Monday, February 02, 2009

What to name the baby?

In this week’s baby bargainista column, Rebecca Atkinson wonders what to name the baby and shares a bunch of resources both online and in print.

Now that I’m past the first trimester, it’s time to get serious about things such as names for the little baby growing inside me. I mean after all, you can only call the unborn-one “It” for so long before it begins to make baby Atkinson sound like a scary Stephen King clown.

Being first-time parents, we had absolutely no idea where to begin. First stop: Chapters. Mark and I spent a long time pouring over the baby-name books. We wanted to make sure we had something that would have more than just celebrity baby names. After going through a dozen or so titles, we settled on 100,000 + Baby Names: The Most Complete Baby Name Book for $16.95.

Being a web marketer, I really should have turned online first, as the book was a bit of a disappointment. We ended up wowed by the number of names it claimed to have, instead of paying attention to the focus. Nothing against many of the names, they would have been fine for many babies born in France, Korea, Germany, Iceland… you get the picture. It also counts each form of name as a separate name, rather than giving the root name and all the possibilities or spellings; thus making that 100,000 number not so realistic.

It was only when Eden sent me a link to read about Baby Name Brainstorm: Interactive Baby Naming, did I realize the error of my ways. Baby Name Brainstorm is an interactive tool that lets you explore names and their connotations, even helping parents find similar names that sound like one they might be interested in.

The web is full of baby name sites – a quick Google search shows Mark and I could have saved our shekels and just gone online and found everything we were hoping to find in the book we bought, if not more, for free on the web.

Here are a few more websites aimed at helping you find that perfect name – many of which have forums and communities that you can participate in if you register (for free) so you can share/discuss your baby name dilemmas with other parents around the world.

Lesson learned from this baby name experience:

1. Do your research online first before you commit to purchasing anything.
2. Look to see if you can get the same thing online for free.
3. Participating in online communities can help solidify your choices in an unbiased environment, or expose you to new ones you never would have considered.
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