 4: Test it out with your last name.

True story: We had Arrow on our list of potential names for baby girls when I was pregnant, until we realized how it sounded in conjunction with our last name, Saul (aerosol—ha!). In the same vein, consider initials and any potential nicknames. For example, Brooke Alexa Dunn might sound great, but do you really want your child going through life with the initials B.A.D.? Once we had decided on the name Eden Eliot Saul for our daughter, I made a list of every possible permutation of the name and made sure I was happy with them all. (It looked something like this: Eden E. Saul; E. E. Saul; E.E.S.; Edie Saul, etc.) That might sound a little over the top to some of you, but naming a kid is a big responsibility, and I needed to make sure the name we had chosen was perfect in every way.

Rule No. 5: Don’t listen to baby name naysayers.

Everyone is going to have an opinion on the name you decide to give your child. And people aren’t always good at keeping their opinions to themselves. But at the end of the day, what to name your baby is the decision of you and your partner alone. It’s a highly personal choice and no one can take that away from you. So if you tell your own mother what you plan to name her future grandchild and she gives you a look, try your best to take it in stride. Another alternative is to keep the name a secret until the baby is born. Because once that baby is born, they are going to be surrounded by love no matter what name they’re given.

How to pick a baby name neither you nor your child will regret

With all this talk of baby names, I thought it would be fun to ask some of our LaurenConrad.com editors what their top baby names are… In no particular order, here were some favorites from around the LC.com HQ:

Boys’ Names:

  • Levi
  • Milo
  • Cash
  • Sebastian
  • Wyatt
  • Noah
  • Madsen
  • Max
  • Ian
  • Calvin
  • Owen
  • Brogan
  • Ryder
  • Nolan

Girls’ Names:

  • Poppy
  • Arrow
  • Harper
  • James
  • Ivey
  • Quinn
  • Ruby
  • Chlo
  • Piper
  • Sawyer
  • Maxine
  • Norah
  • Emery
  • Kinsley
  • Brooklyn
  • Braunwyn
  • Berkeley
  • Olive
  • Lucy

Which one of these names is your favorite? What other names are on your list?

Let me know below!

xo Ilana
Team LC

Photos: Stephanie Todaro Photography
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  • Helen Harm

    This is such an adorable article. My cousin experienced something like this process when she was pregnant. The whole family was trying to help her narrow it down!

    XO Helen @ http://www.KaleidoscopeSpinning.com

  • Caity Merriman

    Love this! Baby names are important. I love the names Tristan and Sawyer for a boy, and Julia for a girl.

    • LaurenConradOnline

      Those names are darling! Definitely inspiring us… you can never prepare with too many baby names! xo

  • Kira Moore

    Many of my faves made your list! I also LOVE Vivian for a girl and the classic Jack for a boy! Thanks for sharing!

  • Polly Cat

    Such a good and unique post! I’ve also been obsessed with baby names ever since being little… my mom even bought me a baby names book when I was about 12! I defo don’t want my future children to have super popular names and always be confused with their classmates, but there are some lovely names on the most popular list! Annoyingly, I often hear of an unusual name that I adore, and then a few years later it become really popular… Oh well, I’m not planning on having children for some years yet, so who knows what’ll be in fashion then! x

    Polly Cat Contemplates

  • Brogan Jennison

    Lovely names, I myself am a Brogan (female) and my sister is Eidann (Eden) spelt the Gaelic way! We both love our names as they are so unusual X

  • We just named our little girl Summer Quinn! I love Quinn so much but hubby wasn’t so fond and we compromised to use it as her middle name 🙂 We also did the “yell test” how does the name sound when your yelling it as you’ll prob be doing a bit of that at the park or when the un off and some names just sound totall different when your yelling it… Like Danielle :p

  • Lindsey Richardson

    I’m glad I’m not the only one! I also have thought more about baby names and room themes than I ever have a wedding! I fall in love with names, but then have the hardest time keeping because I am a kindergarten teacher. I constantly have students come in with those names and even if I have a positive experience with that student, I still think of them when I think of the name. Love the names above, but there are only 3 on each list that I haven’t had a student with that name. It can be so frustrating! I do love this post and will continue to come back to it when I am ready to name my child. 🙂

  • Amanda W.

