How to choose the perfect baby name
3 min read
by Becca Smith • @beccasmith_tomlins
A lot of girls growing up have a list. A list of names that they would call their children. Seems bizarre but I always had a mental list of all the baby names I loved. This would change from year to year but it’s something I talked about with my friends and I remember saying to them that they couldn’t ‘steal’ my names!
Well, when the moment came to actually choose a name for a real baby it was hard. We didn’t know the sex of our babies until they were born so we had a list of both girl and boy names which my husband and I would go back and forth on. One day we’d love a particular name and the next it would be binned because it reminded us of someone or something we disliked. It was only until we actually met both our boys that we decided on their names. Our first born is Rupert Fox and our second, Arlo Henry. Names are so personal but a few years on we still love them and they haven’t dated.
So here are a few tips from what I learnt when deciding on the perfect baby name!
It’s important to do your homework. I’d recommend getting a baby name book- I found this so helpful and it was nice to relax and sit down and flick through the A-Z of baby names – you come across some really interesting ones! I also simply googled a lot of baby names and weirdly when I was reading the newspaper I’d really take note of the names!
2) Who else has that name?
Now it’s important to make sure you think about the people in your family and friendship circle. Who else has that name you have set your heart on? Would they mind? Would you mind?
3) Family traditions?
Now if you have a family tradition when it comes to names it’s important to have a chat with your partner and family if you’re going to continue the family tradition! My husband’s dad has the same name as him and to be honest it didn’t even cross my mind to speak to them and see if they’d mind if we didn’t keep this tradition going! We decided to choose our own names and to be honest it was more out of practicality- having three people with the same could become very confusing!
4) Family history
If you’re looking for something a bit different why don’t you think about your heritage and if there are any interesting names you think could work for you? I’ve got some German in me so I definitely looked at any popular names in Germany that could work. My son’s name, Rupert is actually the German equivalent of Rupert, so it seemed to fit for us.
If you’re keen for a particular name but think it’s too common why don’t you add your own twist and change the spelling? Megan could be changed to Meghan, Sarah to Sara etc.
When thinking of a name it’s important to think what nicknames might come from it. If you don’t like the shortened version of a name then you should probably find another name as they will probably be called the shortened version by friends etc.
7) Does it work with the surname?
Check that it works with your surname! Does it rhyme?! Or does it form a silly phrase when said together?! It’s important!
Now, if you want to literally ‘Keep up with the Kardashians’ then you could follow them in calling all of your brood with names that start with the same letter. But if you fancy mixing it up I think it’s important to make sure you are happy with how they all sound together. If your daughter is called Rosie and you name you son Jim, you will (if old enough!) be reminded of a children’s TV programme popular in the UK decades ago! If you name your daughter Cher and your son Sony then think about what that will make people think!
9) Will it work when they are a grown up?!
Baby names can be seriously cute but they have to live with them forever (usually), so think about if it will be serious enough for when they are grown up?! Think about if your son or daughter were to become the Prime Minister!
10) Meet them first and then decide
Lots of people have to test out names on their babies until they find one that fits. We did that with our second. We were set on a name but when he came out he just didn’t look like it- so my husband literally scrolled through A-Z of baby names and came across Arlo (again, he had previously vetoed it) and I pounced on it. He looked like an Arlo and my husband soon came around after he had seen me give birth!
Share your baby names with us at @wearemokee!