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10 Things to Consider Before Naming Your Baby?

Updated on July 21, 2012
A Baby
A Baby | Source

Naming the baby is the first important task of parenting. I remember an old saying in Chinese that says “Not afraid to be born with imperfect look, but fear if a bad name is given.” We believe a name has the power to influence a person’s life. So we put in a great deal of consideration when it comes to naming a baby. Here are the 10 things to consider before naming your baby: meaning, pronunciation, spelling, initials, fashionable, famous, culture, popularity, to honor someone, create a new name.

1. Meaning

People tend to presume the characteristics associate with a name on the person who has that name. For example, a person named Tiger would give people an impression that this person is strong, dominate, independent, hard to defeat, aggressive and restless, while the name Lily gives people an impression of beauty, delicacy, and calmness. Therefore, you want to keep in mind on what kind of characteristics you want to imply to your baby.

2. Pronunciation

You might want to make sure the name sounds good to you. And try to avoid picking names with sounds that are too close to unpleasant words or phrases, especially when it combines with the last name. For example, when your last name sounds like “You”, don’t name your baby “Sue”.

3. Spelling

Make sure the name is not too long or difficult for your kid to write. By not having too many letters in a name would also make it easier for other people to remember your kid’s name. One of my kids’ classmate has a name that has 13 letters, and now all the kids are calling this kid by only his initials.

4. Initials

When the initials of a first and last name create a new word or an acronym that sound weird, think twice before giving it to your baby. For example, a girl named Ann Chen has the initials of AC - Air Conditioning?! If something like this make you pause, you might not want to waste your time to look into the names with an initial that can produce a weird word.

5. Fashionable

Although I don’t like chasing after the latest trend. I do think it is a good idea to avoid names that were most popular many decades ago such as the 20’s or 30’s, but rarely being used now. Unless you don’t mind your kid’s friends saying to your kid, “Oh, you have the same name as my great grandmother. Weird. ”

6. Famous

If you name your baby after a person who is famous in a good way, then it shouldn’t cause your kid too much trouble. But if you choose a name that is associated with a person who is famous in an evil way, your kid might end up being a target of bullies. I don’t suppose you want to name your baby Voldemort as in Harry Potter stories created by JK Rowling. So you might want to search on the internet if you’re not certain whether the name belongs to an evil or an unpleasant figure.

7. Culture

If you value your own culture, let it show in your baby’s name. Eighteen years ago, one of my Chinese friends named her US born baby girl Garwye - a beautiful name for a girl in Chinese with meaning of gracious and smart. Garwye is now a beautiful, kind and smart young lady. Her name fits her perfectly.

8. Popularity

You might want to stay away from those overly popular names, such as Johnny. I remember a mom who was frantically looking for her son who had wondered away in an amusement park. When she called out “Johnny, where are you? Has anyone seem Johnny?” there were at least eight people raised their hand in the area I was sitting. So, some people suggested her to call her son’s full name instead of just the first name.

9. To honor someone

If someone has made a huge impact in your life and you want to honor that person, you can consider naming your baby after him/her. I’ve heard a mother who named her baby after a doctor who saved her baby’s life.

10. Create a New Name

Who says that we have to choose a name that exists. Create a special and unique name that you like and for your baby only. Maybe years later, this new and unique name might become one of the best baby names.

I know it is a lot of work naming a baby. Together with my husband, I’ve named our three kids. I’ve also helped name my nieces and nephew. It took me quite a while to find the right names because we also wanted a perfect middle name to go along with the first name and the last name. I hope you will find the perfect name for your baby too.

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