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Written By: Caroline Meyer

Some parents pick names out before they even conceive while others wait until after baby is born before naming their bundle of joy. Naming your little one is a big decision as for most, this will be the name they carry with them for the rest of their lives.  So how do you go about deciding on a name?  Here are a few tips to help you choose a bane for your little one, 

Short and sweet: If you have along last name, you will save your child plenty time and frustration if you keep the first number to one or two syllables. The more complicated the last name, the less complicated the first name. 

Avoid fancy spelling: Especially when your child starts learning to write and has to write out their names, names that are written as they sound are a lot easier to learn. Unusual spelling will mean a lifetime of correcting the spelling of their name. Siobahn or Shevonne or Shevaugne all sound the same, but the spelling can be tricky for the first and last one. The less complications in the name, the better. Even simple names such as Jacob can be complicated with a spelling such as Jakub. 

Nicknames: Most names will be shortened, so check that you are happy with your child being called by the short version of their name as well. If you are okay with a Kate (Katherine), Bobby (Robert), Alex (Alexander/Alexandra) and other shortenings. If not, you may want to consider a different name which either cannot be shortened or shortens to a name you are okay with. 

Initials: You may decide that you would like to call your son T.J. as a nickname and name him Tyler Jacob to get the initials. Make sure you take your last name in to consideration when looking at the initials you choose for your child as well. Amy Sharon Smith does not have the best initials to match her last name.  

Family names: If it is traditional to choose a family name to fit in with your chosen name, you can always be a little creative. Look at the names of other relatives, your mom’s maiden name or use a passed down name as the middle name. We had a June and a Jean than we wanted to honour so we combined the two and used Jane as a middle name. Another idea was using the family name McKinley and naming a little girl Kinley to honour this family name.  

Be creative: You can be quite creative when it comes to naming your child. You can make up a new name or name your child after something exotic. Just remember that while some celebrity children may survive being called Blanket, Moon Landing or Apple, this may not be the best choice for your child. That being said, there’s quite a few Skyes, Rivers and Forrests out there already. 

Avoid the popular names: Due to Game of Thrones, Khaleesi is trending and is one of the top girl’s names in the world at the moment. If you want your child to have a unique name or at least to be the only one with the name in her class at school, avoid names used in popular TV shows or movies at the time and check what names are trending to avoid using those unless you want them to be one of 4 Brittany’s in their class at school. 

What does the name mean? Choosing a name which means something special can also be a way to honour your child. Especially if it is a meaningful name in your family tradition or culture. When you are looking at various names, see what their meanings are traditionally and then decide if this is how you see you little one. Even names such as Purity or Madonna can be inappropriate in some traditions. 

Wait and see: Sometimes you may want to wait until your little one is born to find a name that fits. If you still can’t think of a good name, ask for some suggestions from family and friends who may be able to suggest a name that works out perfect for your little one. 

Add a second name: Choose the baby’s second name carefully as well. They may decide they really don’t like their first name and can then use their second name instead. You may also decide to use the second name if for example the first name is a traditional first name and it would cause confusion in the family or you have other family members with the same first name. You may even find there are a few close relatives that name their children the same name, so you might want to use the second name to avoid a rush of Chloe’s at the next family reunion. 

Be careful choosing celebrity names: Besides the fact that the names are usually fairly common while the celebrity is well known, they may do something scandalous in future and you would not want the name to impact your child or have them teased for it. 

Say the name: Say the full name including second and last name out loud. Check if they sound complimentary and are not tongue twisters. You can usually hear if the name goes well with your last name. Hamich Burger may not be a good choice nor Savannah Anna, as these are bound to become joke names at school. 

If you don’t want any suggestions or unsolicited advice on the baby’s name, it is sometimes better to keep it between you and your partner until it is a done deal. Not only because you don’t want to be pressurised into a specific name, but also because you may change your mind once your little one is born. 

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