Naming a little one is no joke, and it may take loads of research to find the perfect name for your baby. You have to consider your own personal background, pop-culture connotations, and ways the name could be used for teasing (Richard, anyone?). The search for a perfect baby name is only made more difficult by well-meaning suggestions from family and friends. But there is one way to make the name selection process less complicated — you can invest in one of many baby naming books.
Although there are about a million online name lists to choose from, these books may have more carefully curated names for you to consider. And isn’t there something pleasant about curling up with a book to find a name for your child? Your handwritten notes and lists in the margins may one day make for a nice keepsake.
So to help you with your seemingly endless search, here are nine excellent baby name books. Some are giant encyclopedias with thousands of names, while others are curated around a theme (such as literature or music). Armed with this information, you can confidently bestow a fitting name upon your child that will serve her well throughout life.
1. For The Pop Culture Parents
The Baby Name Wizard takes pop culture into consideration when explaining baby names, which could help you avoid accidentally saddling your kid with a name that has unexpected associations. It also lists out names that would coordinate well with siblings, which is perfect if you plan on expanding your family.
2. For The Creative Parents
The follow-up to Beyond Jennifer & Jason, Beyond Ava & Aiden outlines unusual, but usable names for your baby. The lists consider the names’ connotations, popularity, and perceptions, helping you pick out a name that fits perfectly.
3. For The Record Spinning Parents
If you’re a music lover, consider Rock and Roll Baby Names. With over 2,000 names from songs and rock stars alike, you’ll at least get a nice dose of rock trivia. And maybe you can find a name for your own sweet Caroline or Jude.
4. For The "Need A Ton Of Options" Parents
You may need to cycle through a lot of names before finding one that fits. Fortunately 100,000+ Baby Names has all the bases covered. With all these names from around the world, you’re certain to find one that fits your newest family member.
5. For The Old School Parents
Bring Back Beatrice cuts the trendiness and suggests classic names that are rich with meaning. Iris and Henry are just two such offerings, and the book covers many other names that are historically solid but not too popular at the moment.
6. For The Library Card Carrying Parents
A Is for Atticus will help you choose a literary-inspired name for your little one. This curated list offers up smart choices (such as Beckett) that you may not otherwise consider.
7. For The Research Obsessed Parents
The Everything Baby Names Book gives you the meanings and origins of 50,000 baby names, so you can choose a name that has a meaning that resonates with you, or even reflects your family’s background. It also includes fun trivia and facts on the names and their origins.
8. For The Non-Traditional Parents
Because most naming books are arranged alphabetically, you can get a bit burned out just getting through all of the A-names. Baby Names Made Easy is arranged by meaning, so you can pick names inspired by nature, religions, or even abstract concepts, such as beauty or love.
9. For The Parents That Need A Laugh
If the process of naming your little bundle of joy is driving you up the wall, chill out with Hello, My Name Is Pabst: Baby Names for Nonconformist, Indie, Geeky, DIY, Hipster, and Alterna-Parents of Every Kind. The title says it all, but with lists like “Vegan and Gluten-Free Names,” you’re bound to crack up a little — and ultimately feel good about not naming your kid Fixie.