Middle names have recently become a hot-button topic among parents. Some feel they're an essential tradition while others feel they're outdated and unnecessary. Some know right away if a middle name is in their child's future while others may question what's right for them.
If you'll be naming a baby soon you may want to think about what makes sense for you. Whether you stick to old fashioned conventions or decide to forge your own path you'll want to consider all sides of the issue.
10 Don't Bother: Hyphenates
Many families choose to join two names together with a hyphen. These adorable combo names sound cute and can be used to honor multiple family members or even serve as tiebreakers. But hyphenated names run the risk of sounding a little long. If you're choosing two names to combine, adding a middle name may be a bit of a mouthful. You want to keep in mind how the whole name will sound together and how easy it will be for your child to learn to write it.
9 Go For It: It's Fun
Picking a name for your little one is one of the most fun and exciting parts of planning for their arrival. Many parents spend hours browsing books and blogs reading thousands of names.
Others know before they even find out a baby is on the horizon that a special name is the one they'd choose. Choosing a middle name gives you a chance to pick not one but two names for your little one doubling the fun!
8 Don't Bother: Inspiration Never Came
Any name shouldn't be chosen lightly whether first or not. Choosing a middle name on a whim because you feel pressured to add one could result in regret later. A middle name isn't a requirement. It's simply common practice. There's no reason to feel like you have to choose one. If lightning never strikes and a middle name doesn't ever fit, you can easily skip it altogether.
7 Go For It: Remembering Loved Ones
When we lose someone special to us it's only natural to want to honor them in some way. If you have a friend or family member that's no longer with you consider a middle name honoring them in some way. You may choose to pass on their first name or choose something symbolic of their trade or personality. Meaningful middle names can be a cherished gift to your little one and start endless conversations. Bear in mind that if you tell your little one they're named after someone they will likely ask after them. If the memories are still fresh you may want to hold off sharing the history.
6 Don't Bother: Practicality
For the more pragmatic parent, you may be wondering what purpose a middle name serves. The answer is, there aren't many uses for it. If you're not in love with the idea of a middle name that serves no purpose you really don't have to spend a lot of effort picking one.
It's perfectly fine to skip the tradition and focus on more important details. Middle names are a fun tradition but they aren't for everyone. If you're worried your child may feel left out later consider letting them choose a middle name when they're older.
5 Go For It: Tradition
One of the most straight forward reasons to give your baby a middle name is simply a love of the tradition. People have been given multiple names throughout history. It's become a mainstream trend in many cultures. Middle names may not serve a practical purpose but they can be fun and meaningful. Simply enjoying the tradition is reason enough to pick a second name for your little one.
4 Don't Bother: Cultural Differences
Not all cultures choose middle names for their babies. If your family is from blended cultures you may forego the tradition altogether to honor your partner's heritage. Chinese parents often choose only one name for their children. It could be a fun way to celebrate your child's Chinese heritage to stick to those naming conventions. A middle name may feel bulky and awkward to a parent who grew up in a culture that doesn't embrace the practice.
3 Go For It: Options
This may be the most practical argument in favor of middle names. Having a second legal name can give your child another option if they decide they aren't in love with their first name. If your child's first name is difficult to spell or pronounce they may prefer an easier option.
Middle names can be used professionally to help separate someone's professional brand from their private persona as well. If you like the idea of giving your child some flexibility giving them a middle name creates built-in options.
2 Don't Bother: Don't Mess With Perfection
Sometimes a name just seems meant to be. You pick the perfect one and know it's the right choice. The first time you say it out loud with your baby's last name it sounds like music. Seeing it written out together looks like art. It's perfection. If you love the way your child's name sounds there's no need to add anything else. Don't feel pressured to add a middle name if you already feel it's complete. It's your baby and your opinion is the only one that truly matters.
1 Go For It: Carry On A Name
Many women choose to take their husband's last name when they marry. Some may feel a little tug on their heartstrings that they didn't pass on their maiden name. In these cases giving your baby a middle name that reflects a maiden name is a sweet choice. Your children will carry both of their family names proudly reflecting their heritage. There's no need to leave your family name behind, you can always include it in this special way.