When you’re trying to pick out the perfect name for your new baby, you likely have a lot of things to consider. There are many different names out there, and picking the right one can take some time and effort. There are traditional names to trendy names to family names, and you also want to consider how the name fits in with the rest of your family. When having a new baby, it can be quite an adjustment for everyone in the family, especially older siblings. One way to help older siblings with the transition is to include them in the process of baby naming.
While some parents want their children to be more involved in the naming than others, here are ten ways that siblings can help with the process.
10 GIVE OLDER CHILDREN NAME BOOKS OR WEBSITES TO LOOK THROUGH
If you have children who are old enough to read on their own, you can have them help you with the baby naming process. You can give them baby name books to look through or have them look through websites with you. This is a great way to spend some time bonding as you discuss different names and see what they like. This also allows children who are a little older to feel independent and important in the naming process. Plus, they might have surprising and good ideas for names that you wouldn’t have considered otherwise.
9 CREATE A LIST FOR SIBLINGS TO VOTE ON
How involved you want your other children to be in the baby naming process is a personal decision, and you have to do what feels best for you. But, one way to let siblings be a part of the process without calling all the shots is to create a list. You can put together the top names you have in mind for the baby, and then let your other children vote on their favorites. This doesn’t mean you have to pick their favorite name, but it’s a good way to get everyone excited and talking about names.
8 TALK TO YOUNGER SIBLINGS ABOUT BABY NAMES AND WHAT THEY THINK
For young children who can’t read yet, talking to them and having an age-appropriate talk about baby names is a good way to make them feel included. You can talk to them about how you need to find a name for their new brother or sister, and ask what they think. They might give you some suggestions that are a little out there depending on their age, but this is a good way to make them feel like they’re still important and that the new baby is something to look forward to. Plus, it allows you to have someone on one quality time.
7 ASK FOR THEIR OPINION
This is probably one of the most simple and obvious things to do, but, as parents, it’s sometimes easy to forget to ask for our children's' opinions. Each child is a unique person with an individual perspective to contribute.
They will appreciate being included in the conversation and that they are given the chance to say what they think. And, asking their opinion on names in general, or on names you’ve already talked about, will allow you to have a good discussion and get the creative energy flowing.
6 TELL YOUNGER SIBLINGS YOUR TOP NAMES AND ASK THEIR THOUGHTS
For young kids, especially those that are toddler age, giving them a lot of choices or information can sometimes be overwhelming. While you can definitely ask what their favorite names are, something even more productive is to give them a few options of names you already like and see what they think. While you definitely don’t have to make your final choice based on a toddler’s thoughts, this is a fun conversation to have, and you might be surprised at their choices.
5 CONSIDER LETTING THEM PICK THE NAME WITHIN REASON
Now, for some families, they actually let the older siblings make the decision on the name. This is definitely a less traditional method, and most families probably aren’t going to take this route. However, if this idea appeals to you, there’s nothing inherently wrong with it. Every family situation is different, and if you want to let your child name their new sibling, this is totally up to you.
4 GIVE THEM AN EQUAL SAY IN BABY NAMING
While you might not want to give your older children total say in picking the baby name, you could give them at least an equal seat at the table.
For older children, especially those who are much older, taking their opinions as having more weight will likely make them feel more excited about the baby and less like the baby is taking over everything.
3 MAKE A GAME OUT OF IT
For kids who are toddlers or in early elementary school, making a game out of the baby naming process can be a lot of fun. There are lots of options here such as using candy or treats to let each child vote on their favorite. You could also come up with silly ideas such as having people come up with names based on a certain theme.
2 ASK THEIR OPINION AFTER THE BABY IS BORN
For some families, picking out a name before the birth is the norm. But, for others, they don’t like to give the new baby a name until it’s born. If you're someone who likes to make sure the name fits the new baby before you give it to them, you can ask for your older children’s opinions once you have the baby. This will give them a chance to bond a little bit with the baby, too.
1 MAKE THEM FEEL VALUED EVEN IF THEY DON’T GET TO PICK THE NAME
When having siblings help you pick out the baby name, it’s alright if you don’t actually pick their favorite name or their suggestion. The most important thing here is to ensure that the older siblings feel important and part of things. You don’t want them to feel left out or like the baby is threatening for them and including them in the baby naming process can help with this.