How to pick the best name for your baby


When I  found out I was pregnant with twins I couldn’t wait to find perfect names for them. There were a few challenges though. When I first started, I didn’t know if they would be boys, girls or one of each, so I started picking names for both. I think it would have been even harder if they were both the same gender. Usually, people have a favourite name or first choice; which baby do you give it to? Other parents give their children similar names that start with the same letter or sound. It can be super cute, but I didn’t want to go that route. So I went to the library, took out some baby naming books, even used the online baby name sites and was shocked – picking names is crazy hard these days. Gone are the days of simple Jane and John. There are just so many resources and variations to names; it can quickly become overwhelming. Here are some ways my husband and I made the process easier for us. Just remember it is a process and unless you already have a name picked out, it’s a longer process than one might anticipate. How do you know which one is right?

START EARLY
Don’t put it off.  Time will go by faster than you think and before you know it, you will have a nameless baby in your arms. And nothing is worse than having to rush a big decision. I have heard of other people who prefer to see their child before naming them. That’s ok, I wasn’t sure the names I picked would suit my babies either, but I had backups just in case they didn’t feel right. 
 
HAVE BACKUPS
Keep a few names up your sleeve in case you change your mind, or you feel it won’t suit your baby. Chances are though you will go with the one you picked. This not “suiting” fear was one I had, but it didn’t end up being an issue.  Also having a backup is good if you will have more kids in future; you will be one step ahead in the naming process. 

START A LIST
Each parent do a search of names. If your partner isn’t interested in the naming or doesn’t have time, still do your list. Remember to keep open minded this list is a starting point. Write down any and all that peak your interest even if you just like it a bit. 

NARROW THE LIST
Narrow your list down to the ones you would consider more seriously 50 or under if you have that many. Wait a few days and come back to it and narrow it down again to half that. Here is where you can start running names past your partner, and now it will narrow significantly! If you both have lists do this to your own and then to each other’s list. If there are any names, you both picked, well, that’s great! If not that’s ok too. 

 
When narrowing it down you should think about:

HOW PEOPLE WILL TREAT THE NAME

Teasing, short forms, nicknames, initial pairings, how it sounds, as a whole and how it looks written or would look on a job application. Think long term. All these things can make a difference. Some names can end up being hurtful if kids tease your child. Think of all options that can come with a name. For instance, my name is Ashleigh, seems good right, not much you can get from that, shorten it to ash, however, and it rhymes with a lot of things, not bad things though but add something to it and you got something hurtful. I was teased in grade two being called ashtray, and I still remember the day I was first called that.  You also probably don’t want your child being teased because their initials spell something out, remember it’s important to pair up the first, middle, and last name well.
WHAT’S IN A NAME
Think of its meaning. All names have a meaning behind them.  There is a name for everything be it you want to name them a fierce warrior or peaceful prince, combining the first and middle name can get you that! Quite often I say our daughter lives up to her name.

POPULARITY
Look up your favourite names ranking in popularity for previous years and predictions of popular names. You may find it frustrating if there are five other children in your child’s class with the same name.

COMPROMISE
Sometimes it has to become a win-win situation with your partner. Maybe compromise on the middle name if neither of you likes any names on each others list. 
Be considerate of your partner’s family traditions. Maybe compromise and use yours as the middle name if a family name is important. My husband’s middle name is his mother’s maiden name so that it would be passed on as his grandparents only had daughters.  For us, we decided on names that were in our families cultural background but were not family names. 

LISTEN TO EACH OTHER
The reason why they maybe don’t like your choices in names could be important. Maybe their ex-boyfriend or girlfriend was named that, perhaps they knew a kid in school that had a bad reputation or bullied them with that name. Once you hear the reason, you may not like that name anymore either!

THE PRESSURE IS ON!
Don’t feel pressured by family and friends your baby is not their baby.
Listen to the reason for the name they would like you to choose, be polite, and respect their opinion.  However, if you don’t agree on anything, move on, if you like it a little then add it to your list to consider. If you want other people’s input, a good way to get others’ opinion is a poll or social media question maybe even a shower game of guess the babies name. Some you will laugh at and some you may even consider. I did this for mine, and it was quite funny the results. (many people picked their names)

Once you and your partner have narrowed it down, compromised and agree on a few, try them out. Start talking about the baby with this name between you and your partner and see how it feels. If you don’t like it after a few days or weeks then simply move on to the next on your list.

Remember if you are giving your child a middle name: write it out, try initials only, say it out loud to your partner (and vice versa) and listen to the sound of it. For example, I like my name, but I often turn around when someone says actually. Just remember, how it sounds is important.

You are on your way to baby naming perfection.
 
All the best in your naming journey!
 
 
 
Here are some resources to get you started:
http://babynames.net/ – Use the belly ballot system, select your favourite names and invite people to vote on them!
https://nameberry.com/– create an account and start your list here. It has lots of fun features and articles as well.
http://www.behindthename.com/– want meanings behind the name, this site has many to be found.
http://www.sheknows.com/baby-names- a nice directory with some unusual names.
http://www.babycenter.com/baby-names  – This site you can include or exclude the top 100 names, search by name, meaning or origin.
 http://www.babynamewizard.com/ – the Name Voyager let you see the popularity of names over time.

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