1. Mary if it's a girl. John or Joseph for a boy. Or pick a good patron saint.
2. Consider how the name will be shortened or what the kid may end up being nicknamed.
3. Avoid telling people the names you are considering. Their reactions may upset you.
4. Try to avoid this year's "name of the year". This may involve ESP. Or at least a google search.
5.. After you pick the name (and the middle name), check and see if that spells something silly,
embarrassing or filthy. Lawrence Oliver Lynnly.
6. If you're having twins, and one is a girl and one is a boy, don't name them Mary and Joseph. As another rule of thumb, don't name your twins after any famous couple. Little Lucy and Desi will be a lifelong joke. I'm assuming no one would name triplets, "Larry, Moe and Shemp".
And here's a really good one I never thought of:
7. How does the name look on a resume? If you're Catholic, you don't want all those kids living at home all their (and your) lives.
Some of our readers disagreed with my feeling that your should have a couple of names in mind and wait to actually name the baby until you've actually seen the baby. You name pets after you've seen them, not before, and your child should get at least that consideration. But at least one reader pointed out that babies all tend to look like Winston Churchill. Or angels.
Yes, it's a lot to think about. But so is having a child. Good practice for the rest of your natural life.