Naming Your New Baby

Often, one of the most exciting-and difficult-aspects of having a new baby is deciding what to name him or her. It's hardly a decision to be taken lightly as your child will live with this name for the rest of his life. This may be the very first time prospective parents find themselves at different ends of the spectrum as far as choosing a name for the baby. Because of the people we have had experiences with throughout our lives, "Charlie" to you may bring back memories of the mean little boy in fourth grade who pulled your hair, while the same name to your husband may make him think fondly of his favorite uncle. Many couples will make a list of ten or fifteen of their favorite names, then sit down together and go through both lists, crossing off the names the other person truly can't stand, and working from there. Hopefully, you can end up with a name for your baby that you are both content with.

Check the Initials Before Making a Final Decision

Some parents prefer to give their children family names in order to carry on a loving tradition, however on the other hand don't feel obligated to stick with traditional family names for your new baby. This is your baby, and your decision. It's a good idea to research the name you choose; you don't want to find out later that it means something you were totally unaware of. Always check the initials once you have come up with some first and middle names. I know a girl who unthinkingly named her first son Allen Sebastian Short. Realizing a mistake like this after you have already filed the birth certificate is hardly welcome.

Creative Spellings and Nicknames

While creative names and spellings can be fun, think a little bit ahead to the time when your weary third grade daughter is once again trying to explain to someone how to spell her name. If you are not a big fan of nicknames, then make sure you choose a name which won't get automatically shortened. As someone who has spent her entire life saying "My name is Kathryn," only to have people immediately shorten it to "Kathy" I can tell you how frustrating this is! On the flip side, a friend of mine named her daughter "Amanda" with the full intention of calling her "Mandi." So, consider nicknames and how the name can-and will-get shortened when naming your baby. Some parents have been known to wait two or three weeks following the birth of their child in order to get a sense of the baby's personality before they settle on a name, so don't feel pressured if you are having trouble coming up with a name.

Choosing a Middle Name

As if choosing a first name weren't difficult enough, now you have to come up with a middle name as well! Say the names together out loud along with your last name to see how it sounds. Often names will sound completely different than they seemed when written down. Many people honor relatives by giving their baby the middle name of a beloved family member. You may need to be especially conscious of the middle name if you are giving your baby the first name of either you or your husband. In cases like these the child almost always ends up being called by the middle name just to avoid confusion.

Unisex Names or Trendy Names

It has recently become trendy to give children unisex names such as Cameron, Tracey, Jamie, Hayden, Nicky, Blair or Jordan. The past couple of years have seen lots of little girls being named Emma, Sophie, Isabella, Olivia, Emily, Abigail, Elizabeth, Addison, Alexis and Madison; trends seem to change every few years, and the older names come in and out of fashion. The most popular boy's names during the last few years have included: Jacob, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, Joshua, Daniel, Noah, Anthony, Christopher, Matthew, David and Andrew.

The best way to choose the perfect name for your baby is to either get a baby name book, and look through it, or go online and type in different searches such as "most popular girl's name," "most feminine girl's names," "best boy's names," etc. You are sure to find the perfect name for your new bundle of joy.