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Choosing a Baby Name

Picking a name for your unborn child can feel like a pretty daunting decision. It’s not exactly something you want to regret later, and you won’t be able to change your mind once that birth certificate is signed. To help you get it right first time, here’s a few things to consider:

Boy or girl
For those of you not finding out the gender of your baby, you have double the trouble when it comes to choosing names. Make sure you select an option for either sex, even if you have a strong feeling it’s a girl. Many new parents have been caught out by having a baby boy when they’d only chosen a girl’s name. Even if you’ve found out the gender during pregnancy, it’s always a good idea to have a backup name for the opposite sex because scans aren’t always 100 per cent accurate.

A name for life
The name you choose for your child will be theirs for life, so it’s important to make sure it’s the right one. Some names that sound adorable for a baby, may start to sound silly if you imagine them belonging to an adult in a senior job. Imagine how the name might grow with your child, this will help to determine whether you’ve selected the right name.

Does the name sound good with the baby’s surname? It sounds obvious, but it’s important to check so you don’t end up with a little Ben Dover! Don’t just check the full first name, try it out with the initial too. You can never be too careful where playground taunts are involved!

Bear in mind that, at some point, your child’s name is likely to get shortened to a nickname. Think of all the possible variants for your selected name, and make sure you like those too. If you love Christopher but hate Chris, then that might not be the name for you.

You might like to find out the meaning of your favourite names as this could help to shape your decision. If you’re struggling to choose between two, discovering that one means “achiever” and one means “misery” could be just the tie breaker you need.

International names
If you have a very international lifestyle, you may want to choose a name that works in English, French, Spanish etc. A name that could be understood and pronounced easily in any one of those languages, without spelling changes or adaptations. And which doesn’t feel immediately “foreign” in other countries.

If you’re struggling to agree on a name, you could try asking close friends and families for their opinions. Though this strategy comes with the added risk that people may dislike all of the names on your carefully thought out shortlist.

The most important factor to consider when choosing your baby’s name, is whether you and your partner like it. If you can both agree on a name, and can’t think of any reasons why not to choose it, then it seems you’ve found your name.

There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind. If you have had a favourite name in mind for weeks, and then all of a sudden go right off it, that’s fine. Start the process again. At the very least, you’ll have a few back up favourites for if you change your mind in the delivery suite.

Written by Fiona (@Fiona_Peacock), mother, writer and lover of all things baby related.

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a trained medical doctor. Health & Parenting Ltd disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information, which is provided to you on a general information basis only and not as a substitute for personalized medical advice. All contents copyright © Health & Parenting Ltd 2018. All rights reserved.

Fiona PeacockChoosing a Baby Name

Comments 14

  1. Pingback: Choosing a Middle Name for Your Baby - Health & Parenting

  2. India

    When I told people my chosen baby name, I signed both of our names in a Christmas card. At that point they knew I was set on it and wasn’t going to change my mind, and I haven’t had anyone dislike the name so far (or at least no one has mentioned it!) My daughter will be called Mia Scarlett Waters. And yes, that’s her surname, not another middle name!

  3. Sakiyna

    I want to name my daughter Sa’Niyah and I reliazed it’s best to keep your baby name to your self ,everyone has a opinion especially my brother don’t name her that… Hate it

  4. Tash

    I’m finding the judgement quite funny.

    It’s not like if you were about to meet an adult called john, you would turn to someone and say, ‘oh John, I don’t think that name suits him’
    Where as it’s ok to do for an unborn baby.
    Iv been telling strangers really wild and stupid names just to see their reaction.
    It’s great fun!

  5. Daniela

    We told nobody which name we chose for our first, Ronja, until we were sure it fit. Same for our little boy who’s due in august.
    To make it a little easier I get to select a girls name and my husband selects the boys name. Only to be vetoed if we can’t stand it at all.
    Another thing to consider is if the surname is going to change. A friend has picked three names to go well with hers. Now the boy is two and his parents are going to marry. His fathers surname is usually a first name and so the boy is now stuck with four rather long names while every stranger is waiting for the last…

  6. Joanna

    I regret that I told other people about the name we’ve chosen for our baby girl that is due in three months. People reactions are really stupid or they criticize and start telling us the names they like. I hate that and think: then have your own baby and leave me alone. And the best thing is that our name is not weird or anything. It is just not as popular nowadays as all Sophies, Amelias etc.

  7. Laura

    Merissa- I always liked the names Zayna, Zan, and Zana if that helps 😀👼🏼💕🎉😀 Maybe you already have your baby!

  8. Merissa

    We are pregnant with our 3rd girl and we’re stumped @ first about what to name her. Our oldest (5) is Zuriya and our 2nd daughter (2.5) is Ziona. We really wanted a boy and only had a boy name picked out. When we got our ultrasound and found out it was a girl I wanted her to have a name asap. We first chose Zara. But a week later we changed it to Za’Mara. We love different names! We came up with all of them. People think we’re crazy but o well 🙂

  9. Krystal

    My fiance and I were struggling SOOO hard to pick a name for our little boy. He’s a black man and im a white female, so we wanted a name that wasn’t “too black or too white” it also had to have a significant meaning.. Along with going well with the middle name Alan, which is my fathers middle name. He loved the name Malakia because he wanted to call him Kai for short. I hated it because all I could think of was children of the corn.. Eventually my best friend said “well, what about Kyrie?” We LOVED it. Just changed the spelling to Kyree. So now were just getting ready to welcome Kyree Alan to the world <3

  10. Shan

    we are having a girl but naming her Israel. Which her daddy thought of. Because he thought of it makes her name so much more beautiful to me. But we get mixed looks and reviews when we tell people. They always want to know “why” we chose that name. I think the simple answer is ” because we wanted to.” I can’t wait until she gets here and I pray she loves her name. Ps her brothers name is Isaiah so I think it’s perfect 🙂

  11. Petra

    Whatever name you chose, it’s between you and partner. Never ever tell people what name you have chosen or ask for their opinion. If you ask ten people you will get ten different opinions. Everybody knows somebody with that name who is either stupid/ugly/lazy/ strange or something else. Once the baby is born, nobody will dare to criticise you!

  12. Jenn

    @ Charlos

    I think it’s personal preference. If you choose junior, he could have the option of going by CJ. Charlos II is more formal. Happy choosing 🙂

  13. Charlos

    Since I want to name my first born after me should I name him Charlos Jr. or Charlos II? FYI the H is silent in my name.