Things to Consider When Naming Your Baby
How in the world do you go about choosing a name for your new baby? If you are like most parents, you are probably trying to figure this out and make a decision before your baby is born. If you know the sex of your baby, that helps to cut your choices in half. - well, almost. Some names will work for either sex, such as Chris, Pat, Renee and Taylor, to name a few. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to naming your baby, but there is a lot to be considered.
What’s in a name? What are you looking for in a name? Are you thinking about having a “namesake,” i.e.: name your baby after a family member or a famous person, or perhaps a mentor? Maybe there was someone you looked up to while growing and when you hear that name it brings back good memories. Or are there certain names you want to avoid because they bring about bad memories, like a mean dog named Harold or an ugly cat named Brenda?
Are you being pressured with all kinds of advice from relatives when it comes to naming your baby? Choosing your baby’s name should be a decision reserved for you, the parents and not “well meaning” relatives. It certainly doesn’t hurt to get ideas from anyone, but just remember to take those suggestions and comments as just that – ideas. The decision of what to name your baby is yours and yours alone.
Here are some factors to keep in mind as you go through your baby naming selection/elimination process.
- Be sure that the first and last name flow well together. Say the name out loud. Is the combination of names melodious or harsh? Do they flow well together? Sometimes the middle name has to be used so say it to yourself with just the first and last name and again including the middle name. Do the first two names go well with the last name? It’s best to stay away from first and last names that rhyme. It’s best not to choose a name that ends in a vowel if the middle or last name begins with a vowel, in that they will tend to run together. An example of that might be: Anna Elliott.
- Resist naming your child with a cute pun. For example, if your last name is Wood or Weiser, don’t name your child something like: “Holly Wood” or “Bud Weiser.” Something like that is cute the first time you introduce them to someone, but then they have to live with it for the rest of their lives.
- Be sure that the name you give your child doesn’t have a common nickname associated with it that could be embarrassing to him/her.
- Be sure that the initials also don’t spell out something that could be embarrassing like: Zachary Ian Thompson (ZIT). I could give some other even worse examples, but they are so bad that this article would probably be refused for publishing.
- Check out the meaning of a name you are considering – be sure you’re okay with that. It could be something that could bring embarrassment to your child at some point if others find out and want to make an issue of it. (Kids can be so cruel!)
When choosing a name for your new baby, you may be thinking that you want to pick a name that is unique, something that will make your child stand out in a crowd and be remembered. That has its advantages and disadvantages. If the name is difficult to read and pronounce then it will constantly be mispronounced and misspelled which can be grievous to the child all the way into adulthood. On the other hand, if you have a real common last name like Smith, Johnson or Brown, you might like to consider a more unusual first name so you child has a name with some pizzazz. If your last name is unusual, however, you might want to consider a more common first name. Using a family name as a middle name can often satisfy the pressure you may be getting from relatives to carry on a name that you don’t particularly want to use as a first name.
There are many factors to consider when the time comes to name your baby. One is your ancestry and heritage. Your background is an essential part of who you are and also your baby. You may want to choose a name to reflect that. If you have a religious preference that may steer you to a certain set of names. Or maybe you come from a tradition in which the first born son is named after the father. If you are pressured or even want to follow a family tradition and yet there is a name that you really like and would like your baby to have, perhaps you could use it as a middle name.