We have all heard those baby names that make us wonder what the parents were thinking. We have also felt inspired by the many different names parents are choosing these days. So how do you know how to choose the right name for your baby? The choice might come easier if you do a little leg work and soul searching.
Start with what you already like
To get your search going, start with names you already like. Make a list of them and then say them out loud with the last name. Many times, a first name, while good on its own, does not mesh well with the last name. If this is the case, try the next section for ideas.
Find Inspiration in Your Genealogy Chart
Naming your baby after a beloved family member or ancestor is always a great way to, not only honor your past loved ones, but also to give your child a sense of pride in their lineage.
Try to find stories about the particular ancestor you choose, so that you can tell them to your child. Children love to hear about the person they were named after and this could make for some wonderful bedtime stories.
Also, older names have become more popular these days. Names such as Hank and Adelaid were for old people, and, yet, now, they are becoming popular again.
Check the Meanings of Names
Some names that sound sweet might actually mean something not so lovely. You don’t want your child to find out that their name means something like a floppy-eared dog breed. A lot of names these days might not have a specific definition, but still check to be sure you are not naming your child something unpleasant.
Picture the Name on a Business Card
There are many cute or different names that sound adorable, but make sure you can picture the name as belonging to an adult who is going for a job interview. While Bubbles is cute for a baby name, it would not be taken as seriously when Bubbles grows up.
Beware of the Nickname
No matter how hard you try, you will end up giving your child a nickname or two. If you don’t, their friends surely will. You want to make sure there are no nickname embarrassment traps waiting for your baby. Also, some names inevitably get lost in nicknames. Max is a cute name, but eventually you or someone else will slip and call him Maxi pad. It just happens.
What Word Would the Initials Spell?
It can be easy to forget to check what the baby’s initials might end up spelling. Piper Oprah Owens, for example, would be POO. Gwen Adelle Solomon would be GAS. You get the idea. If you like what the initials spell or you make sure they do not spell anything embarrassing, your chances to be content with your final decision are higher.
Is It a Boy’s Name or a Girl’s Name?
It can be extremely tough finding boy’s names. There are very few truly masculine names left these days, as it has become the trend to name girls a once traditional boy’s name. It can be very embarrassing for a boy to start 7th grade in a new class where there is a girl who shares his name.
For example, the name Taylor was traditionally a boy’s name. Now if you walk into any given high school classroom, you will probably find both males and females named Taylor. It is getting harder to find a boy’s name, but persevere if it would bother you.
If you’re naming a girl, please, for the love of Pete, leave the boy names alone! It will come back to bite you when you find yourself expecting a boy.
Is It Easy to Spell?
If the spelling is vital to the meaning and purpose of the chosen name, don’t worry about it. However, if you just want to be different and spell David as Dayvod, it might just be another headache your child will have to deal with his entire life. Save him the continuous corrections and confused teachers, and try to stick with a traditional spelling. Also, be sure that a different pronunciation of the spelling might not be embarrassing as well.
Middle as First or First as Middle
It was a trend 30 years ago to call children by their middle names. This just causes a lot of confusion and messes for the child’s future. Not only is it a constant explanation when going in to any professional institution of “My first name is really Brian, by I go by my middle name which is Tyler, so you can call me Tyler but I have to have everything officially under Brian and I have to sign my name as Brian.”
It can also mess with credit reports, banking transactions, and many other important documents and occasions throughout your child’s life. Just don’t do it.
Does the Name Fit the Baby?
Now that you have scrutinized names and narrowed them down to your top 5 or so, wait until he or she is born. Once you meet that little person for the first time, the name will seem to flow and belong. Try each name a few times and see which one fits. You might be surprised at how different the name sounds when you are looking into the eyes of your baby.
Decide and Accept
Once you have named your baby, stick with the decision and love it. Don’t let that inner insecure voice creep in with what ifs or “I really did like that other name” thoughts. You did your homework, you decided on the perfect name, so keep it perfect and just love it!
Naming your baby is more than just picking a nice baby name that you found in a book, it becomes them. Some of the silliest sounding names become perfect for that person once their personality and identity develop. That is why Shakespeare’s quote
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet”
is so true. Your child is going to be unique and special all on their own no matter what name they have.