Picking baby names is very personal and you will discover (especially as a first time parent) how opinionated people are on names. There are some pitfalls to avoid so we have put together a list of 10 Things Not to Do when Choosing a Baby Name:
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There are so many things to consider – can people pronounce and spell the name, will my child hate it when s/he grows up, will they be subject to teasing at school – it is a minefield! Plus, you’re going to be saying this name a lot from now on, so you want to love it. Take a look at some of the most common mistakes parents make when choosing a baby name – and don’t make them!
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Tips to Remember When Choosing a Baby Name
#1. Choosing a First Name that Doesn’t Go With a Surname
You don’t want names that sound like stutters or tongue twisters. Check the length and rhythm of the first name combined with the surname.
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#2. Not Spotting Those Hidden Landmines
My room mate at college had a boyfriend Andrew Ness which sounded reasonable until you read his shortened name A. Ness. Remember first names are often put in initial form and check the full initials of your child’s name too including their middle name to avoid any disastrous initial combinations like BLT (unless of course you are a big BLT fan!).
#3. Not Checking Alliteration
Be cautious of first names and surnames starting with the same letter. Often they sound like characters from a children’s nursery rhyme e.g. Peter Potter.
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#4. Not Checking Nicknames
Have a think about what your child’s nickname might be. Check that the shorter name or nickname works with the surname. Benjamin Dover sounds reasonable but Ben Dover ….
#5. Choosing a Difficult or Unusual Name or Spelling
If you are thinking about picking an unusual or hard to spell name, remember your child will likely have to spell it all their life. My daughter Blythe always has to spell her name, but she is used to it now. Just something to be aware of that you may be landing them with life long spelling!
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#6. Not Fitting with Sibling Names
Think how you would call your children to dinner and whether the pairing (or tripling or more) of your kids’ names works together. Sam and Ella are individually lovely names but when called together form “Salmonella”!
Some people like to avoid sibling names all starting with the same letter too.
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#7. Not Considering Over-Popularity
Keep an eye on the popular baby name lists. You might be happy to go with a popular name or you might want to avoid your child being in with 16 other Ashleys in their kindergarten class.
#8. Not Checking the Meaning of Your Baby Name
You might want to check the meaning of your baby name and make sure it’s positive.
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#9. Telling Other People
In my experience telling people name choices meant a variety of reactions, some not good. It might be wise to keep potential names to yourself to avoid the “Oh I hate that name” reaction and thereby tainting the name.
After all no one is going to say that once they see the cute baby and hear the name!
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#10. Not Considering Family and Tradition
This depends very much on your family and how important handed down names are. But at least take time to consider past family names. They may make suitable middle names and you might even find a gem name amongst the past family tree members.
The important thing is that you and your partner love the name. Some people advise picking the name you would have loved for yourself as that can be an indicator of a strong name and one that you will enjoy calling your child.
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Did you find any pitfalls when choosing a baby name? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!