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How Do I Pick My Baby's Name?

Choosing the perfect name for your baby can be a bit of a head-scratcher.

How do you pick a name that you love that won’t get turned into some horrible nickname? And names go through fashion cycles so it’s easy to get caught up in trends. Although we can’t imagine many of you will copy Elon Musk and Grimes and go for X Æ A-12. 

On the flip side, everyone will have an opinion on your choice, even if you think it’s fairly standard. But this is your baby, their name and your decision.  So if you find something you love then stick with it, don’t listen to Aunty Tina’s opinion on what “girls called Sarah are like”. 

Here are a few steps to guide you on your baby name journey. 

1. It’s your choice

Let’s start with the most obvious. It sounds easy but it’s the one most parents forget. This is your baby and your choice, so if you love it then go for it. It doesn’t matter what other people think, and opinions are like bumholes, everyone has one! 

2. What’s your surname? 

What surname is your baby going to have? And how will your shortlist of names sound with it? You could end up with an odd rhyme or two names that run together to sound, well, a bit rude. If your surname is Down then you probably want to avoid Neil as a first name. 

3. Sorry, how do you spell that?

Although a unique name, unusual or alternative spelling can help your baby stand out it can also leave them with a lifetime of having to explain and sound out their name. It can be frustrating for your child and sometimes means people use nicknames (which can be annoying if you don’t like the shortened version). 

4. Letters in a row

If you’re choosing first and middle names do they spell anything out when added to your surname? If your last name is Middleton then Bernadette Una isn’t the wisest choice.  And always do the initial, last name email check to avoid the future W.

5. Rhyme it 

Kids can be cruel and although we don’t think you should spend hours worrying about some future school bully it’s worth screening your name for obvious rhymes. Then you can decide if you’re comfortable with that pick. 

6. Ask someone else

If you have someone you really trust who you know won’t rip your favourite choice apart but can give a balanced view then ask them what they think. You could also ask your children (if you have any) but expect to get a shortlist that involves their favourite cartoon character. 

7. I’m famous

There’s a poor bloke in the US who has spent the last few years answering customer service enquiries for John Lewis. All because that’s his name and Twitter username. And although you might fancy copying a celeb it can also land your child with a name forever attached to someone famous. Oh, and you probably want to avoid Alexa and Siri unless you want to spend the rest of your life whispering their name. 

8. Top of the trends

If you want to avoid baby name trends then Google ‘top baby names of x year’, you can also find lists going back to 1904 in the UK. So you can do a bit of research into what’s popular and either jump on that train or avoid it altogether.  

Looking for some inspiration? Check out these lists:

Pregnant and want some help and support? Download the official Bump, Baby & You app now.

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