The nine unusual ways parents choose their baby’s names.

When I was pregnant  with my son, my husband and I couldn’t decide on a name. So we decided to get our friends involved. We came up with a shortlist of names we liked (Finn, Tennessee, Dash, etc) and tossed in a few suggested by our three-year-old daughter, other family members and friends (Humpty, Kevin, Rogan Josh, etc).

Then, at a party, we asked our friends to fill out a voting form and post it in a ballot box. The name that won by a mile happened to be my personal favourite, so we went for it.

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to choose your baby’s name

Ask the internet.

This is a little more risky than asking your friends. You can pretty much guarantee that your bundle of joy will end up being called Baby McBabyface. But back in 2014, the world hadn’t heard that joke yet. When Canadian couple Alysha and Stephen McLaughlin set up their website to let the internet choose, they got 150,000 votes. And the winning name was… Cthulhu All-Spark. They went for the second most popular choice, Amelia.

Wait and let your baby choose for themselves.

One couple who did this were hippies Dee and Stubby Street of Idaho. They called their daughter “Baby Girl” for the first three years of her life, planning to wait and let her make the decision. But when she needed a passport, they named her Picabo (pronounced Peek-a-boo), after a nearby village. Not only was Picabo Street happy with her name, she went on to become an Olympic gold medal-winning skier.

LISTEN: The Mamamia Out Loud team dissect the interesting names of Beyonce and Jay Z’s twins. Post continues after audio.

Let your unborn baby choose, using an app.

In 2011, the app Kick To Pick was released. Parents-to-be can put the phone on the belly, let the app start running through a list of names, and then go with the one that makes the baby kick. As writer Jacqueline Burt Cote pointed out at the time, parents don’t have to take the blame when their child says they hate their name. “You can answer in all honesty, ‘You picked your name, sweetheart. Now run along and do your homework, Moroccan Scott.’”

Commemorate the conception.

parents choose baby names
Baby Cooper Sheeran got a shout out from Ed Sheeran himself! Image supplied.

Rocky and Harmony Smith struggled to get pregnant for years, and Harmony eventually went through intrauterine insemination on Christmas Day 2015. Rocky played Ed Sheeran’s “Tenerife Sea” on his phone to her as she lay there. When the insemination resulted in a baby, they called her Cooper (after the street Rocky grew up on) Sheeran. They went to the Ed Sheeran concert in Miami in August this year, with Cooper Sheeran, and held up a sign saying, “They named me after you”. Ed Sheeran dedicated a song to them. Bonus.

Choose a name from your favourite movie’s credits.

Love the movie Moana, but don’t actually want to call your child that name? Well, if you watch that movie – or any other Pixar movie, back to Toy Story – right to the end, you’ll see a list of “production babies” in the credits. These were the babies born during the making of the film to people working on it. Creative people come up with creative names, so you might get inspired by choices like Royal and Zazie.

Give your baby the mother’s surname as a first name.

This is an old tradition, especially in the American South, but apparently, it’s becoming trendy again among millennials. One woman who did it was author Michele Weldon, who named her son Weldon. (He took his father’s surname, so he didn’t end up being Weldon Weldon.) This is perfect if the mother’s surname is something like Kennedy, Harper or Cooper – less perfect if it’s something unpronounceable like mine

Find your own version of a baby name book.

A Kansas couple, Steve and Nicole, who are huge ice hockey fans, decided to read through team rosters in the preseason yearbook for inspiration. “We chose Luc, after left-winger Luc Robitaille, a French-Canadian hockey player,” they explained.

Let the older sibling choose.

Mel B with 18yo daughter Phoenix.
Mel B with her older daughter Phoenix. Image via Instagram.

Mel B did this. In 2011, she left it up to her 12-year-old daughter Phoenix to choose the name of her new baby sister. Phoenix went for Madison. It could have been a lot worse. This is quite a common practice, with mixed results. A discussion on Baby Name Wizard revealed older siblings had chosen names as varied as Jennifer, Michael, Herbert, Zeynep and Tarzan. 

LISTEN: Monz and Bec Judd on all the things you need on the first three days after giving birth.

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