The Best Of Baby Names

by Grandma - Date: 2008-08-23 - Word Count: 708 Share This!

Congratulations on a new baby in your life! Here are 10 major considerations involved in choosing the best name:

1) Gender. A primary consideration is the baby's gender. Some parents prefer to wait until birth to discover this. In any event, knowing gender considerably narrows the field. Assure your selections are gender-appropriate. Don't choose a girl's name for a boy or vice versa.

2) Ancestry. Including the name of an ancestor or loved relative is an honorable consideration. What were the names of your great grandparents? Perhaps these would make suitable middle names. It shows family pride, tradition, and heritage.

3) Help. Use good baby name sites or books. Initially, gather several options then use these guidelines to reduce the list. Give yourself every chance of success. Certainly, ending up with zero names on the list won't work and may leave you feeling defeated or disappointed. In-fact, you might keep 2 or 3 options on the list until the baby is born saving the final selection for that special moment.

4) Meaning. Take care in selecting names with flattering meanings. Meaning considerations should include not only the literal translation, but historical as well. Avoid overly cute names. In Chinese culture, babies are sometimes given a "milk name" such as "Cutie" at birth, or two characters that sound cute when said together. However, these are not appropriate legal names. Remember, one day the child will be an adult. In China, permanent names are chosen within a month of birth which is or has been the period allowed before registration. Refrain from using negative meanings. Desdemona is a Greek name for girls meaning "of the devil", Fraco is a Spanish name for boys meaning "weak", and Alda is a German name for girls meaning "old". Instead, collect options that mean sweet, strong, graceful, or noble. Literal translations should include different languages. Muet may sound like a pretty name for a girl, but it means "dumb man" in French. Consider how the name might be abbreviated or used to form profane rhymes or nicknames such as "Farty Arty", etc. On the other hand, predict nicknames you may like such as Stephen as Steve. And finally, be aware of meanings formed by initials as well. For example, Daniel Otto Griffin (DOG), or Angela Paige Eade (APE) may not be the best selections.

5) Association. Are religious affiliations important to your family? Names of Saints may be desirable. Past Presidents, leaders, or prominent historical figures can be attractive. Research the names to assure no derogatory connotation. Unfortunately, otherwise acceptable names such as Adolph or Attila fall into this category. Attila and "scourge of God" have at one time been considered synonyms.

6) Experience. Life is constantly changing, but there's no reason to choose a name that conjures up painful memories of places, experiences, or previous relationships. For example, you may not want your daughter to have the same name as your husband's ex-wife.

7) Continuity. How does baby's name fit in with the rest of the family? Fathers sometimes wish to name their first son after themselves. How does the name sound when spoken or written on a Christmas card together with baby's brothers and sisters?

8) Pronunciation. The full name must flow well through first, middle, and last. Think about whether it's easy to say and spell. Say the full name out loud several times to feel and hear it yourself. Ask if it's easily confused with another name. Kirsten is often misspoken as Kristen. Do you want your daughter correcting people her entire life?

9) Popularity. What matters most is whether the father and mother like their child's name. Compromise is recommended during these negotiations. Let selecting your baby's name be a positive experience maximizing the satisfaction of both parents even if both don't get everything they want. Next come opinions of grandparents and extended family. Then friends. Remember, popularity changes over time. Avoid selecting names based on the latest fad or trend.

10) Commonality. Whether baby's name is common or unusual is a personal decision but a factor worth consideration. Names that are too unusual may evoke teasing from other children. On the other hand, a less common name emphasizes the special distinction of their unique nature.

Again, congratulations and hopefully this advice has eased this important decision.

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