How To Choose The Perfect Baby Name | Channel Mum
How to Choose a Baby Name
Choosing a name for your baby has a lifelong impact and is one of your first big parenting decisions, but it’s also a special, meaningful process for you and your partner to experience! Whether you choose a name with personal significance or simply pick one you like the sound of, there are an infinite number of wonderful choices. Just be sure to avoid a few pitfalls and common mistakes, and you can’t go wrong in selecting the perfect baby name.
Choosing a Name with Personal Significance
Make a list of names that have personal meaning.This list might include names passed down from beloved family members, friends, or influential figures in your lives. There are no rules or limits to what your baby’s name can be.
- Don’t be afraid to consider significant names from many different sources. Beloved book or movie characters, songs, childhood pets, or even the street you grew up on can be turned into a special and meaningful baby name.
Ask your families about naming traditions and naming heritage.Family trees are a great source of inspiration as you’re searching for significant baby names. Some families have incorporated common middle names or used specific ethnic origins for generations.
- Don’t feel pressure to conform to your families’ naming norms, but it’s always a good idea to ask about them so that you keep your options open.
- Asking your families about naming traditions or trends may also help you and your partner compromise on a meaningful name.
- For example, you may find out that you both had a great-grandmother named Mary or that you each had an ancestor from Ireland.
Wait for meaningful name inspiration during pregnancy.Let inspiration come to you during the special and tender time of pregnancy. The good news is that you have approximately ten months to decide, so you have lots of time.
- For example, you or your partner might feel the baby’s first flutters during a walk by the ocean, which might inspire an ocean-themed name, like Ariel or Kai. Leonardo DiCaprio's mother was in a museum in Italy whilst pregnant, and was looking at a Leonardo da Vinci painting when he first kicked in the womb, and that is how he was named.
- Vivid dreams and memories are a common symptom of pregnancy, and many expectant mothers claim that the names they choose for their babies came to them during dreams they had while pregnant.
Name your baby after a season or significant event.Perhaps your baby will be born right when summer roses are in full bloom or during the very first snowfall of the year, alluding to names like Summer, Eden, Rose, Rosalie, Snow, Elsa, Winter, or December.
Wait until you meet your baby.You and your partner might decide on the perfect name once you’ve met your baby and have a chance to get acquainted.
- She might surprise your family and be born with red hair, just like your great Aunt Josephine.
- If you have a boy with serene features, perhaps he’ll remind your partner of a poem by your favorite poet, inspiring you to choose a name like Walt or Ernest.
Choosing a Name with Public Appeal
Consult a baby book or an online name database.Baby naming books are easy to find in the library, and there are a number of online naming lists and websites. If you have a specific category you want your baby name to come from, such as nature-inspired names, classic boy names, gender-neutral names, or Southern names for girls, be sure to enter that as online search terms.
- When looking through lists of names, try not to get overwhelmed by the number of choices. Just read and search until one jumps out at you and seems to stick.
Choose from a pre-approved list.Some countries, like Iceland and Denmark, only allow babies to be given nationally approved names. To narrow down your search, consider choosing an ethnic name from a pre-approved list, like those for Iceland.
Tune into the media.Skimming baby or parenting magazines, watching entertainment news on TV, and even listening to popular songs on the radio that are specific to your personal preferences might offer inspiration on the latest and greatest names.
- Beware of name fads that quickly fizzle out in terms of popularity. For example, timeless names, like “Charlotte” and “Poppy” are becoming wildly popular again, but so are very modern names, like “Meadow” and “Story.”
- Although “Meadow” and “Story” are cute names now, make sure that you and your partner will still find them attractive when their popularity dies out and newer naming trends take their place.
Take a vote or conduct an online naming poll.This strategy definitely isn’t for everyone, but some parents desire public opinion. At the baby shower, guests can submit names of their choosing for your review or you can host a poll on social media, where your friends vote on your top five preferred names.
- You aren’t obligated to ultimately choose the name that gets the popular vote, but be sure not to make any promises ahead of time.
- You don't want those who vote to participate with expectations and then have their feelings hurt if you make an alternative choice, so be sure to let your voters know the poll is just for fun.
Choose a nickname.Sometimes nicknames can inspire full-length baby names. If you’ve always dreamed of calling your baby by a fun or informal name that isn’t necessarily appropriate as a full-length name, you can work backwards to find one!
- For example, if “Sunny” or “AJ” are nicknames you adore, “Sonora” or “Amelia Josephine” could serve as formal, full-length names that the baby can switch to when she is older.
Avoiding Baby Name Pitfalls
Double-check the meaning of the name you like.All names have a meaning and some can have less ideal meanings than others! Even if your baby’s name doesn’t have personal or family-based significance, it’s still a good idea to check its formal definition.
- For example, “Portia” sounds like a beautiful and exotic name for a girl, but it’s Latin for “pig,” which is a meaning some people may find appalling and others may adore.
Sound it out.Make sure the name you choose sounds good out loud. “Julian George,” for example, has a regal ring to it, while “Stella Isabella” sounds more like the name of cartoon character.
