My younger sister is pregnant with her first child. I’m ahead of her in the parenting game with three of my own children, but recently she’s started to discuss baby names with me. Listening to my sister talk about baby names reminded me of how important a child’s name is. Regardless of whether or not you believe a person’s name defines them, it does have an effect on the rest of their life.
Remember that a name is permanent
It is possible to have your name legally changed; however, most people don’t change their name just because they don’t like it. When you’re choosing your child’s name, try to remember that this is the name your child will have for the rest of his or her life. A name like Twinkle or Princess might seem like a cute name for a baby or child, but for an adult it loses its appeal. Keep in mind that eventually your child will be an adult and they need an adult name.
Rhyme test the name
When you find a name you like, double check to make sure that it doesn’t rhyme with anything embarrassing or inappropriate. Children are cruel and if your child’s name rhymes with something bad, your child’s classmates are likely to point it out. If you can’t think of anything that rhymes, try asking friends or family or consulting a rhyming dictionary.
Double check the initials
My sister and I were discussing some baby girls names and one of the names she came up with was Annalise Suzette Smith. Fortunately, we quickly realized what her initials would spell and that name combination was taken off of the table. Check the initials of a name or you may end up with an unpleasant surprise if the initials spell something undesirable.
Don’t go crazy with the spelling
If you want a unique name, choose a unique name. Don’t take a common name and spell it crazy. It isn’t a big deal to change Britney to Britnee, but don’t overdo it. While working as a preschool teacher there was a little boy in my class whose name was pronounces “Justin,” but was spelled “Jhuzstynne.” Needless to say it was very frustrating and confusing for us to spell his name and he will likely have to deal with people getting his name wrong for the rest of his life.
Check the top baby names
If a unique and uncommon name is important to you, be sure to check the Social Security Administration for a list of the most popular names by year. Many parents are disappointed when they find a unique name they love, only to discover a few years later that six other children in their child’s class have the exact same name. If you want unique, double check to make sure it’s not a popular name.
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