The final stage in the baby-name selection process is taking the name or names that you're considering out for a test drive. Here's how to do it. You'll find spaces that follow to record your choices, or, if you want to work in a more condensed format, there's a naming grid on the tear-out card in the front of this book.
Start by writing down every name that is in serious consideration in the spaces provided. If you're considering variant spellings on any name, give those spellings entries of their own:
Next, write down all possible nicknames or pet names that can be derived from the given names you're considering.
Now, speak each of the names you're considering out loud. How do they sound in a normal tone of voice? How about if you were to shout them out the back door? How do they sound with your last name? How do the nicknames sound? Are the initials pleasant and something your child might be able to use? Can you imagine yourself saying this name, over and over and over again?
Think about the names you've chosen and the images they bring to mind. Can you picture your child bearing a specific name? How about its nicknames or pet names?
Once you've come up with a few names that sound really good to you, start sharing them with others. Ask your parents, your best friends, other couples, and anyone else you can think of (and whose opinions you trust) to see how they like the name. This is also a good way to test the image a particular name has, especially if you feel you're a little too close to the subject, but always remember, you and your spouse should determine the final name for your baby. While it's not a bad idea to see how the reactions run to your selection or creation, don't let what others say turn you away from a name that really works for you both.