Do you have a name picked yet?
This is one of the most common questions you’ll get asked when you’re pregnant. If you are nearing your due date and don’t have a shortlist then you’re probably starting to panic a little.
Choosing a name for your baby is a big responsibility. After all your child will have this name for the rest of their lives. You are probably feeling overwhelmed by the just how many names there are to choose from. Or perhaps you already have a shortlist, but are finding it tricky to choose ‘the one’?
Naming a baby is never an easy decision to make. You probably find that you or your partner keep changing your mind. The reality is that you do eventually need to settle on something. The following advice will hopefully help your indecision and anxiety about picking the wrong name.
7 Tips to Pick a Baby Name
1. The Inspiration
There a millions of baby names to choose from, so just how do you begin to narrow it down? If you want something rather traditional, start with ‘most popular’ lists. Although these are also quite helpful to know what to avoid if you want something unusual.
You can buy a baby name book; however, the internet is best for free inspiration. Consider what you’d like from you baby name. Does it need to begin with ‘K’? A strong biblical name? Or how about a particular meaning?
Also, try looking for inspiration in everyday life. For a personal touch look for inspiration from character names from a TV shows, music or books you both love.
Make your own list and get your partner to make a list. Every time you come across a name you like, add it to the list.
Check out the baby naming website for inspiration
2. Gender Restricted
One advantage of finding out the sex of your baby is half the battle when choosing a baby name. If you know it’s a boy or a girl you might just want to focus on those names. I’d only recommend this if you have fetal DNA testing during pregnancy.
Personally, I’d advise most parents to have both a boy and girl name selected? It’s though that finding the sex of your baby by ultrasound is around 98% accurate. That means that around 2% of parents are told the wrong sex. Although it may be a surprise in the delivery room, at least you can be prepared.
This is particularly important in states where you need to have a name for baby before you leave the hospital.
3. The Compromise
Once you and your partner have a list of names it’s time to compare. You might be surprised to find that you have a few names that you both like. These are names which should make the final cut. You may even come across names that your partner likes that you never considered.
If you don’t have any matches, search for names on your lists, which are similar, or that you can compromise on. That may mean changing the spelling slightly or shortening it so you are both happy. This is also a good tactic if your partner wants to use a traditional family name that you aren’t keen on.
4. Say it, Write it
To further narrow down your choices, put it into practice. Say the name out loud with your surname. You may notice that the names just don’t mesh, or they sound like other words when said together.
As a rule of thumb try to keep the name short if you have a particularly long surname. Do remember that your child’s name may be shortened to a nickname, especially if it’s long. This can put a whole new slant to their name.
Writing the name down is also useful. This is particularly important if you want to give your baby a middle name. Make sure their initials don’t spell anything rude or silly. Even if you find it funny, your kid probably won’t appreciate it as they grow up.
Also, consider if the name is timeless. Your choice may sound really cute for a baby, but may not sound so great when they are an adult.
5. Consider Siblings
If you already have children consider how they name will fit in with their siblings. Try not to choose names which sound too similar to one another. You’ll find it easily leads to consuming when calling on a specific child.
If you decide you want the name all your children with the same letter, consider the inconvenience as they get older. It can be a real pain, especially when opening mail addressed to children with the same initial and surname.
6. Others Opinions
Once you decide on a name it can be difficult to share it with others before baby arrives. You’ll always get someone who doesn’t like the name. If this will put you off, you may not want to announce you choice until baby arrives.
Sharing the name can also help you judge the impact the name will have on your baby. Do people struggle to pronounce it or snigger when you tell them? This may offend you; however, this is what your baby will have to live with their whole life, so do keep that in mind.
7. Wait it out
It’s important not to get too stressed out over choosing a name. It’s perfectly ok to simply have a short list. That way, you can always have a backup, especially if someone puts you off the name.
I also can’t tell you how many new parent I’ve come across who pick a name then decide it doesn’t suit their baby once they arrive. It’s much easier to settle on a name when you can put a tiny little face to it.