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15 Tips To Help You Choose Your Baby's Name
Choosing the name that your child will go by for the rest of their life is a pretty big decision. You want to find a name that you love and that you think they will love. There are a lot of things to consider, which may make the process of choosing a name for your little one seem more than a little daunting. But, no need to worry – I’ve come up with a list of tips to help make your baby-name-hunting journey go much more smoothly!
15 Tips To Help You Choose Your Baby's Name
Choosing a name for your little one is a pretty important decision and for some can be a little overwhelming. Here are some tips to help you out in the process!
1. Start talking about names
At the very beginning of your baby name hunting journey, just start talking about names. Talk about them with your partner, talk about them with family, talk about them with strangers. It’s a fun conversation starter and will help you generate ideas about what you like and don’t like.
2. Make a list
Keep a running list of the names you like – I kept my list on my phone so I could add names on-the-go. Even if there is a name you’re pretty sure you would never end up choosing – add it to the list. Sometimes names can grow on you over time.
3. Consider family names
Maybe family names aren’t your style, but it’s worth a look into your family tree to see if there are any cool names worthy of your consideration. Fern’s name actually came from a great grandmother who I never really knew, and I thought it was kind of fun to have a family connection, but mostly I just loved the name.
4. Look for inspiration in unusual places
Leave no stone unturned when it comes to baby name inspiration. One of my favorite places to look for name inspiration during my pregnancy was the credits at the end of movies – there are some incredibly unique names to be found there!
5. Forget about trends
Ignore the trends. If you’ve always loved a name, but now feel like you have to nix it because it’s making its way up the popular list, realize that you don’t have to! Go with what you love! Vice versa – never choose a name simply because it’s popular.
6. Look at initials
I knew someone with the initials I.B.S. – yes, just like the intestinal issue – and it definitely garnered some teasing for them. I’m not saying you should veto a name you truly love based on initials alone, but awkward initials just might prove to be a “deal-breaker” for you so it’s worth a look.
7. Consider teasing
Most kids these days have unique names, so it’s unlikely that your child will be teased for their name alone, but think about words the name rhymes with or sounds like, because these may be potential points for teasing. I never would’ve thought about this, but my husband thought it was important and there were definitely a few names on my list that got nixed for their teasing potential.
8. Think about meaning
A strong meaning can push a name from “like” territory into “love” territory, so make sure to do your research if you need some help tipping the scales.
9. Don't forget about the middle name
Iff you’re looking at an unusual name perhaps you can use a more classic middle name to balance and give your child an option as they get older or vice versa. It can also be a way to incorporate family names if you aren’t keen on using them as first names but still like the sentiment.
10. Avoid the temptation to get fancy
It can be fun to come up with unique spellings for your child’s name, but think about the long-term. Do you really want your child to have to explain how to spell their name every-single-time for the rest of their life? If it’s worth it to you, then more power to you, but it may make things more difficult for your child in the long run.
11. Get a feel for it
Write it, say it, think about it… You’ll be using this name for a very long time, so make sure it’s one you’re not going to get sick of.
12. Be prepared for the opinions
Everyone has an opinion. Ignore them. This is your child and you get to choose their name. You may want to consider withholding sensitive name information (particularly if it’s a very unique name) until your baby is born or only telling those closest to you or whose opinions you truly want.
13. Hold it with a light hand
Although it’s unlikely, it’s possible that when your child finally makes his or her arrival, he or she won’t look like the name you’ve chosen ahead of time. Try to hold the name with a light hand and not get too emotionally attached if you can manage. In the end the best name is the one that most suits your baby so consider a few back-ups.
14. Go with your gut
If you keep feeling unsure about a name it may be a good sign that it isn’t the right one. I have a friend who kept feeling unsure about a particular name, but in the end for lack of a better option that could be agreed upon, went with it anyway. Now a year later, she regrets her choice. Alternatively, if there is a name you keep coming back too, that may be a sign it’s the right choice, so listen to your instincts!
15. Throw it all out the window
In the end, just throw all the advice out the window and go with a name that makes you smile!