You just found out you are expecting and feeling very excited about your bundle of joy to come into this world! But along with the excitement can come a lot of unsolicited advice and opinions from others--and some of the most unwelcome input can be in regards to your future baby's name. Everyone has an opinion! And let's be honest, naming a child can be hard. It is the first gift we give our child, their first form of identity that will last throughout their entire life. Some expecting parents have their child's name chosen long before they're even pregnant, some have no idea what they will name their child, and others have a name chosen one but start second guessing their choice--maybe thanks to some unwanted feedback from friends or family.
It can be overwhelming and seemingly impossible to land on the perfect name for your baby, so in this post we'll share tips on what to consider when deciding on a name and help you gain the confidence that you and your partner can choose the perfect name for your child!
What TYPE of Name Do You Want?
Deciding what kind of name you want for your little one is the first step to help you narrow down your decision. Luckily, because we live in the age of the internet, there are hundreds of lists out there with specific types of names you are looking for:
- Traditional names
- Unique names
- Latin names
- Names that begins/ends with certain letters
- Country names
- European names
- Bohemian names
The lists are endless for the type of names you can scan for inspiration!
Do You Want a Popular Name?
Sometimes it may feel like you need to choose a name that will fit in with what's popular right now. Every year has its trendy names. And if there is a trending name you love, then go with it! But do not let today's name popularity scare you away from the name you really love.
I's good to keep in mind that if you choose a super popular name, chances are your child will know a bunch of kids whose parents also chose that super popular name. When my son was on a soccer team, there were three other kids with the same name. It was fun giving them nicknames to differentiate them, but it's good to consider this in case that's something you want to avoid. But, hey, know there's nothing wrong with that either! There's a reason certain names are popular--everyone loves them!
On the other hand, if you hate the idea of your child being one of four Emma's in their class and want to go for an ultra unique name, be considerate of your child's future.
This post from Happiest Baby recommends a practical approach:
Go to a coffee shop and give the barista your name of choice. How does it sound when they call it out? Did they mispronounce it? Was it spelled correctly? Getting a “feel” for the name is an easy way to discover if your child may have difficulties later in life with something “too” different. There’s no shame in being original, though!
You can see your state's name pick ranks for each year or for the entire country in the Social Security Administration List.
Does the Name Work for Every Age?
Choose a name that will grow with your baby. Consider it: maybe the name you're loving is cute for a baby but wouldn't be very cute for an adult or vice versa. If you have chosen a very mature name for your child, consider whether there's a nickname that they can use through their childhood years and then switch to their more adult name when they're older.
Think About the Middle or Last Name, Too
I don't just mean that you should think about what you will choose for your child's middle name. I mean that when you're narrowing down baby names, you need to consider whether that name will work with the middle name or last name. Try saying the full name out loud instead of just looking at it on paper – this way you can see if it has a rhythmic flow or if it’s a bit of a mouthful.
Look Up the Meaning of the Name
I did this with all my kids as we were in the final crunch of choosing their names. Sometimes certain names do not mean what you think or hoped they could mean. Other times, finding out the positive or beautiful meaning behind a name can make you love it even more; it did for us! You can see the meaning of your potential child's name here!
Draw on Your Ancestors' Names and Culture for Inspiration
A great way to honor your heritage is to pass on the name of a family member you really admired or a name that has to do with your culture. This is a cool way to give the name more of a special meaning!
Make a List
Create a list of 5-10 of your favorite names. Then, as you go through the deciding process, cross off the ones you don't like; and eventually you will find your pick!
Make sure your partner is included in the process! Let your partner's name ideas be considered too! It matters what they think, so make sure they're included in the process and that they love the name as much as you do.
Use Your Relationship for InspirationAnother meaningful way to come up with a baby name is to draw inspiration from something that means a lot to you as a couple. If could be your favorite place, a movie or book character you both love, an athlete you both admire, or even the place of conception.
Remember that this is a very exciting time in your life and that welcoming a new soul to this world doesn't have to be or feel so intimidating.
Baby naming consultant Taylor Humphrey of What's In a Baby Name says:
Focus on your own intuition, desires, and needs, and to bring joy back to the process of picking a baby name.
Know that whatever name you choose, it will be perfect. There can be a lot of pressure, stress, and outside opinions telling you what you need to choose for the ideal name, but at the end of the day, you’ll love whatever you decide once your little one joins you in the world.