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DAD.info | Fatherhood | Being Dad | How to Choose a Baby Name

How to Choose a Baby Name

Maya Griffiths

Maya Griffiths

There is nothing more exciting than expecting the arrival of a baby. Choosing a name can be difficult, though. You need a name that will work from childhood to adulthood (baby Colin, anyone?), and something that sounds right with your surname.

Here are some suggestions of what to consider when mulling over names.

Popularity

The top 3 boy names currently are Oliver, Noah and Jack, and the girl’s are Charlotte, Olivia and Amelia. Choosing a popular name may result in there being 2 or 3 Olivers or Olivia’s in your child’s class. But, if you really love the name that potential problem may not bother you.

Nicknames

While the likes of Gabriel may be lovely names in their long form, if you’re not keen on the sound of ‘Gabe’ for short then it may not work for your baby. Chances are that names will get shortened for ease- Katherine will become Kate, and William will inevitably become Will.

Initials

Similarly, names are often abbreviated to initials, if they sound good together. So, if you like the sound of D.J, your baby could be Daniel James, or Daisy Jade.

Family history

If a family member has meant a lot to you, you may wish to incorporate their name into your baby’s name. This might take the form of a middle name, first name, or a slight alteration: for example, a tribute to a relative named Mary may result in Ann-Marie.

Keep it simple

Remember that whatever you name your child is what they’ll be introducing themselves as in the future. Names like Persephone have become popular in recent years, but will your child be repeating themselves and spelling out that name for years to come?

Beware trends

Baby name forecasters are predicting names such as Caspian, Apollo and Lucky becoming big hits in coming months. While those names may be in fashion now, it’s important to consider whether Caspian will sound right in 30 years time when your child is grown up and at work.

Unfortunate initials

Check that your baby’s initials won’t spell out anything embarrassing- ‘Alice Scarlett Smith’ may be a bad idea, for example!

Do you both love the name?

You may be desperate to call your new baby Henry, but if your partner hates it you may have to compromise.

Inspiration

If you’re stuck for ideas then consider character names from your favourite films or tv shows, inspirational figures, or musicians.

Rhythm

Does the sound of your baby’s full name have a good ring to it? Does it sound good to your ears? Make sure the first name and surname sound good together, as your baby will be carrying it for the rest of their lives.

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