Choosing a baby name is very exciting. Names are such a great thing to discuss as you anticipate the arrival of your bundle of joy. But it’s also a very big decision! After all, your choice will last a lifetime. Beyond just loving a name, there are some important things to think about when making the choice. To make the job a little easier, here we list 13 important considerations when naming your precious bundle.
13 Fit with the Last Name
You and your child will say their first and last name together about a million times over your lifetimes. Make sure the names go nicely together. Think about poor Robert Loblaw. His name was soon shortened to ‘Bob’ and when you say his first and last name together--Bob Loblaw, it sounds just like “BlahBlahBlah”. Poor guy.
12 Fit with Sibling’s Names
If your baby has any siblings, you will call their names out as a string of words so many times through every day that they will start to sound like one word. So it’s important to test out how the names sound together. For example, if you have Ewen and Mia, it will sound like you are saying “you and me” whenever you holler for them over and over.
Also, consider whether the names make it sound like your children are from the same family. If you pick a name of one ethnicity like Santiago, it might sound strange if you name your next child Edward or Harold.
11 Name Meaning
Some people don’t give a lot of consideration to meanings, and oftentimes this is fine but it’s probably worth checking just to make sure you can live with the meaning. Your child may find inspiration from their name meaning one day. We can assure you this is a conversation that will be had at some point in their lives. A few examples of nice names with unfortunate meanings are Lola which means “lady of sorrows” and Gideon which means “having a stump for a hand”. It's definitely worth double-checking.
10 Can Kids Make Fun of It?
If we are being realistic, kids can and will make fun of any name. But it’s best if we don’t make it too easy for them. For example, girls called Regina are inevitably going to get called that similar sounding “V” word. Another example is a child named after a month of the year. Your son or daughter will likely be subject to some poking. Think about the possibilities and then some. If you can live with it and think your child can, go for it.
9 Are You Stealing It?
It’s unwritten code that you cannot steal a name from your best friend or sister. If you are tempted, make sure you consult said owner or you might get yourself into hot water.
8 Nickname or Not
This is an important one. Some folks want a cute nickname and others don’t like nicknames. Choose wisely since some nicknames can be very unconventional. If you do like a solid nickname, make sure your chosen name has one that fits your preference.
This is more for your child’s sanity in the future than for yours. Consider whether they will be asked their entire lives how to pronounce their name and if you both can live with it. For example, some traditional Irish names can be tough with their extra letters--think Siobhan and Niamh. Even more traditional names like Megan and Tanya will require clarification with respect to their vowel sounds.
You may fall in love with a name regardless of its popularity but if you pick a super popular name, your child will have classmates and friends of the same name. If you don’t care, you don’t care. But if you do, make sure you check current popular name lists.
5 Will It Grow With Your Child?
Cutesy names are great for babies but consider whether the name can also grow with them as they become adults. Kitty or Bobby sound cute for a baby but they might not work so well for a grown adult.
4 Gender of the Name
If you decide to go the gender-neutral route with a name like Charlie, Jamie or Kelley, we aren’t saying don’t do it. Some of these names are awesome! Just consider how you and your child will feel about it. If you don’t want them mistaken for a boy or girl on a class list, then you might want to choose a more traditional girl or boy name.
3 Do the Initials Work?
This item often gets overlooked. Think about a poor kid named James Elliott Randall Knight (J.E.R.K.) or Brenda Ann Dunn (B.A.D.) or Isabelle Clara Klein (I.C.K). You write your initials so often through your life; make sure doing so won’t make your baby cringe later in life.
2 Famous People of the Same Name
It’s always nice to be in good company so you may want to consider celebrities or famous people of the same name you are contemplating. Are these people inspiring? Are they good people or are they famous for the wrong reasons? The last thing you want is for people to think of someone rotten or evil when they hear your child’s name.
1 Make Sure You Love It
A lot of people keep names a secret until babies are born. This is smart, not only for the surprise factor but also to prevent being influenced by people who may wrinkle their nose at your choices. Grandparents can be especially guilty of this. The reality is after your baby is born their name will be their name and nobody will think twice about it. Make sure you really love the name and can picture your little one growing with it. In the end, this is one of the most important considerations of all.