If you’re an expectant parent you may be fretting about choosing your baby’s name. The stress is amplified by questions such as: “should I have settled on a name by now?”, “How long does it usually take to pick a baby name?” and “should I reveal my baby’s name or keep it secret?”.
With over 37% of parents saying they struggled to choose a name for their baby, this is a big issue facing expectant parents. 1 in 4 parents eventually settle on a name during the third trimester and another 1 in 4 parents don’t choose a name until after the birth (sometimes weeks later!). So you’re not alone if you haven’t picked your baby’s name yet.
Then finally, having chosen a name, you may be faced with the reoccurring thought that you’ll regret the name you’ve chosen. In this blog post, we’re going to discuss how to choose a baby name and how to make sure you won’t live to regret it.
How to pick a baby name
1. Read the baby name books.
This one might seem obvious, but many people do not consult the baby name books. However, these books are a great resource for giving you ideas along with the name meanings and maybe some history about the name. It’s a good way to broaden your horizons and get you thinking about names that you might have never considered otherwise.
2. Look at your family tree.
Perhaps the perfect name for your baby is hiding in plain sight within your family. The extra boost of sentimentality could be just what you need to fall in love with a baby name. Plus, it’s sure to be popular with the family.
3. Blend your favourite names.
Often when choosing a baby name you can have too many options that you love. Or, perhaps you and your partner both love different names. This is when creating a blended name can be great. For example, if you love the name Louise and your partner loves the name Ella, you could blend them together to make Luella or Elouise. This option is not for everyone but it can create some really beautiful results!
4. Have a 3D Ultrasound Scan.
This is a variation of the classic “you’ll know what name suits him when you see him”. Having a 3D/4D Scan lets you see your baby’s face and get an early peek at what names might suit them. With 4D imaging, you can see your baby’s movements and the little habits they’ve already formed. Getting to know your baby can really help with choosing a baby name that will suit them.
How to avoid baby name regret
Unfortunately, there are many people who regret the names they chose for their babies. This can sometimes be because their child, who has now grown up, hates their name. Here are some tips on avoiding this scenario:
1. Avoid trends.
Be extra cautious when choosing names that are especially popular at the time. Your baby’s name should stand the test of time. A name that sounds cool and trendy now, may sound random and weird in 20 years time.
Another downfall of the trendy name is the number of other babies who are likely to be named that same name. This will be highlighted when your child goes to school accompanied by 5 other children with the same name.
2. Consider daily life with the name.
The number one reason for people growing to hate their name is constantly needing to repeat it or spell it. Think of your child going through life constantly repeating and/or spelling their name. Think of how many times you tell someone your name over the phone, give your name for a reservation or for something at work. Now imagine you have to deal with the other person’s bemusement and embarrassment about not being sure what you said.
To see if your baby’s name is easily communicated, visit a coffee shop. When they ask for a name to write on the cup, say your chosen baby name. If they get it correct (or even a good attempt) then your baby name is definitely easy to comprehend.
3. Google the name.
Always Google your chosen name before committing to it. Google the name on its own and then with the surname. You never know if your child’s potential name is shared with a criminal, an adult film actor or a character in a tv show or movie.
Googling the name without the surname should also let you know if your chosen name is a slang term in another culture.
4. Consider nicknames and initials.
We all know kids can be cruel and nothing gives schoolkids ammunition like a name that rhymes with something funny. Imagine you’re a schoolyard bully hearing your chosen name, what kind of jokes come to mind? Give similar consideration to initials. Do your baby’s initials spell anything funny? If they do, you can be guaranteed some kid will notice it.
5. Don’t give in to pressure from others.
Another huge reason for parents regretting the name they chose for their baby is giving in to pressure from family or their partner. Perhaps there’s a family tradition of always naming the firstborn son a particular name. This is a tough one as family traditions are held so close to our hearts. However, a name that was perfect in 1910 may not be the perfect choice for a parent who dreams of a more modern name. Don’t name your baby simply to please others. Maybe compromise by using the traditional name as your baby’s middle name.
Choose the baby name you want
As with many aspects of parenthood, people will have their own ideas about what you “should” name your baby. However, it’s yourself and your partner who will use the name the most. You’re the ones who will repeatedly shout the name up the stairs when dinner is ready. As long as you like the name and you reckon your baby will like their name in the future, stick with it. If people in your life have a lot of opinions on names you could consider keeping the name a secret until after the baby is born. People are much less likely to criticise a name when it’s already been assigned to a cute baby.