How to Choose a Baby Name
We don't give a lot of thought to the names we're given in life, but they form a big part of our identities. If you're expecting, one of the big decisions that will be running around yours and your husband's (tired) brains will be what to name your baby. The beauty of this decision is that it's fun to make, and unlike the thousands of other decisions you're forced to make during pregnancy (which stroller is safest, which maternity wear label makes you look less like your mother, etc), this one doesn't have huge safety or parenting implications! If you're stuck for a way to choose, here are a few tips on how you might like to approach your decision...
Have a Shortlist
I can't tell you how many babies I've met in the first few days of their lives who don;t yet have a name! This is because their parents get their hearts set on a certain name and when the baby emerges 'just not looking like a Patrick should', his parents are plunged into indecision as to exactly what kind of a name would suit their little bundle of joy! Make a shortlist of lots of names that you like, this way, if the one you'd chosen doesn't feel right there'll be a (few) backups to use instead!
Beware the Trendy Name
We can't help it- baby names move in trends, and a quick google search of the year in which you were born will tell you just how original your parents were (or weren't!) My name was the most popular girl's name in the year I was born, my brother's was the most popular in his, so I'm guessing my parents weren't really 'buck the mould' kind of people. Having said this, picking a popular name and picking a trendy name are two very different things. Popular names come in and out of vogue, yes, but trendy names are usually spawned by the ill-advised and fame-hungry actions of a celebrity who has named their child after fruit or a developing country. A unique name is cool when you're the first one to name your child that--not so cool when a popular actress gives birth and a year later there are thousands of fruity names running about. If you're looking for original, be truly original, don't follow a trend!
Sentiment's a Good Start
The highest honour you can give someone is to name your child for them, and this is the way that a lot of parents tend to go. If you have a grandmother that was dear to you, or a friend who touched your heart--especially if that person is no longer with you--one way that you can keep that person's spirit alive is through your child's name. A lot of people choose their children's middle name to serve this function, which is a beautiful and touching tribute to the ones you love.
Most importantly, read as many baby names as possible to really soak in the possibilities. It's a fun and exciting way to while away those precious few free hours you and your partner have left before it's all night-feeds, nappy bags and what is sure to be the craziest but most amazing adventure of your lives.
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