Tips for choosing the name of your child



Choosing a name was one of the most difficult processes in the whole child making adventure. I considered it to be far too weighty a responsibility. I knew that making a decision at a time when my body was ravaged by hormones was completely inappropriate and I didn't want to give my kid a reason to hate me right off the bat. A name is kinda a big deal. Would Madonna be Madonnna if she wasn't called Madonna? We'll never know. In the end my husband found Roscoe's name whilst listening to a song and as soon as I heard it knew that that was my baby's name. There was a small chance that the pee pee we had seen on the scan was misread but other than that we were good to go. Still, there was a while that we were out in name wilderness and here's some stuff I decided along the way...

- There's no such thing as a hot name. No one cares how sexy your birth certificate it. Also it's a bit creepy to try and project hotness onto your child at such a formative stage. Being attractive makes people attractive, no one turned down a date cause their love interest's name wasn't cute enough.

- Embrace the nicknames. Please, please if you choose a name for your child but you hate the popular short form of that name, think about making another choice. There's nothing more irritating, for all involved, than a parent shrieking, 'Her name is Victoria!' after some innocent lets a Vicky slip out. Unless there is some deep trauma associated with the name I suggest getting over it - life's too short to say four syllables. 

- In line with the above don't assume you'll have any control over what your kid is called. You might even find that you yourself stray from the name you so carefully chose. After all the angst put into name choosing my husband and I call our son Chief - makes perfect sense. 

- If you know the name, claim the name. When we decided on our name I let everyone know to be prepared to meet Roscoe. Not, we're thinking about it or we kinda like... This. Is. His. Name. This definitely reduced the amount of unsolicited advice we received and I felt would prevent any last minute steals from friends and family. I know a preferred method is to keep the name a secret or pretend you haven't decided until birth and whilst I see the logic it felt so lovely for people to start feeling invested in my boy before he even arrived.

- Name you child after a family member. One of the classic pieces of pointless feedback people offer when you tell them your potential baby name is, 'I knew a XXXX and they were an idiot.' Naming your child after a beloved family member prevents the name being tainted by any past or future bearers of the same name.

- Name them after someone who did something great. Preferably an artist or novelist because then even if someone says they hate it you can just shake your head and say something like, 'Oh I forgot how uncultured you are.'

- Get someone else to choose. Just give up the responsibility completely. Any productive person knows that delegation is the key to progress and actually people seem to find it easy to pick names for someone elses child. Siblings are great at this as they don't seem to have the hang ups we do. Personally if you're asking a child to do this for you I'd offer a small range rather than a free choice - Bob the Builder Jones has a ring to it but it's not exactly timeless.

- Quirky is good. I'm bias because I live in Brighton, an area where traditional names are in a minority, but I've heard that having a name that you have to spell out to people builds confidence. Not being able to spell your own name until you're 17 doesn't build confidence, there is fine balance.

Ultimately, it's not that big a deal. Like most things in life I think you should just have fun but not too much fun. A name won't make or break you and if it all goes wrong you can always change your mind. I'd love to hear how you chose your babies name or if you're currently on the look out for one.


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22 comments

  1. Good advice. Totally agree about the nicknames - don't pick names you dislike the obvious nicknames of. I once knew a 'my name's Benjamin, my mother doesn't like it to be anything but Benjamin' (I stress that he was also an adult in his twenties when I knew him). Sadly for Benjamin he was a bit of an arse to people. So he got called Benji. A lot. Also with you on claiming the name. #babybrainmonday

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    1. Ha ha, that's a brilliant story - let it go Benji, let it go.

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  2. So true how you often end up not even calling them by their real name. I call Piglet "Piglet" all the time (in real life as well as on my blog) as when he was born it just seemed too weird to call a newborn by his grown-up sounding name. Love the "name them after someone who did something great" suggestion! I'm going to start using the uncultured line.

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    1. I am in love with the idea of you calling out 'Piglet' when he's older and got his mates over :)

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  3. Roscoe is a lovely name. Really original and I really like it. Good choice! I think boys names are more difficult than girls names. I had a long list of girls names but we couldn't agree on a boys name. #babybrainmonday

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    1. Thank you. Yes, before we knew the sex we had a long list of girls names and nothing on the boys side. At one point I was hoping for a girl just because I was convinced we wouldn't come up with one.

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  4. We'd chosen "Arjun" as our boys name before he was born. We both loved it but i was worried he wouldnt look like an Arjun when he was born if it was a boy! Haha! We do often call him "Kadhu" as a pet name which means "pumpkin". Thanks for linking u to #babybrainmonday x

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    1. That's a super cute nickname! Please tell me you're doing a pumpkin outfit for halloween!

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  5. We chose Bluebell and I still get unsolicited advice about it even though she's now four and we live in Hove which isn't so far from you! I often have to repeat it and sometimes when people ask Bluebell her name they turn to me for confirmation, just to check she actually said that! I love it as much as I did then - probably more. And I'm always having to spell Maximilian but I don't care! #fromtheheart

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    1. Argh those are cute names. Another problem I have is being tempted into my children by cute names :) I'm surprised Bluebell gets a reaction, my baby group sounds like a Game of Thrones character list sometimes.

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  6. Good post! It is tricky to settle on a name especially when like me your a teacher and have an endless list of children associated with every name you or your partner every think up!! We did what you list here and once we had settled on a few, we tried looking at what the first letters of the whole name spelt out on their own, thought up all nicknames, and kept saying the name out loud so it sounds ok :)

    #BabyBrainMonday

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    1. Oh yes! Good tip, go through the initials, who knows what you might inadvertently create. I love teachers they always have a list of 'naughty' kid names :)

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  7. Love this! It's such a big, permanent, scary decision. In the end my husband chose Baby Girl's name and we both still really love it. However, don't assume that by announcing it you are safe. Learnt that one the hard way :/ x #fromtheheart

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    1. No way! You had name theivery. I'm outraged on your behalf x

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  8. We had fun and games with the triplets names,in the end it was a board in the kitchen where ideas kept going up and being wiped off until a shortlist stuck. I finally named them as they were delivered and handed to me! #Sharewithme

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    1. Oh my goodness, three would slay me! I love the strategy. Put them where you can see them everyday.

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  9. Such a tricky area! You want something special or original, but not ridiculous enough that your kid gets laughed at. And sometimes the cutest baby name gets ruled out because it won't suit them once they are over 5. I struggle to settle on names for pets so I would be hopeless at naming a child! #sharewithme
    Debbie

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    1. Someone told me when naming a pet you have to be willing to stand at your front door and shout it and I reckon it's the same for babbies.

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  10. Now try finding a name that can be pronounced and spelled in German, English and Portuguese (and yes, there are so few options I have probably just about given my baby's name away...)
    #fromtheheart

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  11. For us it was rather difficult. In the end my mum came into hospital with a list and we settled on a few possibilities. When my hubby and I finally settled on the same names that was it. No more feeling guilty that we hadn't decided the moment she was born.#sharewithme

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  12. It can be so difficult choosing a name especially for international families like ours. We went with the irish / american spelling of our son and now everyone spells it wrong in the uk. Great tips. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. I hope to see you again this week for another great round of #sharewithme

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  13. Name is very important to every person. You always need to think it through, remember baby grows up and becomes a person

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