Have you made your baby name shortlist? If not, then read Sarah Larkin’s advice on making this important decision.
Choosing which name your baby should have for the rest of their life is fun, but it can also be quite an emotional and challenging experience. You may find that you keep changing your mind – it is not the easiest decision to make, but when you take the time to really think and consider the following advice, it may not be so hard after all.
Knowing the gender
For those who decide they want to find out their baby’s sex while pregnant, there is an immediate advantage. Instead of two long lists of names, you now only have one. However, this may not make the decision any easier. For some parents, the decision may be made once they become pregnant, but for others it may not be until they look into the eyes of their newborn for the first time.
Lists, lists and more lists. The internet is full of them, from unique names to most popular; to names beginning with ‘x’, there are countless options to inspire. If you want to know what a lot of people are calling their kids, stay on the ‘most popular’ lists, but if you want to choose something with a bit of a unique spin, or look at alternative ways to spell names, it’s all available to you with the click of a mouse.
Make it personal
If you are a traditionalist or you would like your baby to be named after a relative or dear friend, then this can be a very special choice. The name has special meaning and could be a dedication to someone who means or meant a lot to you. This makes choosing a name for your baby a much more personal experience. It can also be interesting to look at name meanings, you may know what you want your baby’s name to mean or represent. Remember that whatever name you choose, your child will carry it with them for the rest of their lives. Just be wise and cautious when you make the final decision.
Say it and write it
If you have more than a few names reeling through your head, begin to say them out loud, adding your surname. This will help to hear the name and using the names in sentences will let you know which names are successful and which names don’t quite make the cut. A good tip to remember when you are trying out names with your surname, the longer the surname, the shorter the first name, and vice versa. This will help the name easily roll off the tongue. Also bear spelling in mind and how some initials look when certain letters are placed next to one another.
Of course there will be names that you will love and your partner both love, but you may not always be in agreement. There are ways to overcome disagreements without resulting in unnecessary arguments. For instance, take the time to sit together and talk through names you both like. You can also both write a list of names you find the most appealing and compare and share what you both have in mind.
In situations where both parties disagree, you can take advantage of the options you have. Why not combine names, or create a double-barrel name. Or if certain names don’t mesh well together, give your child a middle name. By choosing more than one name, you can be sure that you and your partner are happy. Have a think outside the box if you find yourself veering towards more unique names.
Let it happen
The one thing to remember is not to let the challenge of trying to choose a baby name take over. Avoid becoming stressed; after all it is an enjoyable experience and fun to look through all of the options available. If you find yourself becoming overwhelmed, take a break; you can always go back whenever you want. The most important thing is to enjoy the challenge of choosing your baby’s name. It is a very special occasion and is the beginning of who your child will grow to become.
Did you know?
Naming traditions from around the world
In different countries, it may not be as easy as picking whatever name you want. Each country differs in the laws and options available to parents when choosing their babies’ names. Below are some of the options available to people in certain countries, some may seem strict, but most all are based on tradition:
China – babies’ names usually consist of two to three syllables from the Chinese alphabet. Due to the amount of characters in the Chinese alphabet, it is very rare to find two people with the same first name. Boys are given plain names to trick evil spirits into overlooking them, while girls’ names represent beauty and virtue.
Japan – similar to China in the sense that girls’ names represent beauty and virtue, and often end in ‘ko’ meaning ‘child’. Boys on the other hand will be named based on their position in the family.
Greece – babies are usually not named until the seventh or tenth day after birth. Following a tradition of the eldest son named after the paternal grandfather, eldest daughter named after paternal grandmother etc.
Islam – babies are usually named after significant figures in Islamic faith.
Hindu – In India, a letter of the Sanskrit alphabet associated with the child’s lunar birth sign is chosen, which is believed to be lucky for the baby. The baby receives a name starting with that letter. A child can be named after the deity of the month in which they were born or the name of the family deity.
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