Baby names

How I chose my baby name

By Kaavya Sivakumaran

How I chose my baby name

How I chose my baby name

The decision of a lifetime, for a lifetime

Originality, tradition, personal meaning, rhythm: just a few of the factors that parents consider when naming their baby. With millions upon millions of names to choose from, build on, or create from scratch, how do you and your partner ever land on just one?

We asked our readers on Facebook to share their stories about how they agreed upon names for their babies.

Read more: Baby name trends for 2013>

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Two-in-one

"Quinnlyn is our daughter's name. My mother's maiden name is Quinn, and her sisters each have one child who carries it in their name. It is also my middle name. I always said my first-born would be named Quinn. My mother-in-law's name is Lynda and we felt that combining this to be Quinnlyn would be a bit more feminine for a girl and pay tribute to both of these wonderful women." 
Bronwyn A. Q. Campbell

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Suggestion box

"When my now four-year-old was born we had our co-workers put names in a 'girl' box and a 'boy' box. When we found out we were having a boy we went through the box and first eliminated all the names that were a no. We were left with four names. A few days before his birth we went out for lunch and we played around with those names until we both agreed on a combination. His name is Benjamin Luke."
Erin McAulay

Read more: Top 10 new unisex baby names>

How I chose my baby namePhoto: ArtisticCaptures/iStockPhoto

Short and sweet

"We struggled for almost the full nine months to agree on a girl's name (for some reason a boy's name was much easier). My husband liked short simple names, and I liked uncommon names. I scoured baby name books and sites trying to come up with a name that would suit both. I came across Octavia and suggested we shorten it to Tavia. My husband wasn't keen on that, but liked Avia, so when the midwife told us we had a girl, Avia it was. Short and simple, but uncommon."
Taralyn Buchanan

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Perfect match

"My husband and I were in the middle of taking courses to become eligible adopting parents. We knew for a long time what name we would choose for a daughter, as we both had had dreams about the name, and we discussed a boy's name for many hours. When we finally got the call that a birth mother had chosen us, and that that the baby boy was already two days old, we knew right away what the name was going to be. Then we met him and found out that his birth mother had given him a name so as to not call him 'it' or 'him.' We thought the name was perfect, so we kept it!"
Claire-Lise Wenger Gauthier

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Oscar winner

"When my husband and I started dating eight years ago, I would drag him to the theatre all the time. One night we went to see an Oscar Wilde play, and it was the first show he really enjoyed. So we joked that one day we would have to name our son for the playwright. Last year when we found out our first baby was a boy, we just knew he was our Oscar!"
Andrea Ferguson

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All about the hair

"We did not decide on our daughter's name until she was born. After seeing her full head of thick, dark, curly hair we chose Brenna because it means dark-haired beauty."
Brittney Amanda

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Good karma

"We were trying for a boy (we have three girls), found out we were having another girl, and my husband said, 'That's my karma, to be surrounded by girls.' Her name is Karma Wynter Bellamy. We gave her the middle name Wynter because she was born January 1!"
Stacey Bellamy

How I chose my baby namePhoto: emholk/iStockPhoto

Paying tribute

"We easily came to agree on the first name for our baby girl, Ella. Unfortunately, while we were expecting, I suddenly lost my mom and grandmother. So her middle names were an easy choice: Ella Karen Anne, in their honour."
Joanne MacDonald

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Compromising

"We each had a short list with about four names on it. There was only one that overlapped, and we were so far apart on the others that it seemed prudent to just agree on "Ethan" instead of trying to explain why I didn't think 'Cicero' was a good name."
— Robin Farr

Read more: Spring baby names>

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Olive, my love

"We could not agree on a girl's name for the life of us. One day we were driving, listening to the radio, and the song 'All of My Love' by Led Zeppelin came on, which happens to be one of our favorite songs. He suggested a play on words by naming her Olive (all of) after the song. I said what about Olivia, and that was it! She was named after a song that we both love."
Brittany Brown

How I chose my baby namePhoto: NiDerLander/iStockPhoto

Baby names of the year

How I chose my baby name

Our readers share their baby name inspirations, debates, and how they came to their final choice.

This article was originally published on May 13, 2013
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