Avoid name puns.Puns are never a good idea when selecting a name for your baby. School-age children can be especially cruel, so steer clear of puns or plays on popular words and phrases.
- Candy Kane and Gamble Moore may sound cute and funny in the moment, but remember that your child will have to live with laughter and jests for a lifetime!
- Avoiding puns or irony for twins is also important. Twin names like “Jennifer and Angelina” or “Harry and Sally” are references to pop culture and won’t be lost on the majority of people, even if making a joke wasn’t your intention.
Choose spelling and pronunciation with care.It can get quite frustrating if your name is constantly mispronounced or you have to repeat your name or its spelling multiple times to a new acquaintance because it’s unusual, long, or difficult to say.
- For example, if you like a rare name like “Meegan” but choose to spell it “Meagan” or “Megan,” people will assume the common pronunciation over the exotic one, which means you and your child will constantly be correcting new acquaintances.
- "Axel” is a cute, modern boy’s name, and though “Acksol,” and “Aksyl” are unique renditions of it, they are not intuitive.
Test out the name’s longevity.While some names are perfectly suited for cute babies and small children, they won’t always suit an adult. Make sure the name you choose can grow right along with your baby.
- For example, while “King” is an adorable name for a baby boy, his colleagues may not take him seriously when he’s an adult giving a presentation in a corporate office.
Take the initials test.Some of the best name combinations can bring forth the worst initial combinations, so be sure to write out the initials of your favorite name before making the decision permanent.
- For example, the name “Ashley Suzanne Seavey” and “Parker Mitchell Smith” are not ideal initial combinations!
Keep you baby’s name a secret until birth.No matter what name you choose, it’s going to be impossible to please everyone, and negative feedback may leave you questioning a truly excellent choice. If you wait to announce your baby’s name until after the birth, people are far less likely to criticize and far more likely to agree that you’ve made the perfect choice.
QuestionI want to name my daughter Joy. It has a similar sound to her Chinese name. Is it a good choice?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, that is a beautiful name.Thanks!
QuestionWhy is Madison a bad name?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMadison is not a bad name at all. None of those ''fad'' names are bad. It is your life and you should name your baby whatever you want. If it is your name, don't feel bad, there's nothing wrong with it.Thanks!
QuestionWhat about naming twins? (Should I give them similar sounding names?)wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerRhyming names, like Jack and Mack, aren't the greatest idea for several reasons (the increased possibility of people confusing them just one). However complementary-sounding names such as Evan and Ava or Sierra and Samantha or Connor and Callum can work well.Thanks!
QuestionWhat is the meaning of "Cindy"?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe name Cindy is derived from Cynthia, Lucinda, and Cinderella. Cynthia means "woman from Kynthos," Lucinda means "light," and Cinderella means "little ashes."Thanks!
QuestionHow do I know whether or not the name suits the baby?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe only way you will really know is after the child is born. In some cases, parents can have a name picked out for months and then change their minds once they actually meet their child. After that, it's just a matter of your personal opinion.Thanks!
QuestionHow do I find the right name?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can use a combination of your name and that of your partner. Come up with unique, interesting names. You can search online for names. You can also think of a special event during the time of your baby's birth that may help determine the kind of name you want associated with them. You can use family names that mean a lot to you, or use Biblical names, especially from Genesis and Exodus.Thanks!
QuestionI want my kid to have a unique name, but not one that someone can make fun of, like for instance, I want to name a girl "Theodosia," but I bet someone can think of something mean.wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe biggest thing I see with Theodosia is that everyone will go around singing, "You'll blow us all away, someday, someday." No matter what, there will always be something to bother a kid about. For example, my name is Charlotte and kids used to call me "spider." If you really like a name, I say go with it, and most of the time it will be fine.Thanks!
QuestionCan I name my baby after a season, like Summer, Autumn, or Winter?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes, those are all very pretty and fairly popular names.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my parents gave me a rare name and I have almost no friends as a result?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou should rather be proud of your rare name. About friends, be confident enough to introduce yourself saying your name, and if any of them ask you the meaning of your name, tell them. Your personality matters most of all.Thanks!
QuestionI want to give my daughter a traditional Welsh name but people struggle to pronounce them properly. I'm thinking Mari, but concerned people would see it as "Mary." What should I do?Community AnswerIf you like the name, then feel free to name your child that. If people mispronounce it, just correct them.Thanks!
- Compromise with your partner. The hardest part about parenting together might be choosing a baby name that you both like! If you just can’t come up with a name you both agree on, you might have to divide naming duties. Maybe you can choose the first name and your partner can pick the middle name or you can choose the name for this baby and your partner can choose the name for the next baby.
- To adapt especially long, difficult, or gender-specific personal names, search for root-alternatives for your baby. For example, if you feel inspired to name your baby after your Belgian grandfather named Rivaldo, but you find out that you’re having a girl, search for names online that use a root or smaller part of the longer name, such as River.
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