Charlie - posted on 03/15/2010 ( 10 moms have responded )
1. The baby name should have a positive connotation for you.
The baby name should be associated with pleasantries. The definition should also be meaningful. A name has a strong first impression. Imagine the child using the name not only on the playground but as an adult.
A suggestion: Choose several names. Go to a busy playground and call the names out loud. If you feel uncomfortable shouting the names or if several children answer you, then rethink that name.
2. The baby first name's rhythm should match the last name.
In general, the number of syllables in the first name should not match the number of syllables in the last name. Say the first, middle and last name several times to test the rhythm. Say the first name and last name together, too.
Be conscious of what the first name and last name together say. The name you choose if for life. Would you like to end up with the name Annette Curtin?
If you have a common or easy to pronounce last name (i.e. Smith, Jones, Brown), you might find that an unusual or long first name can complement the last name nicely. Such as Dakota Smith, Lucinda Brown and Sharona Flynn.
3. The initials should not spell anything undesirable.
Combine initials of the first, middle and last name. Do they stand for anything? If the initials are not satisfactory, then the first and middle names can be switched. The child can still use the middle name on a day by day basis. For example, the name Malcolm Abraham Davis has the initials MAD.
4. Check the pronunciation and spelling of the baby's name.
If you use an unusual pronunciation, your child will need to continually correct it. On the other hand, if the name is common, an unusual spelling will distinguish your child. Another factor is the ability to find personalised items. Unusual spellings will mean you have to special order or do without the personalised item.
5. Honour a family member, friend or hero/heroine with the name.
Check with your parents or grandparents to collect as many family names as possible. You can use the same name, a variation of the name or match the first initial. For example, our second child's middle name is Saunders after my father named Alexander.
If you do not want input on the final selection, do not announce the name until the baby is born. Then it will be too late for lobbying.
How about naming the baby after a famous person. When the child is old enough to understand, explain who you named them after. They will love to hear the story over and over again. It is a great feeling to be connected to the past. Another example is naming children after sports stars.
Another method is using the letters of family names to create your own name. For example, one letter could be from grandfather's name, another from grandmother's name, etc.
Another way to find a name is to use a version of a name that relates to a different ethnic group. For example, Giovanni is Italian for John. Ian is Scottish for John, etc.
6. Combine names to create a new baby name.
You can choose two or more words to create a unique baby name. By separating each word into syllables and combining the syllables, you can create new baby names. You can even scramble a word to create a new baby name. For example, Kalana can come from combining the names Kay and Lana.
7. Be conscious of nicknames and variations.
You may want to select a name that can have many nicknames and variations. This will enable the child to have more control of his/her name when older. The disadvantage is that childhood nicknames can linger into adulthood and be uncomfortable. For example, Elisabeth has several nicknames including Liz, Beth, Lizzy, etc. We have included nicknames in our database. Whenever you search for a name it will also tell to the potential nicknames.
8. Practice the baby's name and hear how it feels.
You will say this name thousands of times. You will say lovingly and in anger. You will whisper it when the child is asleep and yell it when dinner is ready.
9. The middle name provides a unique opportunity.
The middle baby name can be used to honour a family member when it is not desirable to be used as a first name. It can be a way to settle the name selection between parents. If needed to keep the family happy, the child can be given two middle names. Some families leave the middle name blank, then the child can pick a name later in life.
Some families like to use the middle name for naming the child after the mother or father. The child has his/her own first name, yet has their mother or fathers name as the middle name. You can also use the mother's maiden name as the middle name or other family member's last name as the middle name.
10. Avoid letter redundancy between names.
Generally, first and last names with the same first letter do not sound well together. Also, if the last name ends with a vowel, the first name usually should not.
The first name should not end with a syllable that rhymes with the first syllable of the last name. For example, Angela Anna has quite a few letter A's.