The Perfect Name for Your Baby
The home pregnancy test confirmed our suspicions. We were going to have a baby! Congratulations, good wishes and excitement flooded our world. Yet little did we know what lay ahead and how we would be overwhelmed by the abundance of advice. Information came fast and furious whether we asked for it or not — from buying maternity clothes to preparing our home to the most important decision, choosing the right name. They made it sound daunting:
“Naming your baby is not as easy as it sounds.”
“It’s a decision both of you must agree upon.”
“You have to consider many different facts before making that final decision.”
“The name will affect your child for the rest of its life!”
Everyone had the perfect way to find that perfect name. Here are their suggestions:
1. Purchase the most current book of names.
2. Take a poll within your family and friends.
3. Say and write different names, repeatedly. Use different combinations with or without middle names and your last name.
4. Consider what nickname might arise; look at initial combinations, and consider using a unique spelling for the name.
5. Check out the most popular names of the day; you may like to go along or avoid them.
6. Think about a name that is unisex, appropriate for both boys and girls.
7. Use the name of your favorite movie, television, music, or sports celebrities, maybe even someone from history or literature.
8. List names that hold a special meaning to you, like those connected with a friend, a place or an event.
These tips were just the beginning of our name-game. As we explored each of them, we came upon a few areas of consideration that also couldn’t be overlooked:
9. Family traditions. Namesakes, which honor a special person within the family—grandparent, aunt, uncle, or cousin, could play a major role in selecting baby’s name.
10. Religious traditions. Some people believe it’s proper to honor a deceased relative. Others look to the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, saints or to special names within their faith.
11. Ethnic background. Many like to show pride in their heritage and select a name that represents the culture or the country of their ancestors. These can be rather unique in sound and spelling.
12. Parent’s personal views. Often, unpleasant characteristics go with a particular name because of a past experience with a person with that name.
13. Nicknames. These carry unique meanings, can last a lifetime, and determine how other people view the child. At birth, these names seem to work but they are often cute, funny, reflect a younger child’s mispronunciation, are associated with a habit, a favorite food or activity. As the child grows, it’s often found that the nickname can be inappropriate for different age levels, especially adulthood or on the job. Remember, it is important to consider the long-term effects of a nickname.
How parents reach their final decision about picking the right name for their baby is a personal matter and quite distinctive. Yet whatever name identifies the newborn will be special and fit perfectly. But there’s one more factor to know:
14. The Law. The law requires parents of newborns to file a birth certificate, within a prescribed period after the baby is born. This usually occurs shortly after the baby’s arrival. But it is important to know that each state has a different time limit. You should also be aware that the birth certificate is a legal document automatically registered at the Bureau of Vital Statistics in your state. It contains information about the whole family. Along with the parent’s names, birth dates and birthplaces, the birth certificate gives special details about the baby. It records the date of birth, the exact time of arrival, the weight, length, sex, and of course, the baby’s name—the one you deliberated so long and hard over. Another law requires the baby’s name be made up of letters, not numbers, and question unusual names. Since the law varies throughout the nation, parents should ask questions before signing any legal document concerning the baby’s name.
Giving your baby the right identity is not an easy task. So, consider everything, make your list, and have the baby. Then when you’re gazing into the eyes of your newborn, whispering all the names you’ve accumulated, you somehow, rather miraculously, will find the name that fits. We know. We did. Five times. Happy naming.