One of the most important decisions you make early on for your child is selecting a name. A lot of parents agonize over this decision throughout a pregnancy and some don’t even make the choice until after the baby is born. (My parents were so indecisive that I wound up nameless until I was 3 days old. Finally, after going back and forth over a long list of ‘E’ names, my father threw his hands up in frustration and declared, “Let’s just call her Erica. End of story.”)
It took months for my Ex and I to agree on “Gavin” for our son. We were naming him after two Geralds, one on each side of the family. I wanted to use the first letter ‘G’ to honor them, while my Ex wanted to literally call our son Gerald. Not being particularly fond of the name, I objected and – thankfully – won. Hence, Gavin was born.
5 Tips for selecting the perfect name for your baby:
- Don’t Get Too Crazy.What may be funny / unique / cutesy to you, may be sheer torture for your child. You can’t predict what your child will be like, but odds are, he/she won’t enjoy being named “Apple” or “Pilot Inspektor.”
- Consider Connotations and Whether the Name Will Age. This is especially important if your baby is a girl. Ideally, the name should set your child up for success – or, at the very least, not impede it. Don’t substitute an ‘I’ for names that normally end in ‘y.’ For example, “Stacy” shouldn’t be spelled as “Staci.” While it may be adorable for a little girl, how cute will it be when she is trying to launch her career to run for office?
- Look at the Entire Name. Some first and last names simply don’t work together. “Indiana” might a nice name for a daughter, but not if your last name is “Jones.” (Though, to be perfectly honest, I don’t condone naming children after states or cities.) Listen to the way that the name sounds altogether. Is it difficult to pronounce? Does it flow?
- Popularity is Your Friend… While no one wants to have the seventh “Jack” or “Olivia” in the kindergarten class, selecting a name that is currently in the Top 50 may serve your child well. Even if popular names eventually go out of style, you can ensure that your child’s name will never be out of style with his/her peers.
- …But Avoid the Top 5. As much as I love the name Jack, I’m glad I didn’t use it for my son. He already refers to the three Jacks in his class of ten children with their last initial. There’s “Jack S,” “Jack B,” and “Jack R.” Confusing and redundant!