Don’t settle on a baby name you don’t like. Sounds obvious, right? But you’d be surprised at the number of family members you’ll encounter that want your baby named after them. It doesn’t matter that your Uncle Wilbur is putting on the pressure for a namesake. If you don’t like the name now, you’re certainly not going to like it after 18 years of saying it every day. If you feel you must name your baby after a friend or relative and you don’t like the name, try a derivation of it. “Wilbur” might not be such a great name, but how about “Will”?
If you can’t escape Uncle Wilbur, just remember that the middle name is always a great place to stash a moniker that we’d otherwise prefer never see the light of day. That’s why a lot of people are running around with odd sounding middle names!
Do give your baby a name that is easy to pronounce. Yes, a name is a very individual and unique thing and you want your baby to feel special and one-of-a-kind. Your baby is unique and special, even if his name is Joe. Remember that your baby’s name is going to be called in classrooms, in doctor’s offices, placed on name tags and appear in print who knows how many times. You’ll only create an exasperating problem if your baby’s name isn’t pronounceable to the majority of the populace.
Don’t be afraid to create a baby name. Who’s to say you can’t create your own name for your baby? After all, a name isn’t a name unless someone’s called by it, right? After that, it’s a name. If you can’t come up with a baby name that you like, consider creative ideas like taking a couple of letters from each parent’s name and combining them. Or a couple of letters from mom’s name and a couple from someone mom admires and respects. Thus, a mom named Karen and a dad named Nathan can have a daughter named Renna.
Do make sure your baby’s name, along with the rest of his or her initials, doesn’t spell out something derogatory. Sounds silly, doesn’t it? But it’s your responsibility as a parent to get your list of potential baby names and mangle them every which way you can think of, just like your child’s friends and playmates will do as your child grows up. Make your baby’s name as kid-proof as possible.
Do give each of your potential baby names the Yell-Test. Yes, we all know you aren’t going to yell at your child. Sure. Just go ahead and yell out each potential baby name. Is it yell-able? Try out your new mom-voice and dad-voice while you’re at it. What the heck. It’s fun.
Don’t forget to test how your baby’s names work together. Say your baby’s first name, middle name and surname aloud. Does it work? Does it flow or have you just created a new tongue twister?
Do you want to check out your baby name popularity and ranking? The Social Security Administration actually tracks the most popular first names for babies. Visiting their Popular Baby Names page can help you make sure your little Jacob, for example, isn’t going to have five other little Jacobs in his kindergarten class. If you’re not in the United States, visit Behind the Name to check out the most popular names in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Spain, Sweden and other countries.
Do you want a specific meaning to your baby’s name? Visit Baby Names World and click on the “Meaning Search” tab. There you can enter in, “hope” for example, and get a list of names whose meaning is hope.
Social Security Administration-Popular Baby Names
Behind the Name-Most Popular Names
Baby Names World