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How to choose a baby name for a baby boy or girl

How do you pick a baby name when you can't decide? An expert gives advice.
Choosing a baby name can be a daunting task!
Choosing a baby name can be a daunting task!Catherine Delahaye / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Finding out you are pregnant can be the most thrilling time in life, but expectant parents have a lot of information — and unsolicited opinions — flying at them during pregnancy.

Everything from breastfeeding versus bottle feeding to — you guessed it — how to choose a baby name for a baby boy or girl.

How parents choose a baby name can be as unique as the baby itself. Some parents opt to name their child traditional family names that have been passed down for generations, while other parents choose a modern name that feels fresh and exciting. Sometimes baby names are inspired by a couples' favorite place or even the place of conception.

One thing is for sure: there is no right or wrong baby name for your bundle of joy.

Baby naming consultant Taylor Humphrey of What's In a Baby Name told TODAY Parents that baby naming can be stressful when there are "too many chefs in the kitchen."

"I see parents making the error of including friends’ and family’s opinions in the process," Humphrey explained to TODAY. "The issue I’ve seen is that most people don’t hold back when sharing their initial reactions to the names parents are considering. They can be brutal, and downright rude. This intensity can really take the wind out of parents’ sails."

How to Choose a Baby Name

In her role as a baby name consultant, Humphrey helps parents refocus on their own intuition, desires, and needs, and to bring joy back to the process of picking a baby name.

"My best advice is to start early," Humphrey said. "Keep a running list in your notes app that you and your partner can reference down the road."

Related: Unique boy names for parents searching for baby names with meaning

Humprey said that discovering the perfect baby name is about seeking the most meaningful parts about your relationship, if coupled, or about your life, if single, and choosing a name that encapsulates who you are as a family.

She recommends looking at the most important areas of your life and asking: What are your favorite hobbies? How do you spend your time as a couple? Where did you meet? 

 "Inspecting the important areas of your life can inspire thoughtful name choices," Humphrey said.

Humphrey recalled a recent naming experience she had with a client.

"I recently worked with a client who had met and fallen in love with her husband one summer on a vacation in Parker Lake," she explained. "They were looking for a unique, avant-garde sounding-name, and ultimately chose 'Parks' as the middle name for their son. When you know where to dig, and what to dig for, you will find all types of wonderful, hidden treasures."

How to pick a baby name for siblings

I’m pregnant again. What names go with my older children’s names?

"This is one of the most common questions I get," Humphrey told TODAY. "Finding harmony and flow in a 'sib-set', short for sibling name set, is definitely important if you are trying to achieve stylistic cohesion on a holiday card. To this end, having a firm grasp on your family values and your aesthetic can be really helpful."

For example, if parents would describe themselves as beachy and laidback, they might opt for a name like Isla or Kai.

Chic and intellectual? Parents might consider a name like Daphne or Carter.

Hipster and holistic? Jasper or Sage.

Preppy and Patriotic? Colton Case or Sadie Grace. 

Innovative and futuristic?  X Æ AXII (pronounced X Ash Archangel) or Exa Dark Sideræl. 

"While having a cohesive sib-set is an important consideration, I’d argue that it’s more important to choose a name that really honors the personality of your child," Humphrey said.

The baby naming expert added that sometimes the names parents choose for a second baby don't match his or her personality.

She added, "So when it comes to choosing a name for your baby, it’s important to find one whose vibe matches the soul and personality of your child, regardless of how it flows with their siblings’ names."