What shall we name the baby? Margaret – or Mitexi? Charles – or Chander? Dozens of blogs will not only give you lots of ideas for names, but will help you consider the implications of what you choose.
by Christina DiMartino
Naming a baby gives you enormous power over the rest of a child’s life, so it’s one of the most important as well as earliest decisions in parenting children to which you should give serious consideration.
If you have decided to follow a family tradition of naming your child after a father, grandfather, grandmother or other relative, the decision is easy. But today, parents are leaning more toward names they like but which are not associated with lineage.
If choosing your baby’s name is perplexing, confusing, and even a cause for debate between you and your spouse, there is help. Dozens of internet blogs can help you sort through thousands of names to find one you feel deserving to your child, and that will service her well throughout her life.
Top recent names
Blogger Nancy Callahan Man, author of Great Expectations: Essential Guide to Baby Names, and founder of Nancy’s Baby Names blog, told Parent USA City that other than those linked to family tradition, the names parents pick for their babies often follow trends.
“According to the most recent data, the top names in the U.S. in 2008 were Emma and Jacob,” says Man. “Other popular girl names include Isabella, Emily, Madison and Ava. Other popular boy names include Michael, Ethan, Joshua and Daniel.”
Many countries, she says, publish official national statistics on names every year. For instance, the top names in England and Wales in 2008 were Jack and Olivia.
Keep it basic
Man advises parents to not go too crazy with unique or unusual spellings, adding, “Minor changes to a commonly spelled name—like Tabitha to Tabytha—aren’t a big deal. But major changes—like Elizabeth to Ahllizybeth—can turn into a major headache for parents and child alike.” Chances are that you and your child will constantly be correcting people.
Long, multi-syllable names can also be challenging to children because peers and even family members often shorten them into nicknames.
“If a nickname is used it really depends on the owner of the name,” says Man, “and it is something parents may want to take into consideration when choosing a name. Nicknames can simplify things. A young boy might like his nickname, but as he gets older he may prefer that others call him by his full name.”
Baby name trends often start when celebrities name their children. The Celebrity Baby Names blog lists the 10 top celebrity names for 2009:
Linking for more options
The Posh Little blog offers several ways to help you choose your baby’s name. Link to Baby Name & Nickname Creator and enter your last name. Use either the boy or girl options and it offers a first and middle name based on the most popular 1,000 names for 2008. If you don’t like the option, you can repeatedly request more suggestions.
Another link on this blog offers an A to Z list of over 4,000 names and provides the name’s meaning. It also rates names by popularity.
You may want to choose a name for your baby that is traditional in a country that represents your family’s heritage, or of which you’re particularly fond. At Baby Names & Products blog you can choose from dozens of countries. Choose the country and gender of the child, and dozens of names will appear. Pick “Spanish girl” for example, and you’ll get an A to Z list—from Abrienda to Yzabel.
Beware of funny combinations
Be aware of baby names where first and last name combination forms other words or terms. Naming a baby “Moon” whose last name is “Rising” may seem entertaining to you, but it could bring embarrassing moments to a child. You might not want to name your baby “Scott” if your last name is “Land.”
Listen for rhythm
Adorable Baby Gifts blog suggests you look for pleasing rhythms when considering your baby’s name. His first name should correspond with the rhythm of the last. The number of syllables in the first name should differ from the last name. For instance, Andre Gray creates better rhythm than Tom Gray.
More baby name blog sites:
Christina DiMartino has been a freelance and assignment writer since 1985. She is a researcher, interviewer, writer, editor, and manuscript collaborator with a repertoire of clients from around the world.