11 Tips for Choosing the Right Baby Name

As an expectant parent, choosing a baby name can be both thrilling and intimidating. After all, the name you bestow upon your little one will be part of their identity for the rest of their lives. Here are 11 tips to help you choose a baby name you won’t regret.

  1. Avoid trendy misspellings: Ask yourself—will my child have to spell or explain their name to everyone they meet? Will a chic pop-culture reference sounds silly in 10 years? Will it be impossible to ever find the name on a keychain souvenir? If you answer “yes” to any of these questions, consider choosing a different name.
  2. Consider the classics: Not all traditional names are “boring.” If Sarah, Mary, John, and Will don’t do it for you, think Clarice, Audrey, Oliver, and Theodore.
  3. Seek inspiration from your family tree: Consider naming your baby after a significant family member, even if it’s “just” the middle name.
  4. Honor your heritage: Search for names derived from your country of origin. You’re bound to fall in love with at least one.
  5. Look up meanings: A name might sound nice, but this step ensures you don’t end up choosing one that implies something horrible. Or, if you simply love a name like Calvin, you can come up with a one-liner to jokingly explain why “bald” is the perfect meaning behind your baby’s name.
  6. Contemplate nicknames and teasing potential: To help prevent bullying on the playground, brainstorm possible ways other kids could construe the name you’ve picked out.
  7. Write down the initials: There are plenty of unpleasant two- and three-letter combinations. Remember this when considering your baby’s initials.
  8. Say it out loud: Test the rhythmic flow. Maybe what you had planned for the middle name would work better as the first name after all.
  9. Find out if anyone famous has that name: There’s a reason no babies today are named Adolf or Ebenezer. Search your baby name choices online to make sure they don’t reveal a serial killer or adult movie star with that same name.
  10. Know that you can change your mind: There’s nothing wrong with realizing the name you picked out doesn’t fit once you see your baby for the first time. Even if you have already announced to everyone what name you have chosen, you have until you leave the hospital to make your final decision.
  11. Consider keeping the name a secret: Unless you want to risk receiving unsolicited feedback about what you should or shouldn’t name your baby, consider keeping your ideas between you and your partner.

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