Tips For Choosing A Baby Name

By: Sarah Butler

Choosing a baby name can be difficult. At first it seems like a fairly straight forward task but when it comes to settling on the final name there is so much choice and the result is often so final that the task can become difficult. If you are choosing a name before the baby is born and you do not know the baby’s sex then the task is doubly difficult as you need to have made two selections. So how can you make the job easier and more enjoyable?

First consider the type of name you want for your child. Are you looking for a unique name? Are you or you’re partner a member of a religious faith and want a name that reflects your baby’s religious culture, are you a member of an ethnic group and want to give the child a name that reflects this background? These are some of the parameters you can set to reduce the search for a name down to a manageable size. You can no doubt come up with other parameters.

The next step is to collate some research on names, their meanings, and their origins. Your sources for this material can be wide and varied. The advent of the internet makes this task easy. There is a plethora of websites dedicated to helping you choose a name or do a background study into the origins and meanings of names. Often these resources will list names or allow you to input a name into a search to track down their meanings and origins. If you are stuck for internet access you can buy specialist books or loan books from libraries.

Once you have got your research material you can start listing the names you like best or find most suitable. List the name, the meaning and any possible nicknames. Pay good attention to the nick names because any name you choose is likely to be shortened by friends or acquaintances of the child in the future which, if you don’t like the nickname, will lead to endless corrections on a daily basis.

Compare your list of names with your partners. Do you share choices or are you completely at odds with one another? Try combining lists and choices, try mixing potential first and middle names to find a choice of name you like and sounds good for both of you. Shortlist a number of options then don’t be afraid to ask family and friends what they think of the names you have come up with. Often they will have an opinion good or bad as to how to name your baby, but remember, the final choice is yours, you can’t make everyone happy.

Before you make your final choice, consider how the name will affect your child in the future as an adult. Think about how the name will look on a business card or other business stationery. Does it look professional or like a joke? Will the name be dated and unfashionable or can it stand the test of time? Your child has to live with this name forever so be sure to think of their future.

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