Choosing the One Special Name for Your Baby!

December 2nd, 2007

My three-year-old son wants to name our baby “Mater” as in “Tow-Mater”. Though our whole family likes the movie “Cars”, we breathed a sigh of relief when we found out we were having a girl.

A baby carries its name throughout life and — love it or hate it — a name is part of what makes a person who they are. Shakespeare says “That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.” But, when it comes to naming our babies, the names we give in some ways reflect our hopes for our children. Do we call her Sunni or Susan? Do we name him after his grandfather, a favorite athlete, or a U.S. president

Some couples choose baby names before they are even pregnant. Others wait until after birth to see what name seems to fit the baby. Naming your child is an important, but fun part of being a parent. For help in choosing you have “The Meaning of Thousands of Baby Names” and “Baby Names World.” Here are some tips to help you find the perfect baby name.

Common or Unique? There are advantages to having a unique name or a common one. If the name is unique, your child is less likely to have other kids with the same name in his class and it can avoid confusion.

Having a unique name can make your child stand out. This can be good or bad. Your child may feel special and proud. However, if the name is too strange, your child may wish she could just blend in with the crowd. As children get older, some refuse to go by a name they don’t like.

Spelling should also be considered. While you may think a unique spelling is cute, your child may resent always having to correct people’s spelling and pronunciation. Baby names follow trends and what may be unusual today, may be very popular in five years. What sounds cute today, may sound silly in twenty.

Play the association game. Most of us have very powerful associations with names. We like the name of our favorite aunt, we hate the name of the kid that used to bully us at recess.

While your child will come to define the name, it’s important to choose a name with a positive meaning for you. Many people name their children after relatives. This can give your child a sense of family and belonging. Choosing names with a specific ethnic origin can help your child identify with that culture.

Some people choose names for meanings that reflect the qualities and traits they value and hope their children will embrace. Some babies are named for times (Summer, May) or places (London, Dakota) that have special meaning to their parents.

Does it roll off the tongue? Consider how the name sounds with your last name. Some people like to repeat beginning sounds or sounds in the middle of the name. How does the name fit in when you say it with the other names in your family? Think about potential nicknames and whether you like them or not.
Before your baby is born, family, friends and even strangers will be anxious to discuss potential names. Don’t try to please others. Any name you choose is sure to get mixed reviews. Some people wait to tell others about their chosen name to avoid this.

Find a name you love, and don’t worry about what others think. They will grow to love the name as they grow to love your child. We have more tips for announcing the new baby and for Great New Baby Toys.

By Megan C. Wallgren

Entry Filed under: Parenting Tips,Pregnancy

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