What you decide to name your baby is the first of many important decisions for parents. But just how do you choose a baby name that everyone agrees on?
Here are the top ten tips every parent needs to know before choosing a baby name.
1. Start with a list of names you love, names of people you love and well-known or famous people you admire, or names that you simply love the sound of. Both parents need to do this and then swap lists and put a cross next to the names you couldn’t possibly live with. Compare your lists and create a new list with the commonly liked names. Repeat this process until you have a list of names you are both happy with and from there make your choice.
2. Decide if you want a traditional, popular, or unique name. Consider carefully if you want your child’s name to stand out or be conventional and classic, stand the test of time, or be unusual and make a statement.
3. Repeat after me: Say the name your are thinking of calling your baby over and over to check if you will tire of it. Also, apply the park test. Will you be comfortable calling out your child’s name in the park?
4. Short names go better with long last names and vice versa. A long name with a long surname may look and sound odd.
5. Choose a name that will last a lifetime. What suits a cute, bubbly baby may not work well when your baby grows up to be prime minister, a football star or famous chef.
6. If you can, avoid picking a first name that has as its last letter the same as the first letter of your surname as it can be difficult to say, for example Harriet Turner or Fred Davis.
7. Think about how friends and family might shorten the baby name you have carefully chosen, for example Benjamin Tenny could turn into Benny Tenny or Charlotte Lett could become Lotty Lett.
8. Quirky spelling is one way for your child to stand out but it could also make for headaches when it comes to continually correcting people and paperwork.
9. The bully test: Put your name through the “bully” test. Rhyme it with anything you can think of, look for hidden words in the name. Have a primary or high school child help you if you can’t think of anything. Kids are very quick to spot odd things about names and exploit them.
10. Check that the initials don’t spell anything embarrassing.
This article was created for Kidspot NZ.