A huge challenge for most parents is naming your baby.
A name could mean something that is very important to you as it’s a family name or it could be the hardest thing as you have no idea what that name could be.
We have Harper & Ethan and the journey to get to both their names was a challenge! You hear how teachers go off certain names as they relate it to a child, well David and I both worked at a University for 15 years and there are plenty of names that have been tarnished for us in a community of 10,000 18 - 35yr olds.
Harper: we knew we were having a girl, we had two options on her middle name as it was after a family member. So then we needed to find a first name that we both liked and went well with the middle name. We (David) ended up reading a book of names, we started at A and he read out each name that he liked and we managed to talk ourselves out of each one of them through a general dislike or it didn’t go with her middle name. We got to Harper, it wasn’t offensive, it went with our middle name, we shut the book and that was it - done!
Ethan: We struggled even more with boys' names, there seemed to be even less of these. This time David and I both wrote a list of the names we liked, we compared lists and any duplicate names went on a shortlist, and both of us could cross off names from the other’s list we didn't like. That left us with four. We researched the meaning behind each of them so when he was born weighing 10lb and 2oz we knew that Ethan (meaning Strong) was the perfect name for him.
Give yourself time
I know it sounds like a massive rush, but give yourself as much time as you need! 9 months is more than enough time to pick a name - even if you haven’t picked a name when the baby is born, there is no need to worry. It is a big choice and the right name will fall to you in time and you have a grace period after birth before you need to register your child.
Having a name running through the family could be a family tradition. For example the name could have started off hundreds of years ago. Even if it’s not a family tradition, you could start the tradition off yourself by naming them after your mum or dad. We have this on David’s side that the son’s middle name is always the Dad’s first name. Me and My sister both have middle names that are linked to our family, I have our Nans names and My sister has the grandad’s names.
Nicknames could be something you have a long time to think about with linking them to their real name. Nicknames or shortening the name could be something you’ve always been interested in and there are a lot of names for you to do that.
If you have a few names in mind check that the initials work with each other, Sarah Hannah Irene Taylor would 100% recommend checking this!
Just because you like a classic name, remember that it isn't boring! If you like the name, go for the name! A classic name might be something that doesn’t jump out at you at first but it soon can.
Sound might sound like a strange way of thinking of a name but the sound or the pronunciation of the name could go a long way! You could think of a double barrelled name but the only way you might be able to get used to it - is by hearing it.
It might sound like a silly point - but make sure the whole name fits together and you feel like it suits. Will the first name match the surname? And don’t forget if you decide to add middle names in as well.
Get your friends and family to all write down a boy and a girl's name and read them out. See if you like any of their suggestions. Being stuck on a name can be hard so there’s nothing better than an outsider’s view.
You may like a name with different spellings. A different spelling could change the pronunciation of the name but it’s how you decide on how it looks. A new different look on the name could appeal to you more on a different spelling.
The name you might pick out could have a significant meaning to both of you. Maybe a place or something you both enjoy or love. A meaningful name could be an easier way so you can both agree on the name.
Make a checklist - pick the names you like the most and send them out on a survey of the family. You may feel more at ease if people are like your names as much as you do.
Depending on your religious beliefs, maybe follow a name deep to your cultural roots! It could mean so much more to you having a strong cultural name in your family and to carry on your family tree.
It’s about what you like
Remember - don’t take other people’s opinions to heart! It’s okay to get a different view on names but at the end of the day it is your child and it is your choice! Be happy with what you choose after the long choice.
Picking a name can obviously be the hardest thing especially feeling you have to give your child the best start to life and a name is just the start of the beautiful journey. Take your time and the name will fall perfectly to you. It’s all about timing and what the time is right - you’ll definitely know that.