How to Pick a Baby Name Without Picking a Fight

Picking a baby name is a big decision—and not one you and your partner are guaranteed to agree on. Here's how you can both get your way.
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June 28, 2018

The little one’s arrival is months away, but you and your partner are already at an impasse over your first big parenting decision: a name for baby. So what to do when your partner hates your favorite name? Here are a few tips to ensure you (both) get your way.

Pick your battles
How important is it, really? “With all the names out there, do you like this one enough to risk placing a lasting strain on your marriage?” asks Jeff Palitz, a marriage and family therapist in San Diego. “If the name is really outrageous and your partner is dead set against it, you might want to compromise.”

Create a win-win situation
Remember that both of you need to be happy with your choice. “In every relationship there are occasions where one party wins, but too many of them create the opportunity for resentment within a marriage,” says Palitz. “You don’t want to be arguing 10 years from now and have your partner blurt out, ‘You named our child Apple!’”

Be prepared to compromise something big
What bargaining points can you pull out? In order to get, you sometimes need to give…and in this case, it better be something your partner really wants. “This isn’t what’s for dinner—it’s long term,” explains Palitz. Yes, we’re talking about that big screen TV that will completely dwarf the living room.

Work together
If you partner consistently vetoes your choices, ask them to supply a reasonable alternative. Maybe the problem is that they’re feeling left out of the process. “Have you sat down with a baby names book and flipped through it together?” asks Jeff. If not, it’s time to start. By brainstorming side by side you’ll be less likely to form separate camps and have a better chance of finding the perfect name…together.

Please note: The Bump and the materials and information it contains are not intended to, and do not constitute, medical or other health advice or diagnosis and should not be used as such. You should always consult with a qualified physician or health professional about your specific circumstances.

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