HOW TO CHOOSE A BABY NAME: 10 TRUSTED TIPS
Picking the perfect name for a baby can be very exciting but challenging for most parents. The name you choose will be a big part of your baby's identity! Scary, right? But with these tips, you can breeze your way through this nightmare!
A. DROP NAME TRENDS
The name you choose for your baby should not be a craze whose popularity fades with time. It should not be dated or become old-fashioned. A baby's name must last through the years and still be a favourite. You need to avoid any name associated with the pop culture of the day like the names of famous movie characters. A typical example could be Jon Snow (Game of Thrones) or Akeelah (Akeelah and the Bee). Besides, steer clear of spelling variations of names like Mikael for Michael or Amba for Amber. Some dramatic hipster names also fall within this category. Examples are Atticus or Poppy. Usually, trendy names become a source of ridicule for the bearer when they are out of fashion.
B. GO CLASSIC
As a rule of thumb, always pick classic baby names but not boring or overused ones. There are dozens of baby names out there that have been around for a long time but are not overused. For instance, Iris, Mildred, Beulah, Winifred, Vera and Lucinda for girls or Giles, Warner, Denver, Truman, Wallace and Conrad for boys have been around for a long time. Give these names a comeback by choosing one of them for your baby girl or boy.
C. LOOK TO THE FAMILY TREE FIRST
Family names should actually be your first port of call when choosing a baby name. These names are great if you want to honour the memory of a relative you were fond of, like a grandparent. Or if you must choose a name that is very meaningful to your family. So go get those old family records out or have a look at the family tree to see if you'll come across any name that might just be "the one"! But beware, a lot of old-fashioned family names have made a comeback though others are no longer popular. Sometimes, you may be under family pressure to pick a particular family name which you may not like. The trick is to go for another that has a similar nickname as the name you dislike. Are you Italian and don't like Felipe? Then name your baby Filippo, the pet name, Pippo, is the same for both. That way, you still get to honour family tradition and get the name you want.
D. CONSIDER YOUR CULTURE
If you have strong cultural ties, then you may want to pick a name from your cultural background. This could be an option for parents who live in a country with a culture different from theirs. You can keep your culture alive through your baby's name. For instance, if you are from a middle eastern background, you may want to choose names like Sadiya, Layla or Dalia for girls. Or Shaki, Malik or Ahmad for boys. For a twist, you can coin a nickname out of the chosen name, that is popular in the country you live in. For example, Sadie, instead of Sadiya, which is common in many English-speaking countries.
E. FIND OUT THE MEANING OF THE NAME
If you are Indian, you sure don't want to name your baby Daeva or Ahriman before you realize it means evil spirit. Yes, these names may sound sweet, but the reality is their meanings are awful! So, the next time you're picking a baby name, do a thorough check, will you?
F. FIND OUT IF THE NAME ATTRACTS A NICKNAME
Some kids become the butt of their friends' jokes or victims of nicknaming just because of their names. It's important when picking a name that you think of all the possible nicknames your baby's name may attract. If the name you have chosen has the slightest chance of becoming a nickname, drop it and pick another. The worst thing you can do is to name your child Dick (for obvious reasons!). There's a lot of bullying going on in schools, don't make your child a target.
G. THINK THROUGH THE MIDDLE NAME
Middle names can be the trickiest part of naming a baby. For one thing, they sit in between the first and last names and so have to gel well with both to make the full name sound perfect and complete. Important points to note when thinking up a middle name are that they can be great for keeping the memory of a beloved relative like a grandparent or an aunt alive. They also work well if you want to carry on a family tradition. Pick Dewayne if you are African-American and have a family tradition where all the men in your family are middle-named Dewayne. Or choose Montraie, if your great-grandpa whom you were so fond of, was also called Montraie and you want to name your son after him.
H. ASK YOURSELF: 'WHAT DO THE INITIALS SPELL?'
The initials of your baby's name can also be a source of ridicule or shame. If your baby's initials spell offensive or funny words, you might want to think long and hard before picking that baby name. This may seem unimportant, but if you're the sensitive type and know you can't cope with all the ridiculing you're setting yourself and your baby up for, then it's time to make a change. You can also solve this problem by going for a name that is mostly used as a last name (Smith or Peterson) and swapping it for a first name. Name your baby Smith Albert Stuart instead of Abraham Shaun Stuart – forms a far better initial, doesn't it?
I. DROP TONGUE TWISTERS
Say your baby's name and listen to how it sounds. Do the first, middle and last names flow well or do they twist the tongue? For instance, Michelle Anna Jones sounds better and is easier said than Philip Pirrip Phillipson.
J. DON'T GET STRESSED OUT
When it comes to naming your baby, you need to take it easy. Sometimes, it's best to wait until the baby is born. You may not be so excited to name your son Mark when you finally get to meet him and get a sense of his personality. Tristan might be a better option. One thing you also don't want to do is to listen to the critics – listen to your heart and choose a name you love (after all, it's your baby!) Moreover, you can legally change your child's name if you think you made a wrong choice – it's not a big deal, really!
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By Nana Ama Afoa Osae I Writer I GreatWonderful Team
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