Pick a Baby Name

Pick the Perfect Name

by Joe Kita

Admit it, looking through lists of baby names is about as much fun as wallpapering the nursery. No matter how much attention you devote, it’s really hard to make anything stick. That’s why we’ve gathered a bunch of entertaining alternative methods for crowning the as-yet unborn. Choose a favorite:

Start a maternity madness tournament. If you and/or your wife are college basketball fans, you’ll love this one. Arrange your favorite 64 names just like the NCAA does the teams in its annual March Madness tourney. Put 32 male names down one side of the bracket and 32 female names down the other. You could even group names into categories or regions: Central (traditional family), Southern (from the Bible), Western (celebrity/trendy) and Eastern (Cinderella/long shots). Use a whiteboard and put it some place you’ll pass by often. Then over the course of the pregnancy work the field down to Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, Final Four, and eventually a winner. On the big day, cut the umbilical cord as you would the net, hold the little one high, and celebrate. Resist the urge to slam-dunk.

Consult the government. Those considerate folks at the U.S. Social Security Administration continue to find creative ways to spend our tax dollars other than on our retirement. This time they’ve created an extensive baby-name database that you can use to find the most popular names by year, decade, century, state, or even for twins. Conform or rebel.

Hire a consultant. Studies show that a child’s name can significantly impact his or her degree of success and happiness in life, so this is no job for an amateur. (After all, wasn’t it you who named the Rottweiler Pickles?) Search “baby name consultants” on the internet to find a variety of professionals who will help you for a fee.

Break out the dartboard. Lusha, a circus chimp inRussia, beat 94 percent of the country’s mutual funds with her arbitrary stock picks. So why not let fate decide the name of your little monkey? Work with the missus to pare down the field to 20 favorites. Then paste one name in each of a dartboard’s 20 radial sections. Let her throw a dart for the first name and you for the middle name (or vice versa). If either of you hits the center circle, call ’em Bull or Hub.

Use the app for that. Of course there’s one. It’s called “Kick to Pick.” Launch the name generator and rest the phone on mom’s belly when baby is particularly active. The next time he or she delivers a significant kick, the generator will stop, and you’ll have your name.