Choosing a Name For Your Baby

Ultrasound Scanning 2006-05-05

Naming your child is the very first gift you’ll give your child. Since you’ll be saying it a lot, you’ll want to be sure it’s a name you won’t get tired of hearing. Oddly enough, many children’s personalities grow to represent their name’s meaning. Choose your baby’s name well with the following suggestions.

Personal history and traditions

Your family may have naming customs you’d like to continue. Many families prefer to name a boy after his father. Other families name all their children using the same first letter. Whatever custom you decide on, be sure each child feels special by giving them their own name. Naming twins Robert and Roberta, for instance, can lead to potential problems.

Make lists of people you love, want to honor, and have special meanings

Cross the names off your list that either you or your partner don’t agree on. With the names, you both like, be sure to keep them. Your list will likely evolve.

Note gender affiliations

Names in today’s age aren’t necessarily gender-specific.

  • Avoid children’s names that are normally used by the opposite gender. Your son Dana, Ashley or Kelly may not be keen on being mistaken for a girl at school functions.
  • Male names throughout history, like Madison, are fine for girls. The name alone may not be enough to distinguish your child’s gender.
  • Neutral gender names like Pat or Chris sound masculine. However, many have alternative spellings for females; Bobbi and Toni, for example.

Aging and names

One crucial component with names is graceful aging. Just because a name is appropriate for a baby doesn’t mean it works when they’re older.

Ethnic names

Some names associate individuals with groups. Unfortunately, many of these groups are discriminated against. Having an ethnic name can make it challenging to find a job.

Consider your heroes

Fictional and real heroes are often name sources. For example, with the success of the “Harry Potter” series, “Hermione” and “Ronald” have become quite popular. On the other hand, you may look up to Mother Theresa and name your baby after her. Be aware, however, that some role models don’t cross over well into other cultures.

Traditional names are fine and good and may be desirable for many parents. Yet, there’s plenty of room for unique and quirky names. Whatever name you choose, remember your child is the one who lives with it. Ultimately, the choice is yours.