If you or someone you know is going to have a baby soon, I have a few baby naming tips I’d like to pass along:
-Name your kid what you plan to call your kid. You may want to stick with a traditional family name (or name the child after a parent) yet you plan on calling your kid by the middle name – if this is the case, please just name your kid the name you plan to call him/her. Example, if you are thinking about naming your child William David but plan on calling him David… please just make it easy for the kid and name him David William. It will save a lot of confusion as to what to put down on paperwork and legal forms, etc.
-Write the name down and ask people to pronounce it. You may not think the name is that hard to pronounce or that it isn’t that unusual or uncommon, but you may be surprised. If a majority of the people you ask can pronounce it on the first try – great! If a majority of people cannot pronounce it then your kid will probably end up hearing those kind of variations throughout his/her life.
-Say the name and ask people to spell it. You may think that the name is obviously spelled a certain way, but that’s not always the case. Again, if a majority of people can spell it right – great. If a majority of people misspell it, then your kid will probably have his/her spelled incorrectly through his/her whole life.
-Think twice about uncommon or unusual spellings. Consider when your kid introduces himself/herself. Will she always have to say her name is “Cindi with an I”? Or will he always have to say it’s “Bryan with a Y”? Maybe that’s part of what makes it unique and personal, but I would think that could also get pretty annoying. This definitely shouldn’t be a deal breaker but it’s at least something to consider.
-Don’t keep it too much of a surprise. There seems to be many people who keep the baby name a surprise until the baby is born – which is totally fun and great. But I do think it makes sense to at least get a few opinions or google the name. If the name was recently in the news a lot lately or can be attached to be a bad person or a bad feeling, you’ll probably want to know that right away instead of when the child comes to you in tears after being made fun of by other kids at school or at the playground. You may have found the most beautiful name but didn’t realize it rhymes with a rather unfortunate word – these are things that might be good to know upfront, before the baby is born. You can even ask strangers about the name just to get a feel for how other people view it.
-Naming a child after a parent has it’s complications. I do understand that if your name is John Smith, you may want to name your child John Smith. Or if your name is Jane Doe, maybe you want to name your child Jane Doe. In either case, realize that it is extremely complicated in a lot of ways. Mail isn’t always easy to tell who it is intended to go to – even if you use junior and senior, once the junior turns 18 – it could get mixed up. If both people with the same name go to the same medical, dental and/or vision provider – the records can easily get mixed up which can turn into a whole insurance mess. Anyone calling the house to talk to one of the John’s or Jane’s might not know specifically which one he/she is calling for. Basically anything that is relying on your name being semi-unique can get pretty complicated.