Have you picked out a name for your baby yet? Chances are that you have, if you are nearing your due date, but perhaps you just found out you are pregnant. It may seem a long way off until baby is here, or maybe it doesn’t and you are already frantically searching baby books. Either way, naming a person can be daunting as well as exciting.
Some people have names already picked before conception, and for those people it is easy. I used to be one of those people. My first child was named before even being conceived. The child had a boy name, since we were hoping for boy. And it had a girl name, just in case, which was one I liked ever since I was about fourteen. We ended up using the girl name.
My second child, however, was not named until she was ten days old. We put off deciding for a long time, because now and then when one of us would suggest a name, the other wouldn’t like it at all. I dislike generic names, so it had to be something simple yet original or I would immediately dismiss it. We got to the point of joking about names, sometimes spouting off funny adjectives or street names and adding his last name to them. We actually settled on the boy name “Morrison” after passing an avenue so-named on the way to dinner one night! Not surprisingly, the baby threw us for a loop and came out female. Even now that she is named, he calls her by her first name and I call her by her middle name behind his back!
Just like shoes and hairstyles, name trends seem to go in cycles, with rises and falls in their popularity. I remember growing up and being one of many Sara(h)s in the class. Now, Sara(h) isn’t as popular as it once was. My youngest daughter’s middle name –Vada– is almost unheard of now, but was quite popular in the 1920s. I found this very interesting because I didn’t even realize it was ever popular until after I had decided on her name.
There are several ways to choose the name that is right for you:
Classic – names such as Robert and Elizabeth are always safe and never out of style.
Popular – the most popular names of 2005 were Emily and Jacob. 2006 lists have yet to be released. The trend these days seems to be to use unique spellings of familiar names.
Biblical – names from the Bible can be meaningful, inspirational, and are typically well-known and appreciated.
Family – you may have a special family member that you would like to honor by passing on their name.
Ethnic – you could choose a name that has roots in your ethnic or cultural origin. My youngest daughter has a Welsh name, so chosen for both of our ancestries.
Exotic – if you like unique names, like my Vada, you could do as I did and look to other sources. Characters in a favorite novel, names of plants, months, or cities, and even local street names are fun ways to brainstorm.
Places – how about the place the baby was conceived? This could be a city, a state, a season, or even a car!
Shakespearean, Mythological, and other inspirations – My older daughter is Raye, and I call her my SunRaye. I considered naming the second a version of Luna, so that their names would be similar in a not-so-obvious way. My fiancé suggested Ophelia (Shakespearean) and it was high on our list.
Letting Siblings Choose – make a list of your two absolute faves (boy and girl), and let the baby’s sibling(s) choose for you!
Meeting Baby First – this was a total success for us! We were actually very happy that we waited to meet our youngest before naming her. It gave us time to get to know her a little bit and try calling her a name before deciding. You may consider doing this, especially if you are planning a homebirth, which will give you more time than at the hospital.
At any rate, the name you choose will brand your baby for life, so choose well. Don’t let others try to talk you out of a name you love – it’s not their decision to make. Check out The Secret Meaning of Names for complete name break-downs, and then let your heart guide you.