    My daughters are Anna Taylor after a great grandmother. And Isabelle Riesa, Riesa is after an ancestor we found on ancestry.com. If we have another girl we like Regan James. We recently heard the name Briggs for a boy and thought that was different.

  • Krystal M.

    I’m due in October and we are naming our baby boy Hudson 🙂 Fell in love the second I heard it and nobody’s opinion can change our minds about it!

  • Lovely post! I really like the names Jane for a girl and Ian for a boy.

    http://livingblissfullybalance.weebly.com/

  • Yenna Lee-Jeong

    Personally I love the names Ellen and Lily.

    • Joelle Tia

      I like Jessica, Melissa, Natalie, and Katie.

      And I love the name Yenna :))))) its so pretty and it reminds me of henna 🙂 I know it’s Korean but what does it mean?

      • Yenna Lee-Jeong

        Aw Joelle thanks so much <3 ilysm

        • Jennifer Xia

          Go yenny!!!

          • Yenna Lee-Jeong

            aw ur the literal sweetest johnifurr

          • Lana Lang

            i <3 all my daughters <3 (lookin at u jennifer and yenna and joelle and irene)

          • Jennifer Xia

            i <3 my mommy more <3

            #XiaFam

          • Amanda Xia

            *when Jennifer Xia denies everything but she’s literally goals*

            —- Amanda Xia

          • Jennifer Xia

            aww amanda xia thank youu but omg ples if there’s anyone dats total goals, it’s you gurlie, not moi!1!1! So look in da mirror!!!!!

            J. Xia

            j

          • Jessica Qiu

            aw so kind Jennifer <3

          • Jennifer Xia

            aw jess so much nicer and sweeter on so many levelss

          • Jessica Qiu

            aw thanks jennifer 🙂

          • Jennifer Xia

            ahh np jessicaa ;^)))

          • Kerstin Zhuang

            Lol I love these compliment wars

          • Irene Sung

            AKDIEJDJRAOGQ STAWP BEING SO KIND JENNIFER YOURE MAKING MY SMALL HEART HURT XD

          • Ellen Zhao

            SMALLL HEART BUDDIES FO LYFE IRENEY

          • Jennifer Xia

            aw ellen me thinks you meant *big heart* ;^)

          • Ellen Zhao

            nah everyone has a small heart compared to the jennifer xia

          • Jennifer Xia

            aw ellen thankss ♥ but you’re the incredibly cayoot and big-hearted one! (along with the ireney sung)

          • Jennifer Xia

            AKSJAKSJDJLALSR AW THANKSS ♥ IRENEY BUT YOU KNOW WHAT YOU SO KINDD YOURE MAKING MY NONEXISTENT HEART HURTT :C

          • Irene Sung

            LIESSSS

          • Irene Sung

            UR RLY PERFECT AND KIND JOHNIFURR THATS JUST THE TRUTH (DONT DENYY)

          • Jennifer Xia

            AW TANKSS ♥ BUT I CANT ACCEPT UNTRUE THINGS SO DENIEDD

          • Jennifer Xia

            awww yenna thankss but oh if u only knew da truth ; ^ )

            J. Xia

          • Kiersten Cox

            Jennifer, do you ever accept any compliments??!?!?!?

          • Jennifer Xia

            whalee i ain’t any of dose thingss ppl say dat i am so i just don’t want to accept untrue thingss

            j. xia

    • Mary Lazaren

      Omg I totally agree with the other commenter. Ur name is so pretty, Yenna!

      xo

      Mary Lazaren

      • Yenna Lee-Jeong

        Aw thank you so much!! <3

  • melanied

    We named our girl Avey. My husband actually chose it, it’s a name he heard and loved for years.

  • Eden DeFleur

    i have always loved the name my parents gave me, Eden. Always reminded me of the Garden of Eden 😀

    xoxo

    eden

  • Autumn Ziegler

    We named our daughter Winter.