Naming your baby is an important task. There are so many things to consider when naming your baby that it’s likely to take some time.
Fortunately, there are many baby-naming resources available to new parents today. In addition to baby naming books for you to consider, there are great websites, too. Today’s parents-to-be can not only find out what names mean and where they come from, but also how popular they are or have been in the past.
Before you go diving into baby name lists, here are some things to consider when naming your baby:
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Consider Family Names
Have you thought about naming your baby after someone in the family? If you want to honor a relative or other special person, but don’t particularly like that person’s name, consider using it as a middle name, or just using the first letter.
Review First Name + Last Name and Also Initials
It’s natural to want baby’s first name to go well with your last name, but make sure that the initials don’t spell out something unappealing. Isabel Charlotte King might be a great name if the initials didn’t spell ICK. Travis Taylor sounds nice, too, until you think about the first time a teacher writes his first name with his last initial: Travis T. You probably don’t want your child known as a travesty.
Check Name Meanings
If a name’s origins or meanings matter to you, choose carefully. Cameron is a nice name, but it means “bent nose.” Mara sounds nice, too, but that name means “bitter.”
Consider the World Online
Your parents never had to considered how easy or hard it would be to google your name, but in today’s world, you may want to. If you name your child John Smith, for example, it will be challenging to find him on the Internet and social media since he’ll be lost in a Google sea of John Smiths. That may be the way you want it. Then again, if you want your child to be able to found online, give him or her an original name, or at least an original spelling. Watch out for nouns and verbs. Scout and Apple are interesting names, but again, hard to google.
While you might want to give your child an original name, you may not want it to be completely out there. Off-the-wall spellings like Jaycup or Soos’n may seem cute, but those names condemn your child to a life of constantly having his or her name misspelled. Names also leave impressions, at least unconsciously. So unless you want your adult child living at home forever, give your baby a name that won’t look strange on a job application.
Your new baby is unique and you may want a unique name to reflect this. Whether you create a new name by combining popular names (Ada + Madelyn = Adalyn), or whether you go into the archives to find something archaic or unusual, consider whether the name is fairly easy to pronounce or not. Is “Isla” pronounced “ees-la,” as if it were the Spanish word for island, or is it “eye-la?” Siobhan, Calleah, and Elowyn may look pretty, but if the name is unfamiliar, your child could spend the rest of her life correcting others as to how to pronounce her name.
What’s in a Nickname
How do you feel about your new baby having a nickname? Some parents have strong feelings about being able to ensure or avoid certain nicknames. It’s common for other people to try to shorten longer names, think Elizabeth to Liz or Steven to Steve, even if you don’t want them to.Some couples have their baby’s name picked out long before the baby is due, while others wait until they have “met” their baby. Either way, your baby is sure to grow into his or her name.