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As if the overwhelm of picking the perfect baby name is not enough, you have the battle of any shortlisted names being counter-suggested by friends, family and at times your spouse.
You hear it all the time – erm, the name is nice, BUT I think *insert very unattractive uninspiring name here* would be better, don’t you”
And then you’re back at square one. Argh!
I would know because I was one of them.
It’s a beast of a battle. You think you have 9 months to pick a name – that’s a long time right?
But then, you suddenly find you’re holding a baby beautiful baby in your arms..with no name.
I always thought it would be nice if babies came out with a name tag – that said: “Hello world, call me…”
There’s no right or wrong way to pick a baby name. As long as you pick one you’re BOTH happy with.
Don’t forget that daddy will also want to be involved in the picking of the name (or at least the final decision of it)
So, discuss it with him, bounce off each others’ ideas see what shortlist you can come up with.
Your baby will eventually grow into the name you choose for them.
Whatever name you decide, you need to make sure you don’t fall into the ‘naming picking pitfall’ many parents find themselves in. Of either having NO CHOICE or having TOO MUCH CHOICE – They are both just as detrimental to each other.
Did you know: In some African cultures where they hold a naming ceremony a month after studying the baby’s behaviour. And their character becomes a deciding factor of their name – Honestly, no joke!
However, you decide to pick your baby name, here are a few tips to help you pick one that you will not be regretting in the future.
WHEN YOU CAL THE NAME, WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE
What does it sound like when you say the name OUT LOUD? Imagine yourself calling your child. Do you like the sound of the name or after a while does it start to sound little annoying?
Does it just roll off your tongue effortlessly or do you have to take a moment to think about it before saying?
You have to be 100 percent happy with the way it sounds.
If you can’t quite decide, the put it to the test.
Let me ask you something, have you ever walked into a shop and fallen in love with a top but weren’t sure you want to buy it?
Whenever I find myself in that predicament, I take the top for a test ride. I walk around the shop holding it in full view.
If I’m not sure about it once I get to the checkout, I ditch it -simple as that.
You can do that with a name.
Call your baby by their trial name for a few days and if the name has variations, use them – see how you feel about it by the end of the week.
If you still love it, then it might be a contender.
WILL IT WORK WELL WITH THE LAST NAME?
OK, so this one is a little bit of a funny one, because of course if you’re having a daughter, she’s gonna change her last name at some point in her life…well most likely.
BUT, believe it or not, how a first name sounds next to the surname is just as important when it comes to picking your baby name. For example:
- How does it compliment the last name?
- Will it sound funny, or be rude?
- Better not turn out to be a pun?
- Will it be a mouthful, hard to spell or even pronounce?
All these are questions to consider when picking a name.
After all, your child will have to repeatedly, for one reason or another – give their full name.
Don’t make it embarrassing or awkward.
WHAT DOES THE NAME MEAN
Its easier than ever to find out the meaning of a baby name these days.
The meaning of some names can be a complete put-off.
You wouldn’t want to burden your child with a name that has an unpleasant meaning or name that would tarnish their character.
You want a name that speaks positivity in your baby’s life. A name they will be proud reveal the meaning of.
I always think that a once a person learns the meaning of their name, their character starts to mimic that.
Like the meaning of two names?
Then, be as creative as you want mama. REMIX them. Make them your own.
An example is my daughter – my daughter’s name is a combination of two names. One means favoured the other means The bringer of light, together, her name means “The favoured bringer of light.” And tell you, this child exudes light and charm wherever she goes and she definitely finds Favour in people’s eyes too.
You might favour a particular name because it serves a purpose in your family.
Maybe it’s to honour a family member, or it maybe it’s a family totem name.
I would still advise that you pick a name because you like and it suits you and your baby.
You should never agree to name your child because you feel pressured by or want to please your family members.
Your immediate family and your child are the ones that are going to have to live with that name for the rest of your lives.
