How to Name Your Baby: Pick a Great Name for Wherever Your Child Goes in Life

Selecting a baby name is one of the most important tasks a soon-to-be parent can have. Choosing a name that fits your baby’s personality and lifestyle from infant to adulthood takes creativity and planning. With millions of names from which to select and the list expanding with new names, it is helpful to think of some ways to evaluate names.

Four Important Considerations for Your Baby’s Name

Longevity — Does the name have the longevity to carry from infanthood through mature adulthood? A name like Esmeralda can be quite charming on a 60 year old, but cumbersome for a toddler. Likewise, Fifi is cute for a kindergartener, but perhaps less so for a thirty-something. If, however, you have always loved the name Esmeralda, you could still go with it, but use a cuter nickname. Fifi could be a nickname for the more elegant Fiona.

Unlimited — Does the name conjure up a particular image? When we hear a name, we often paint a mental picture of the person. Will your child’s teacher (or employer) form an impression of your child before the first day based on the name? Will it be the impression you’d like to convey? For example, when you think of Lorelei, do you immediately think –“Oh yes, she’d make a great accountant?” Does the name Wilbert strike you as the perfect name for the leader of a rock band? One way to test this is to think of the name you like and ask yourself if you can envision the person with that name being President? Star athlete? Concert pianist? Accountant? If the answer is yes to at least the majority of different careers, your child is less likely to get odd looks when he introduces himself.

Spelling — The newest trend is to have a unique spelling of a more common name. For example, the name Pamela might be Pammella, or Pam’ela. However, a unique spelling means you (and later your child) will often need to spell or pronounce the name. Consider the ease of spelling your child’s last name before giving them a first name that will always require spelling. If she changes her name once she gets married, the spelling issue could rise again.

Combination with last name — In addition to considering the spelling of the first and last name, be sure to say each prospective name out loud to make sure the first and last name, or the initials don’t make an unintended pun. If your last name is Kane, you may want to think carefully before you name your daughter Candy. If your last name is Odor, you may want to consider first names besides Ivan. If your last name is Strong, you probably won’t want your daughter to have the name Anastasia Serena Strong because of the initials.

Keep these four considerations in mind as you name your bundle of joy, and you’ll discover a name you and you child will be happy with. For ideas on specific baby names, look at www.parents.com/baby-names/ & www.thebump.com/baby-names