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Make Sure You Pick The Right Name For Your Baby!

Jun 19, 2019

Every parent has heard at some point horror stories about names that ruined the lives of children and adults. The wrong baby name can result in a child dealing with bullies and mockery throughout their life. Worse yet, a particular name subconsciously associated by some people with criminal behavior or negative thoughts about a particular individual or group of people can actually cause an adult to lose career and other opportunities. With so much in life hinging on a name, some parents find it difficult to select the "right" type of name. It's especially stressful when they have a list of several great baby names since their newborn's physical appearance or personality might contrast too much with the name they finally select. How can parents narrow down their options and choose the right name?

Choosing a Great Name for a Girl

Name selection for a baby girl is based on a variety of factors. Historically, parents have named baby girls after female relatives based on a relative's first name, middle name or nickname or the mother's maiden surname. Some parents also name their daughters after celebrities or fictional characters who they've respected over the years. Other popular name selections include specific plant or animal names like Heather, Holy, Ivy, Jasmine, Lily, Rose, Willow, Bunny, Cat and Raven. Girl names don't have to sound strictly feminine in a stereotypical sense either. Some parents give their baby girl a name traditionally associated with a boy, such as Alex, Aiden, Blake, Casey, Cameron, Drew, Jordan, Riley and Spencer. Sometimes they choose a variation of a boy's name by adding an "a" or "ie" with or without additional letters to the end of the name, as seen with Alexa, Brianna and Carla and Billie, Bobbie, Frankie, Jackie and Stevie, respectively. Another option: they blend two girls' names, as seen with Deanne from Dee and Anne, Maribell from Mary and Belle and Rosalynn from Rose and Lynn.

Choosing a Great Name for a Boy

Parents often choose baby boy names using many of the same decision-making processes as when they choose baby girl names, such as picking names associated with family members or plant and animal names like Ash, Basil, William, Buck and Leo. They also select names associated with baby girls, but use different spellings. A couple might name their infant boy Klare as an alternative to Claire or Nichole as a variation of Nicole. It's also not uncommon for parents to name their son using a foreign or older spelling of a male name, such as Karl for Carl and Brandan or Brendan for Brandon. In many cases, couples have even selected names that rhyme with or match the names of one or more of their other children based on sound or type, especially when dealing with the birth of more than one child at the same time. For example, a couple might name female and male fraternal twins Billie and William or identical twin boys Bobby and Robert. With multiple male children of different ages, parents sometimes go with the same first initial for each name like Sam, Saul, Shane and Steven or Bill, Blake, Brett and Brian.

Things to Avoid

It's critical that couples use caution when choosing a baby name. Rushing or giving into family pressure to choose a specific name can result in a couple harming their child or disliking the name later. While rushing, for example, they might choose a name that sounds like or rhymes with body parts, bodily functions or curse words. Parents need to also think about monograms and rule out any combination of first, middle and last names that spell out disgusting, funny or negative words when written only as initials. Additionally, they should never pick a rare name related to a popular fictional character currently associated with a positive story from an unfinished form of written or visual entertainment. The character's story might eventually take a negative turn resulting in the public hating the name, which can lead to a child who has that specific name becoming the subject of mockery or rejection after it becomes unpopular. Since a popular celebrity who has a rare name can easily fall from grace as well, parents should also avoid rare celebrity names. Lastly, parents should avoid names that make it difficult for a child to write or use their name, such as names that people often misspell and long names that take up too much space on documents and take too much time to write.