The Baby Name Game
By Rachel Fulton for Your Baby Today

Can\'t agree on what to name your baby-to-be? Perhaps you come from an Irish family and your husband is Italian. You prefer Ian and he\'d rather Antonio. Or maybe your husband insists on naming the baby after his favorite aunt, but Zelda just doesn\'t do it for you. Before you wind up giving birth to a baby known only as "X", here\'s some expert advice on how to resolve the naming issue.

Before you can make any decision about the name, it\'s important that you both hear each other out, says Jeffrey Smith, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. "Spend plenty of time listening to why each of you favors a particular name. For example, ask, \'What do you like about Uncle Harry?\' or \'What was so special about cousin Rita that you want to name our child after her?\'" Each of you should try to understand where the other is coming from and feel you\'re getting a fair shake. Just knowing that you\'re understood goes a long way in resolving conflicts. To ignore the reasons why each wants a particular name is counterproductive. Then, once you both feel really tired of the discussion, you\'re ready to make a decision.

The next step is coming up with a compromise that will help in the decision-making process. "Maybe you can choose the first name and your spouse the middle name," suggests Dr. Smith. Or one of you will name the first baby and the other the second. Or you might even forget both names and come up with one you both like.

If, after taking these measures, you still can\'t come up with a solution, it could signal deeper troubles in the relationship. When both partners feel like their concerns aren\'t being heard and they\'re both unwilling to compromise, it\'s a good idea to seek professional help so that you can each learn skills that will help you to communicate better, says Dr. Smith.

But more than likely, you and your partner simply need to talk, hear each other out, and understand where the other is coming from, says Dr. Smith. Once that is accomplished, it won\'t be long before you\'ll both be oohing and ahhing over little baby Zelda Rita.

Looking for the meaning of a name?

Try our Baby Names finder.

The content on these pages is provided as general information only and should not be substituted for the advice of your physician.

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