Choosing a name for your baby is a very important process as a child’s name can have a significant impact on his or her life. Many couples have a difficult time agreeing on a name or have fears of what impact of their child’s name will have. Other parents seem to almost put no real thought into the naming process by choosing a redundant “family name” or naming the baby after some fly by night celebrity.
The first thing to consider when you are in the process of choosing a name is to take into account just how the name sounds. Imagine your baby’s name to be a kind of “formula” by choosing a first, middle, and last name with proper alliteration, aka a name that “flows.” Shorter first names tend to compliment longer last names and vice versa. First names that begin with the same letter as the last name tend to be pleasing to the ear. However, you should avoid name combinations that rhyme.
Another trap to avoid in the naming process is the obligation to use an outdated family name. Just because a name worked well for a beloved family member born in the 1930’s doesn’t mean it would be a good choice for a child today. If someone close to you such a spouse or grandparent absolutely insists on an undesirable or outdated name, a good compromise is to use the name as a middle name.
Parents should also resist any temptation they may have of using “fad” names. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s everyone seemed to be using the name Stacey. An example of a fad name today would be the infamous Nevaeh, which in case you haven’t heard, is heaven spelled backwards. Not only are fad names corny, they are way too overused, which contradicts the main reason why many parents make the mistake of choosing a fad name. The belief they found a name which unique.
While choosing a name that is unique is important to many parents, other parents opt for more traditional names they commonly hear. There are pros and cons to both routes when choosing a name. Your best bet is too find a middle ground.
Choosing a “Top 10 or 20” name will generally avoid your child for being teased for their name and will be a name easy to use. However, chances are your child will be sharing their name with one, two, or more other students in their class when they are older.
Choosing a very unique name can be nice, but parents shouldn’t go overboard by choosing off the wall names, names that are hard to pronounce, or complicated spellings. Even if your child isn’t shamelessly abused in school for a strange name, do you really want to put them through constantly having to pronounce or spell out their names to strangers?
Other things to consider when names your child are your child’s gender. Its important to avoid names for a boy that could be mistaken for a girl as gender neutral names tend to work out better for females than they do males in life. At the same time, avoid overly cutesy names for your baby girl. Many parents give into the temptation of giving names to girls like Cookie, Sunshine, Candy, and Princess which will haunt their daughter the older she gets. The best way to steer away from inappropriate name try to imagine your child using their name as an adult. Would you seek the services of a professional who had this name? Could you imagine using this name yourself?
Recognizing that a child’s name does have an affect on a child’s life is important. Remember that the naming process should be taken seriously, but is also a boding process with your new baby. Be aware of both the advantages and disadvantages your child will face with the name you choose for them. Most importantly give them a name that you and your spouse feel good about.