by: Tali Saar
Having a new baby means a lot of preparation. Taking child birth classes, preparing the nursery, picking cloths, changing the arrangement of the whole house and of course coming up with the right name for your child. This might not be an easy assignment. Many different options and opinions, many different reasons for naming them one way or another. So how do you decide?? Here are ten tips to guide you along the way, and help you make the right choice.
1. Start off with making a list. This list will consist of ideas you like, and also suggestions made by others (family members, friends etc.). It is important to keep an open mind while making this list and not reject any name without a second thought. Even if you don’t have a warm feeling for one name, and are not seriously considering using it, just having this name on your list might help you come up with new ideas – perhaps you will come up with a nice baby name that sounds similar, maybe you will like that name with a different spelling, and maybe you would like this name when it is combined with the right middle name. Your list should be updated all the time, whenever a new possibility comes to mind.
2. Divide your list into categories: why is this specific name on your list? Is it there to honor a family member? Is it a name that has a nice sound and good feel to it? Is it a popular name? Is it an original name you came up with? Is it a name which bares great meaning to you or to your culture? It is important to realize there are many different reasons for choosing one name over the other, and with time you may find out some reasons are more important to you than others. When having a categorized list, you might realize some of your favorite names fall into the same category – maybe it is time to follow this direction and think of more names in that category.
Some of these categories are now discussed:
3. Honoring family members – naming your baby after a relative.
It is important that you don’t feel obliged to stick with any family tradition when choosing the right name for your baby. If you really like a certain baby name, use it. However, honoring a loved family member by passing on his/her name to your child might be a great way of showing your respect and appreciation. You should consult other family members, brothers and cousins, to hear how they feel about it. This will also help avoid a problematic situation in case any of them planned to use the same name, which might be a potential conflict.
4. Popular names – a great way to avoid wrong decisions?
The answer is yes. If you happen to like a certain name which is also very popular, you can be pretty sure this name will not cause trouble for your child in the future. A few factors to be taken into consideration:
A popular name means others will use this name with ease and comfort, Also, there will be no problem in finding personalized gifts (t shirts, hats etc.) for your child. They will never have to explain or spell out their name, and it will ease their way to social acceptance.
The main disadvantage of choosing a common name for your child, is they will find themselves surrounded by more people who carry the same name. This might cause confusion, and the use of last names or nicknames will be required in order to distinguish them (a subject discussed later).
5. Choosing an original and unique name
Today more than ever, everyone needs to feel they are not just one of many.
Having a unique name causes one to feel special, unordinary. Whenever they introduce themselves their name becomes a cause of interest. However, this should be done with caution, and with the future of your child on mind. Many children are picked upon because of their strange sounding names. Make sure the name you choose is relatively easy to pronounce and read. Avoid names which might result in embarrassing nicknames.
6. Think about nick names.
Often the name you originally gave your child will be altered and shortened by his friends, and even family. Andrew might turn into Andy, Jennifer could be known as Jen. You should consider whether or not you like these nicknames, since they have a better chance of sticking with your child through out their life.
7. Consider the middle and last name as well
Choosing a first name is one thing. But a nice first name which is easy to pronounce and blends well with the middle/last name might be harder to find.
If you have a very original idea but are afraid your child might suffer baring it as a first name – why not use it for a middle name? The combination of the three names should be considered. Can you pronounce them easily? Are the three names somehow connected? It might not be a wise idea to give your child a first name originating in Greek with a middle name originating in Hebrew and an all American last name. Also consider the initials, and make sure they don’t spell out anything embarrassing.
8. Avoid names that remind you of people you genuinely dislike
It might be a wonderful name. But do you really want to be reminded of someone you don’t care for when you hear your own child’s name? Even if it is the perfect name, think twice. You might consider altering the name a little, with a different pronunciation or spelling. This might solve your conflict.
9. It is a good idea to use the internet as a source of ideas for baby names.
The site http://www.babyhold.com/ contains many tools that will assist you in choosing the right name for your baby. http://www.babyhold.com/ lists the most popular baby names by year, and also offers many ideas for unique baby names, baby names from different origins, baby names by country ( i.e American baby names, Italian baby names etc) and many baby names lists organized by category. You can also try the baby name list tool, offering a different short baby names list each time, for you to get ideas and inspiration.
10. Go with your heart.
Hearing what others think, taking advice and ideas from others is okay. But if you feel strongly about a name even though others seem to dislike it, use it anyway. After all it is your own personal decision, and if no one convinced you otherwise, it means you should go with it. Good luck!
About The Author
Tali Saar is a contributing writer for http://www.babyhold.com.