A baby arrives with a laundry list of needs; high on that list is an immediate requirement to be given a first and middle name. When it comes to naming a baby, parents may look at the name choices or suggestions that others have made, but they must make the final decision. The child then lives with that choice for a lifetime unless a legal name change is granted by the court system at some point in time.
Choosing the right first and middle name for a child is difficult and often even agonizing for many parents. Should it be a traditional name, or one that is trendier? How about a name that goes beyond trendy and is unique in every way, and yet seems to feel right for the new addition to the family anyway?
Naming a baby is a big responsibility, since he or she will answer to that name for a lifetime.
In addition, based on the chosen name a child often acquires a nickname or two, some of which may be flattering or at least acceptable, while others may be highly unwanted by the recipient. One of my friends could not shake off the nickname “Anna Banana” no matter how much she tried – she never learned to like it.
Some names are very difficult to pronounce or spell. How will your child deal with that in school, on the job, or just in society in general?
Help for naming baby is readily available
There is no shortage of available resources to access for help if you are finding it difficult to name baby; the business of helping others to make such a choice is almost a cottage industry. There are books, magazine articles and entire websites devoted to this topic.
Amazon.com has a list of 127 books written about naming babies; likewise, a browser search for magazines and websites dealing with this topic will return an extensive list of resources.
To get you started if you are seeking such help, here are six websites that have extensive amounts of information on baby names stored in their databases.
This website offers name generators, polls, advice, a community forum, and even some baby freebies, deals, and coupons. It comes complete with a genie that will grant you your wish by generating a “perfect” name; just enter your last name and the sex of the baby. When I entered a last name at random, the name that was generated for a girl was Skyla Patricia, and for a boy, Brendon Cole.
You can click “wish again” repeatedly for more choices. There is a name generator on this website for middle names; again, you can continue to generate new suggestions to learn how various first, middle and last name combinations sound together and assess the suitability of the resulting combination of the three initials.
Are you seeking a “personal baby name assistant?” The owners of this website label it as such, saying that it makes name connections with insights from baby-naming expert Laura Wattenberg, author of “The Baby Name Wizard.”
You are able to build a list of favorite names from the lists that you generate, learn the meaning of the name, U.S. popularity by statistics, and other names that are variations of your choice. You can also type in a name of your own choice and add it as a favorite. I added a name that would not be considered trendy; it wasn’t, since it peaked in popularity in 1920, predating the names chosen now as being traditional!
Two unique search features on this website are a phonetics search and a morph search. There are also some interesting categories, such as celebrity, floral, moods and nature. In addition to the name search feature, this website handles sales of personalized announcements, cards, and assorted gift items.
4. Parents Connect.com
Parents Connect.com is a huge website that connects with numerous other websites, including one called “babynamesworld” that is specific for baby names. If you are looking for unique names, this is a good place to find some unusual name suggestions that you wouldn’t ordinarily consider.
When you browse by category, select the category “unique names” and you will find lists for both boy and girl names that are not in the mainstream, plus additional information about those names.
5) Social Security website
The Social Security background information on its baby names data:
“According to the background information on the website, all names are from Social Security card applications for births that occurred in the United States after 1879.
“Note that many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data. For others who did apply, our records may not show the place of birth, and again their names are not included in our data, since it takes its data from applications for social security numbers.”
Besides the information and helps shown on its baby names website page, Social Security provides these links for additional data:
Change in popularity
in U.S. territories
Top 5 names over the last 100 years
A twist on naming “baby”
While Parents.com offers all kinds of information on naming human babies, it even goes one step further than the other websites with a list of suggestions for “dog names” to help families choose just the right name for their pooch. There does not appear to be a “cat names” topic, however.
No shortage of suggestions for naming baby
These six websites will provide a wide range of suggestions for naming baby, but the hard part of winnowing through the multitude of suggestions to find the best choice of first and middle name for the new addition to the family is left up to the parents. Hopefully everyone in the family will be happy with the baby name, including baby!
See also by R.C. Johnson:
Baby Names: SSA Database from 1879 to 2009
Parents: Keeping Babies Safe Website; “Safe Sleep for Babies” Video
The Healthy Children Website: Comprehensive Help for Parents from Pediatricians