If you’re expecting an arrival or have just welcomed your new baby and are having trouble deciding on a name, we’re here to help you to commit before your trip to the registry office.
1. Consider choosing a name that you’ve loved for a long time – these are the names that you’re more likely to be fond of over the long term, rather than a name you’ve recently swayed towards as the love could be fleeting.
2. Imagine your child’s name when he or she is a middle-aged adult. Names that are adorable for a baby might not suit a grown-up or be taken seriously in later life – think about situations like job interviews and how the name will come across. You could always use the name as a nickname or middle name.
3. Take into account your experiences growing up with your own name. If you have an unusual name, you might find it a nuisance having to spell or pronounce it for everyone you meet. On the other hand, you might think of it as an interesting talking point and are keen to pass on the experience to your child.
4. It sounds obvious, but make sure you’ve checked what your chosen name means, especially if it’s not in your native language. If you don’t love the meaning, it might be time to go back to the drawing board.
5. Do you like the shortened version of the name you’ve chosen? Daniel might become Dan to his classmates, or Catherine’s friends might call her Kate. If you can’t stand the possibilities, you might want to think about alternatives.
6. Does the name go with your surname? Say the full name out loud and listen carefully to what it sounds like. For example, if it rhymes, it might not sound so adorable when your baby grows into an adult!
7. Watch out for those initials! Certain letter combinations may spell words that other kids might pick on later or your child finds embarrassing.
8. It’s a good idea to google your child’s potential full name – just in case you find out your baby shares their name with an adult film star or serial killer!
9. If you have other children, you might want to keep your youngest child’s name in the same vein, for example if you’ve picked traditional names previously, you might want to avoid something very modern. But don’t make them too similar! You don’t want to have to keep reminding people who’s Eva and who’s Ava.
10. And most importantly, do you like the name? It can be easy to get caught up in names that sound great with your surname or feeling like you need to stick to family traditions…but remember to ask yourself if you love the name you’ve chosen.