‘What should I name my child?’—a question parents-to-be must tackle when choosing the perfect name for their little one. Giving a name to your baby is one of the most important jobs we do as parents, and with such a major decision, you want to make sure the name resonates and has significance to you.
What Makes Up A Name
Your child’s name is their unique identity. The name generally consists of either two or three key components, depending on whether you opt for a middle name. There can also be prefixes and suffixes present.
A given name is another term for your first name. It is not your family name but the name or names chosen for you at birth by your parents.
A surname is a person’s last name or family name that signifies heritage. All members of a family share the same surname.
Your legal name will be the one that is listed on your birth certificate. It is used to identify you for any legal reasons and is used by other official channels.
A middle name is given to you at birth and comes after your given name and before your surname. Some people are known by their middle name rather than their given name.
Inspiration for Naming a Child
Many families have traditions when it comes to naming babies. This may be the use of the same name passed down from one generation to the next. Or it may be choosing names that begin with a certain letter.
If you aren’t sure, now may be the perfect time to have a chat with relatives or take a look at your family tree. You may find the name of a long-lost relative that you fall in love with. Not only is it perfect for your new baby, but it also provides them with a connection to their family.
Family culture can also inspire your choice of baby name. Even if you no longer have connections with that culture, you can still choose to honor it with your choice of baby name.
- Native American
Consider names that hold personal meaning. This could be a memory of a place you visited that holds significance to you. Or, perhaps, there’s a book or movie you’ve always appreciated. You can choose a baby name to celebrate the occasion, location, or art.
- Favorite city
- Favorite actor or character
Some choose to stay in touch with contemporary naming trends. Considering names that are currently popular will give your child a fresh and modern individuality.
Things to Watch Out for When Naming Your Baby
The first and most important thing to consider is if your baby’s initials will spell out something undesirable. It’s not going to be fun if you find the perfect combination of names, but when you see the initials monogrammed on a baby blanket realize that it spells out ‘RAT’ or ‘DOG’ or even something worse.
Pronunciation and Spelling
Remember that you will be saying this name for the rest of your life, and you don’t want to be tripping over your words every time you say it out loud. Consider the simplicity and avoid potentially confusing or frustrating names your child will suffer from in the future.
Practice saying it in conversations, say it to other people and gauge their reactions. If it feels clumsy or is difficult to get out then it isn’t the right combination of names.
There is an endless choice of names from different cultures, languages, and religions that you can use for your baby. But be careful when choosing a name and make sure that you check the meaning of the name to avoid any weird translations. The name Claudia is beautiful but it means ‘lame’, Giselle is another perfect name for a little girl but it does mean ‘hostage’.
Consider Sibling Names
If this is not your first baby or if you intend on having more than one child you also have to consider sibling names that go together. It’s not good if you have names that just don’t roll off the tongue but instead fall out like a lump of cement. Remember you will be saying these names together for a very long time so consider sibling names when deciding on that baby name.
Choosing That Perfect Name for Your Child
Choosing the right name for a baby can leave many parents feeling stressed and worried. The realization that your child will have the name you choose for a lifetime is overwhelming, to say the least.
But try not to panic there is plenty of time to find the perfect name. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be thinking long and hard about this or taking it seriously, but you can have some fun too.
You can give your child a name that is steeped in family history and tradition, one that has deep roots in your culture, or a name that just has a beautiful meaning. Whichever you opt for remember that this will be with them for the rest of their life.
The important thing to remember is that choosing your baby’s name is a huge part of becoming a parent. Making the ultimate name decision should be a joyful experience rather than a stressful one, and trust yourself that you will choose the right one.