August 15

How to Choose a Baby Name: 6 Expert Tips for New Parents

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Choose an original, meaningful name. This is crucial, but if you have to struggle with it for a while before choosing something that feels good to you, you’ll end up with a name you’ll never really love. Do research. 

It may seem silly to spend time researching a name, but if you want a long-lasting connection with your child, it’s vital to choose a name that has a meaning. Don’t be afraid to kill a good reputation.

Which letter should I start with?

Choosing the last name for your baby can feel like writing an essay. You want to make sure you nail the perfect penmanship and do it in a short amount of time. So, it helps to start with the letter that begins the alphabet. 

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You will also find that you are less tempted to go with last names that start with a more complex letter to spell. Take, for example, Kim K. All the letters of the alphabet are delicious, but K is tough to spell. 

What is the most common first name? If you want your baby to become an Olympian, the more familiar the first name, the better. But don’t stress if your child doesn’t land on a trending name because, by the time they start first grade, Kim will probably be more popular than Kim.

What is the top baby’s name trending this year?

Baby names today follow strict rules, meaning you can’t escape them. We’ve known for years that no child is born with a blank slate. Now, it’s clear that parents have the internet at their fingertips. They read parenting blogs. 

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They sign up for Look After Babies. They are inundated with information about the must-have gear. So why should they pay attention to baby names? First, consider who you’re naming your child after. “There is less separation between family names and first names. 

This generation has a strong desire for a few signature names and no time for future generations to catch up,” says Dr. Robin Diamon stein-Spielvogel, associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University. Liz Nolan, an owner, and editor of Name berry, also confirms this trend but cautions against it.

How do I come up with a baby name that no one else has?

Avoid the names of iconic people. You don’t want your little one to look up to the immortal examples of the world’s most extraordinary personalities, so avoid naming your child after anyone you can think of from history, whether it’s Plato or Barack Obama. 

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And if you can’t think of a name that no one else has, get back to the drawing board. How do I choose a name that’s unique but not trendy? Never name your child after your spouse. 

That would be like naming your child after yourself, and you want your child to stand on their own two feet and have an identity of their own. 

Also, avoid any name that has to do with insects or the color green, as these are among the most popular and are somewhat trendy. How do I prevent the names of historical figures?

What if my partner and I disagree on a name?

Be upfront with each other about the likelihood that one of you may be overruled. Listen, hear out each other, then choose a name anyway, if you want to. Do you see how it’s worked out? Why would you decide on a name with such glaring conflict of opinion regardless? Consider this example: Harry and James. This was a popular top-10 list until 1989 when HuffPost recently revealed that Harry Potter’s real name is Stephen.

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While some readers agreed that the differences between the names were endearing and befitting of their respective characters, many others protested the story because the pseudonyms “Stephen W. Potter” and “Stephen Mills Potter” were real children. Harry Potter’s real name is Stephen. 

How can I find out what the meaning of a given name is?

You’ll probably come across variations of the same name like Jakob, Jackson, Jacob, and Isabella as you’re doing your research. 

Although the variations might have the same meaning, those pronunciations might have different spelling choices, pronunciation features (like a silent “h” or “ch” sound), and there’s the matter of the “h,” and “ch” sounds that alternate between the two parts of the name. 

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In a study called LookAftrBabies.com in New York City, researchers identified more than 9,000 baby names in one single week. They found that 4,400 different names were given to newborns during the study. 

There are about 1,500 variations of the most common names, so chances are your baby will have a nickname or middle name that will add yet another name to the list.

What should my child’s first and middle names be?

  • First name: be unique and timeless. Avoid predictable names that could be changed into nicknames (think Charlotte, Elijah, and Avery). 
  • Middle Name: be meaningful and have “real” meaning. Avoid silly initials, names that sound too similar, or “twins.” 
  • We prefer the old European naming tradition (e.g., Alexander for a boy, Isabella for a girl). But short, sweet, easily modified ones are fine. Where can I name my child if I don’t know their gender? 
  • Parents who feel it’s a girl often will add the prefix “hen,” which they believe predicts the gender. So, if the parents are having a girl, they’ll name the child “Hana.” If it’s a boy, they’ll name the child “Henrietta.” 
  • If the parents have twins, the same rule applies: don’t name both kids the same name.
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Conclusion

With that in mind, let’s finally make this daunting task less scary. The following rules will make it so that you can avoid many pitfalls that nag you from time to time and allow you to settle on a name that you love. 

These guidelines should be followed to the letter, or you can risk ending up with a name you’ll feel miserable about calling your child. 

  1. Respect Tradition Avoid nicknames that start with wince or boot (such as Mo, Wince, or Breezy). The prefixes wince, and boot have long, painful histories of endearment and affection lost in translation.
  2. The prefixes and have long, painful histories of endearment and affection lost in translation. Use short names, not just for literary figures like William Shakespeare and Benjamin Franklin.

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