Choose your baby name wisely 🙂 From my graduating class 20 or so years ago, there were no less than 25 Jennifers. Worse, some even had the same last initial, so not only did they have to have a second part added to their name in order to be called on, but JennSmith vs. JennSanders became how everybody knew the correct Jennifer that was being referred to.
Yes, naming your baby can feel like the first most important thing you’ll do as a parent. And rightly so. Giving someone a name, one they’ll have for life, IS a big deal. But before you become overwhelmed at this monumental task and leave to a game day, or in this case, a delivery room (not recommended!) decision, here are six tips to help you along in the process.
1. If You’ve Landed On The Perfect Name, Don’t Tell Anyone
Yes, this one can be hard. You may feel super proud of ‘Riley Jane’ as a moniker, but then along will come a teacher friend of yours and immediately tell you that every single Riley they’ve ever known has been a bad seed. Whereas, if you introduce your little Riley Jane to them, cooing in a soft blanket, they will immediately be melted by all her baby superpowers. If you must tell some people, fine, but under no circumstances should you tell your in-laws? Trust us on this one.
2. Check Spelling, Initials, Monogram Initials, And Nickname Potential
If your last name is Smith, you’ll want to avoid naming your kid Ashton Samuel. If your last name is Butts, don’t name your kid Harold. It seems simple, but you’d be surprised at how many kids endure constant teasing from their peers over ill-planned names. You may even want to ask a young person for guidance here, as they are more up to speed on current teasing potential and could help you—and by extension, your offspring— to avoid a lifetime of torment.
3. Baby Name: Stay Away From Weird Spellings Or Confusing Punctuation
Ever try and hear a 5-year-old say the word “apostrophe?” It’s not cute, and worse, it’s kind of mean. Don’t saddle your kid with extra requirements when they are learning to spell their name and they’ll appreciate that more than any unique spelling you can come up with for “Sarah.” Instead, celebrate how unique your kid is (spoiler-they ARE, simply by existing at an odds of 4 trillion to 1!) instead of their name.
4. Your Kid’s Name Will Become Part Of Your Family Lore
You may be one of those families that want all their kids’ names to start with “K” or end in -an, or some other as-yet-unknown theme if they are the first one to come along in your pack. And while people may roll their eyes at your arbitrary rules for naming children, that’s ok! Your family is going to have its own family culture and will grow to love it, even if the rest of the world doesn’t understand the point. The important thing is that your family is your’s alone and the truth is, kids just want to feel like they belong to something meaningful, (no matter who ascribes the meaning to it).
5. If You’re Totally Stumped, Check Your Family Tree
As mentioned in tip #5, kids love to feel as if they are a part of something. For example, I have identical twin daughters, one of whom is named for her grandmother, while the other has a name my husband and I picked out of a baby book. Guess who lords her “special” name over her sister? Looking back through your roots in a great way to jog your memory, or perhaps inspire a connection to a name that you hadn’t already considered.
6. You Won’t Get It Exactly Right
Ok, so this is maybe a broader commentary on parenting in general, but it stands to be true: parenting is imperfect. And that starts with Naming the Kid. Before your little bundle of joy arrives, their existence will seem surreal. And naming someone you’ve not met yet will feel surreal until it’s very, VERY, real. Being okay with not being 100% certain in your choice will help to alleviate some of the pressure you may be feeling. Or, better yet, choose a couple of front runners—first and middle names—and then wait to meet the littlest member of your family to see what fits them. Any anxiety you feel about coming up with the perfect name will melt away as you embark on the greatest adventure of them all.
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