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How to Choose a Baby Name

Parents Share the (Sometimes Hilarious) Ways They Came Up With Their Kids' Names

Source: NBC

Although my name happens to reflect my Italian heritage, I found out when I was a teenager that my mom picked my name when she heard a mother screaming at her toddler on a New York City bus. Even though many parents tend to stick to popular names (Michael was the top boys' name for 38 years in a row!) it turns out that not every name comes from trends or baby books. We asked our readers how they came to name their babies, and some of the responses were practical, yes, but also hilarious and kind of genius.

Read through to see how other parents named their little ones — maybe you'll be inspired!

  1. "I let my oldest choose the next child's name. I realized after doing this it could end REALLY, really bad . . . like, Lego or Pinkalicious bad. But luckily she smiled and said, "Ava!" Whew. Crisis averted." — Regina
  2. "I was (and am) a foodie. So Maxwell was off a coffee can and his middle name, Oliver, was from my endless Olive Garden cravings! Poor kid!" — Lana
  3. "We stood at the bottom of the stairs and yelled names until one sounded right." — Emily
  4. "Wrestling is how I got my son's father to agree to Austin — Stone Cold!" — Jennifer
  5. "My son's dad wanted to name him Jack Daniels. Yes after the alcohol. . . . I was like heck no, so I decided Jaedin Dwayne would be his name, that way his nickname would still be J.D., but when he was born he had really pointed ears, so Elf became his nickname." — Erica

Source: NBC

  1. "Heard Lucy on the radio, then Lucy picked her baby sister's name, Charlotte. A few weeks later she wanted Carlos but we stuck with Charlotte." — Kimmy
  2. "I wanted something that wasn't common so I looked up names at the bottom of the social security database." — Erin
  3. "I had to see my daughter in order to name her. Viviana." — Anabel
  4. "With my youngest, I saw it on the back of a minivan on one of those sports pride stickers." — Tami
  5. "I 100 percent honestly have almost no memory of the naming process in the delivery room. Going into the hospital, SHE was supposed to be Mollie Rose — well, five hours later, HE wasn't exactly a Mollie. My husband, mom and dad, cousin, and godfather were discussing names . . . by the time I was coherent enough to say sure, Patrick William had a name." — Erin

Source: The CW

  1. "Didn't sleep for two days, wrote the baby name list and I wanted Laura Rose, and in my tired state spelled it completely wrong and got Alora Rose." — Shannon
  2. "My husband wanted to name our son after a character in a show he was obsessed with at the time. I overruled that (good thing because the character wound up getting killed)." — Ashley
  3. "My son chose his own name. I was talking to my husband on the phone . . . I said, "So what did Adam say about that?" (I had never said the name out loud while pregnant, until that day) when my baby did a flip inside my uterus! I told my husband, "The baby went crazy when I said Adam!" So, that's how my son chose his own name." — Mariana
  4. "I made a long list that my husband went through and scratched out half of. I then scratched out half of the remaining. We swapped back and forth until there were just three names. We then put those three names in a hat and drew one." — Crystal
  5. "I had a few names I liked and when no one was home I'd yell them out (like when you're in big trouble) until I found one that was just right." — Ashley

Entries have been edited for length and clarity.

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