Naming a child is one of the most fun things about having a baby, but it becomes daunting when you think about how important that little series of letters is going to be in your child’s life, not to mention in your own. You have to really make sure the name your choose is to the liking of you and your partner and will be one your child can wear with pride through a long, full life. Most new parents do a good job of thinking through the decision, considering lots of names and not choosing too rashly, but
if you want to make sure you are making the right choice, here are some things to consider.
1. Balance appeal and meaning:
There are two main factors that go into choosing a name: how it sounds, and what it means. It is easy to choose a name that sounds great but which does not have meaning to you and your family, and it is just as easy to succumb to family pressure and pick a family name you do not particularly like. The best names are those that strike a balance.
2. Understand that you do not know your child yet:
Many expectant parents get an image in their minds of what their child is going to be like, and they choose a name accordingly. This impulse is understandable but risky. Keep in mind that there are infinite ways in which your child may turn out, so try to choose a name that you can imagine being attached to lots of different kinds of people.
3. Consider the negative possibilities:
Children can be cruel to each other, and when one has a name that is easy to make jokes about, it can prove a source of heartache throughout childhood. This is not the only consideration, of course, and no name is perfect, but stay away from the ones that are especially risky.
4. Narrow it down to a few:
As soon as you find out your child’s gender (and if you are choosing not to find out, then this applies to names of both genders), start working on a list of names you would seriously consider using. Instead of homing in on one and settling on it, make a narrowed-down list and live with the names for a few weeks or months or as long as you have before the baby comes. Your opinions might change over this time.
5. Consider name popularity:
Information about the current most popular baby names is easy to find online, and if you have not checked these lists lately, you might be surprised by the names that are trending right now. There is nothing inherently wrong with giving your child a name that happens to be popular right now, but it is at least something to bring into the equation.
6. Is it easy to spell and pronounce?
There is nothing wrong with exotic, unusual names, but keep in mind that a name that is difficult to spell or pronounce can be a source of endless frustration for the person possessing the name. Constantly having to correct people and respond to comments about one’s unusual name is not very fun.
7. Use the middle name as a backup:
In the unlikely situation that your child grows up to dislike his or her given name, it is nice to have a backup. That is what the middle name can be for. Give your child a middle name that is different in sound and character from the first name so that there will be multiple options.
By Lisa Pecos