Choosing a name for your new arrival is a milestone in the pregnancy experience. Some parents may have a name picked months beforehand, whilst others decide to wait until the baby is born to do so – there is no right or wrong way to of picking the perfect baby name, however, as it is such a huge decision to make as a parent, choosing the name of another human is a huge responsibility so making sure you get it right is takes time.
You may already have a good idea of what you’re looking for in a name. But, your partner, family, and friends may have a few opinions of their own as well. It can definitely be tough to get everyone on the same page – but as the mother it is imperative that the name is perfect for you. Here you'll find information and tips for getting through it and picking the perfect name for your baby:
Where should I start?
You may have a long list of girl names, boy names or gender-neutral names already started by the time you find out you’re expecting, but not everyone does. Each parent will find their inspiration differently.
If you’re looking for initial ideas, many expectant parents begin with a specific category in mind to brainstorm names, and there are many to consider:
- Family names – do you want to name your new arrival after a grandparent, or do you want to start a new family tradition?
- Religious names – if you prefer something more traditional, look at religious names that are personal to you and your family.
- Place names – are there certain countries or cities that means a lot to you and your family?
- Names from Pop Culture – this category gives endless inspiration, think of actors/actresses, famous musicians, athletes or even fictional characters.
- Other popular categories could include; seasons, nature, historical names and colours.
With so many names to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. It’s best gathering as many names as possible to begin with, then sitting with your partner to narrow them down one by own.
Should I choose a middle name?
The way we use middle names today originated in the Middle Ages when Europeans couldn’t decide between giving their child a family name or the name of a saint. They eventually settled on naming their children with the given name first, baptismal name second, and surname third.
The middle name can serve many purposes for a parent; for parents who decide to give their child a family name that others in the family also have, a middle name helps to provide the child with a separate identity. Similarly, a middle name is a great way to hide a family name if you feel obligated to do so, but don’t want to commit to it as your childs first name. Or it could be a great way to have fun if you’re struggling to choose between two names for your little one, the middle name can be great for this.
What my partner and I struggle to agree on a name?
With the option of so many names, it is very common that you and your partner will not see eye-to-eye on many suggestions, this is why it’s good to start discussing baby names as early as possible. That way you have plenty of time to come to an agreement – the more time you have, the less rushed you will feel. One method that works well for a lot of partners, is for you both to create a list of baby names you like, that way you can compare and find options that you both love or dislike.
Still struggling to choose?
If you’re still struggling to choose, here are a few more tips that will hopefully help you narrow down your list:
- Analyse the meaning - Parents often choose a baby name by picking one with a special meaning or association. For example, you may feel so-so about the name ‘Caroline’ until you discover it means ‘strong’ and ‘song of happiness’ depending on the language root you look at.
- Consider nicknames - Make sure you're happy with both the long and short versions of your child's name (e.g. Nate for Nathaniel, Katie for Katherine) because they may pick up the nickname from friends or family whether you like it or not.
- Look at popularity – Often parents can pick up names from popular TV shows or musicians etc. at the time. Only to find that a lot of other parents at that time are also considering the same name. If originality is an important factor for you when choosing a name, always remember to search the popular baby names to see whether your choices show up.
- Remember to say it out loud – It may sound simple, but you can write down as many names as you’d like but it’s important to say them out loud. This way you get a true feel for them as they may feel completely different once you have spoken them!
We understand that choosing a baby name can be both exciting and stressful, but the most important thing to have in mind is that you and your partner love and feel really good about – and if you love it, your child will too. Picking a baby name is a memorable experience so remember to enjoy it.