How to Choose a Baby Name

How to choose a baby name is one of the most important processes that parents go through and it often involves lots of discussion and sometimes disagreement before the perfect baby name is agreed upon.  Many parents decide to keep their baby’s name a secret until after the birth, but some will ask family and friends to contribute ideas on how to choose a baby name.  This is a great way to get lots of baby name ideas and can be great fun for all involved.  However, it can also cause disappointment, often between family members, if a particular favourite or family baby name is not chosen.

The number of names available to today's parents is virtually infinite.  There are traditional baby names, family baby names, names from the Bible, made up baby names, baby names derived from your favourite car/TV programme/football team or pop-star, names from Greek mythology, names that mean something and names borrowed from foreign languages, cultures and religions.  The baby name list is endless.
How to choose a baby name … or two?
A simple way to start is to make a note of a few baby names that you like the sound of, or that have a pleasing association.
Think about:
1.   What it sounds like with the surname:  Nicholas Nicholson, Teresa Green, John Thomas.  If you decide to have two names, say all the names out loud and listen to the effect.  It is generally a good idea to avoid repeated sounds: Hayley Wayman, Sarah Fareham, Julie Fooley.  Similarly, names that rhyme: Daryl Carrol, Jim McGlynn.  Varying the number of syllables also tends to have a pleasing effect. 
2.   What it may be shortened to: David to Dave, Robert to Bob, Samuel to Sam or Sammy.
3.   What nickname may be derived from it: Bethany Uma Bond!
4.   What it might be associated with: As much as you like Donald, it'll always be a duck.   Also, although some names are gender non specific, they can be considered, by many, as either a girls name or a boys name.  For example, the name Hilary can be for a boy or a girl but is probably thought of as a girls name by the majority of people.  This sort of thing can cause teasing at school and heartache for the child.
5.   What initials it will create when put with a whole name: consider Simon Peter Edward Wilde or Faith Anne Rachel Taylor.
Where can you look for ideas?

1.   The internet
2.   Bookshops
3.   Libraries
Why not use this opportunity to investigate where the names come from and what they actually mean?  There are numerous websites and books that list baby names and their origin and/or meaning.  It is a fascinating subject which could occupy hours of your time!  Many of the baby name websites also have baby name generators which can be fun to use and will give you an endless supply of baby name ideas.  You put in the parents’ first names and the generator suggests a name for their baby. 
Creating a unique baby name can be a way of making your child more of an individual.  One easy way to do this is to add a sound to the beginning of a known name.  For example:


Or, to the end of a known name:

How you spell it, and even pronounce it, is up to you.  However, do consider that an overly complex or unusual baby name could be something that little “Frogmella” may tire of repeating or spelling out for the rest of her life.
Another approach is to pick a baby name that is personally significant.  It may be connected to your family historically, or professionally.  It may have something to do with where the family originated or a family motto.  Perhaps select a name that means something to you or your family or your ancestors.  A baby name may even be affiliated to a particular trait, moral, belief or style.
Choosing your baby’s name is a fun and exciting thing to do and it can also be an intimate and bonding experience between the parents.  Before making your final decision, consider the whole baby name in its entirety, listen to the overall sound, consider its connotations and abbreviations and think about how you, yourself, would feel if given such a name.  I hope that this guide on how to choose a baby name has given you some baby name ideas.


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