It really is one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make when pregnant. And you’ll start to find that choosing a baby name is either a lot of fun or a lot of frustration! Before you get too far onto the job of making that shortlist, here are a few hard and fast rules to keep in mind…
Once the elation of finding out your pregnant sets in, there are a multitude of thoughts that start swimming around in your head – most of them fun and exciting ones like the idea of decorating a nursery or the prospect of buying baby clothes.
Our number one was the prospect of shopping for maternity clothes but that’s another story.
One of the first things you also think of is baby names. For some this is easy – they have been making mental (or sometimes actual) notes for years and have a pre-made list of names ready to go.
For others, they relish the idea of now beginning on a journey of research and inspiration.
And for some this task suddenly dawns on them as becoming monumental and way more difficult than ever imagined! The thought of having to name your baby and they are ‘stuck’ with that name forever is daunting alright.
So where did you start or have you not already? Like most things in life now, we start with Google and here you’ll find a bazillion links on lists and inspiration.
I’m not going to give you links to my favourite lists as its just too big a task listing them all! But here are some of my personal tips on what to consider when getting that shortlist of baby names together:
- Think of every single way it can be shortened and make sure it still sounds good.
- Google it. In the global lives we lead, you never know where your kid will end up living, working or travelling when they are all grown up (I know… its a bit hard to jump that far ahead in life now but you kinda already have that responsibility now – sorry!) and you don’t want them burdened with a name that has double meanings in far off lands. If you type ‘define:[insert word]‘ straight into google you’ll get a dictionary definition…
- Nicknames – think of everything that this name could sound like / rhyme with. If it rhymes with something funny or amusing or lets face it, sick or gross (schoolboy humour will never die!) then trash the name. You’re doing your kid a favour, trust me.
- C a n y o u s p e l l i t? Do you want your kid to spend the rest of its’ life spelling out their name on the phone and to new acquaintances? Life is too short to have that burden. Just think of a time when you’ve lived in a street with a weird name and you had to spell it out to the take away restaurant EVERY SINGLE TIME… enough said.
As I said before, there are a bazillion places to look and lists of baby names to get inspiration and find the one that’s right for you, and your partner but here are a few places to include:
- Obviously the world of celebrity baby names is inspiration for some and for others it is a first port of call to find out what not to name their babies!
- There are copious lists out there – top 10 from the last year, top 10 from the last decade, top 10 baby names from the last century, and on and on. Some big hitters in Australia are Essential Kids and Kidspot but there are so many more too. Just google it.
- Be careful who you ask in your family and in your friends/social groups. Some people will have strong opinions on names that might have been in your shortlist (without them knowing) but it can be really disappointing when that happens. Also, you don’t need to know the pet names of everyone in your life. Because trust me, there are some pretty popular baby names out there that cross both the human/animal divide. Our top tip – ask your friends (who already have kids and do not plan on having any more) what names they had on their lists but didn’t use. A good friend of mine did this and it was just what they needed – they didn’t know the sex of their baby which was due in just 1 week but during dinner with friends, they asked this question and were presented with a name that finally both expectant parents just loved (prior to this their list of possible names was long on both sides but neither of them agreed on one)!
- Whatever you do, don’t ask any family member what they would choose. Inevitably they’ll tell you names they don’t like (and you do) and there’s nothing worse then knowing this and being disappointed or eventually choosing the name and having them feel awful for having said something rude about it
- If you’re planning on a baby moon, download this app (I know I know… ‘there’s an app for that?!?’) – we found this via Babyology and for just a few dollars, it gives you insights into 1000s of names. I would have loved this when I was pregnant as flicking through the pages of a baby name book was excruciating – almost like being back at school!
Even if you’ve finished with choosing baby names, its still so much fun to look at the most popular baby names of 2014 are so far…!