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How to Choose a Name for Your Baby

Updated on February 29, 2020
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One of the responsibilities you have as a parent is the naming of your child. For some families this is a time steeped in tradition, for others an annoying, nerve wracking experience. Choosing the name your child will live with for the rest of their days is one of the most lasting gifts you can give to your newborn.

There are many factors to consider when it's time to pick a name for your baby. The factors I'll be covering are:

  • Family tradition
  • Uniqueness
  • Making the final choice

Family Tradition

Nearly as soon as you become pregnant, the question rises...

"What are you going to name it?"

For some new moms and dads, this means contending with the fact that some families use a specific naming structure. For example, in some families the oldest child takes, as a middle name, the first name of their grandparent based on gender. In other cases, the firstborn male child receives his father's name, with a numbering system applied as a suffix. Example: Howard Sr., Jr., III, etcetera.

One convoluted system I have heard of is where the firstborn female takes the middle name of her maternal grandmother as her first name, and the first name of her mother as her middle name. In my case, that would have made my name Carole Dee!

After breaking the good news to your family, it is always a good idea to check and make sure that neither your side nor your significant other's has any traditions regarding the way children in their family are named. This way, if they do - you can attend to it. If they do not, then you're free to name your baby however you like without insulting or disrespecting anyone.

A new baby..... gorilla!

Creatively Naming the Baby

In an effort to be different, to give your child a name that is unlike any other, you can potentially be setting your child up for badgering and bullying later in life. Would you have been alright with a name like "Inysthatia," growing up? I randomly typed that, but you get the idea.

Instead of naming your child by mashing your head on the keyboard or throwing silverware down a hallway and recording the sound, why not try focusing on how the baby makes you feel? Listen to your intuition, moms. As your baby grows within you, you may be surprised to get a burst of ideas, either for toys and themes for your baby, or even a name.

Don't be afraid of naming your baby something which may seem 'common'. If the name is one you feel suits the baby, fits family tradition, or you and your partner just like it, then go for it!

Your Final Answer?

In the end, you'll make a choice as to what to name your new son or daughter based off of a multitude of reasons. The idea, and trick, is to have the process of giving your child identity as hassle-free and agreeable to YOU as possible. You'll be writing and saying this new name a lot in the coming years, and as much as you have to live with the choice you have made, so does your baby.

Once you've decided, stick with it! Often times your gut instinct is going to be right here, and you should definitely listen to your hunches where your baby is involved. You'll rely on a lot of guesswork until you learn your baby's patterns when dealing with feeding changing and holding him or her, so better get ready and deal with your instincts right off the bat.

So, once you've picked the name for your new son or daughter, make sure you tell all your friends and family! Everyone will want to know who to congratulate on coming into the world.

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    • Uninvited Writer profile image

      Susan Keeping 

      13 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

      I'm glad I never had kids. I have a hard enough time naming pets...

    • vreccc profile image

      vreccc 

      13 years ago from Concord, NH

      Thanks Charlotte

    • gamergirl profile imageAUTHOR

      Kiz Robinson 

      13 years ago from New Orleans, Louisiana

      Jonathan,

      From my heart to yours, I am very sorry to hear about the miscarriage. Rest easy in knowing that the naming part of childbirth is easily the most perplexing for many couples. If we did not hesitate and wonder 'what if' then just imagine all the poor choices we would make in our lifetimes!

      Charlotte

    • vreccc profile image

      vreccc 

      13 years ago from Concord, NH

      Gamegirl,

      My wife and I were pregnant. she just had a miscarriage. However, in the short time we thought we would have a little on the way, the naming is what perplexed me the most. Just as I would settle on one, I would then hesitate thinking there might be a better one. Hmmmm. I suppose it gets easiers as the birth approaches.

      Jonathan

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      13 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

      I was given a nickname instead of a formal first name and it caused me severe problems in elementary school, one being that teachers thought I was lying about my name each year. Every year, my parents had to have a meeting with the SAME principal about it. Still, school records were filed under the wrong name.

      In addition, my last name is like a nickname in that it means "an Englishman living outside of England." My middle name as a child was also a nickname, which I legally dropped when I was able. Colleges and employers also refused to believe that my name was my real name and they did not take me seriously. records were produced under the wrong name. At one college, I had NINE different records! I have trouble getting transcripts. Soc. Security deductions were fouled up because employers paid  them under the wrong name.

      As an adult, I learned that originally, "Patty" is the nickname for Margaret, which means 'leader of the house.' So, when I write my first book, it will be under the name of Margaret...er...House, yes Margaret House is a good name. 

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