DO YOU PREFER OLD FASHIONED NAMES OVER MODERN NAMES?
By modern, I mean names like Apple or Pear, South or East – That kinda modern.
The thing to remember with modern names is how well they’ll age with the child.
Imagine your child using that name as an adult. Would you like your child in their adult life introducing herself Bunny…Cherries…– Cookie…I could go on, but I’ll spare you the cringing.
You might like Biblical names that you treasure, names with depth and substance.
Mind you, a timeless needn’t be Boring. There are many ways to switch it up and really personalise it!
Or you might a modern day type of person who prefers a name with chic and pizzazz
Whatever your style, there’s nothing wrong with choosing a name that matches your personality.
As long as it’s not a phase – remember, a name is for life, not for a season!
HOW COMMON IS THE NAME
Have you ever heard a mother call their child and thought to yourself – ooh, now that’s a unique name!
The Honest truth with trying to pick a unique name is: Some of them sound fantastic – while others just make you cringe.
I think Millennial mothers have to be given the award for trying to be creative when it comes to switching up names to make them as unique as possible!
I think its got to a point where you ask someone how to spell Laura – because I know someone who spells it with a ‘w’, not a ‘u’ – no joke!
There’s nothing wrong with trying to be unique, just be reasonable about it. You don’t want your child to draw unwanted attention or suffer a lifetime of mispronunciations.
On the other end of the spectrum, you don’t want to give your child a name so generic that at school they will be known as James K. Because there 10 other James’ in his class!
DOES THE BABY NAME PASS THE INITIALS AND SHORTENED TEST
We talked about names needing to sound right when you say them.
But does the chosen name look write when it’s written down? In short form and initials.
You wouldn’t want your baby to have the misfortune being made a laughing stock all because of their names.
It happens more often than you think.
I’ve seen the likes of Timothy Burr or Christopher Cross 🙂
Even worse, Benjamin Ian Norma. Just BIN it!
If you already have a shortlist of names and can’t quite decide which name to pick, put them to the test and see which you favour after that.
MY FINAL ADVICE FRO PICKING A PERFECT NAME: PRAY, MEDITATE AND WAIT UPON THE LORD BEFORE NAMING YOUR CHILD
If you’re not a Christian or Don’t believe in God then feel free to skip to the end of this post.
As a Christian, I always feel that there so much to a name than just letter put together.
Identity lies in a name, purpose lies in a name.
Jeremiah 1vs 5; “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.”
We are ALL born with a purpose, on purpose. And like mentioned earlier, people begin to mimic their name.
If you constantly call someone a name or refer to them as something, they will surely soon begin to mimic it.
So, be careful what name you give your baby. A name, to God, is important.
God calls us by name, He identifies us by name.
There were many occasions in the Bible where God CHANGED someone’s name to fit their PURPOSE.
So, it’s wise to pray and meditate and wait upon the Lord to instruct you on what you should name your baby.
“Seek, and you shall find, ask and it shall be given unto you”
Ask the Lord to reveal the name of your baby to you, and He sure will.
To recap, before settling for a name ask yourself:
- How does it make you feel when you call it over and over again do you smile, feel warm, fuzzy – does it make you close your eyes and embrace your belly?
- How does it sound with any middle names and the surname? Can it be shortened, what does it look like written down
- Is it even legal? – This is a serious question by the way.
- What’s the meaning of the name, is it positive or not so positive?
- Is it foreign or just plain ol’ British – American
- Does it keep its authenticity with time or will it expire when your child reaches the age of 40?
- How unique it is it – Will it make other parents come over to ask you where you got it from and what it means? Or will it make other people within earshot cringe with embarrassment?
- If it passes this test and your gut feeling likes it, then mamma, you have a contender.
Yes, choosing a name is hard and overwhelming. But relax, breathe take your time picking one.
You have 9 months to decide!
All the best with picking your sweet little bundle of joy a name.
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