Stuck for a baby name, or simply can't agree?
Choosing a name for your new baby is one of the most important decisions you will ever make, and a wrong choice can have future consequences from simple regret, to a lifetime of embarrassment for your child or teasing at school or at work. Hopefully with our top 10 tips we can give you some inspiration as well as highlight any pitfalls before you fall in too deep to climb out!
1. Choose from one of the lists of popular names. If you want to play safe, then this is the way to go. Every year the top 100 baby names are published and these are taken from the Office for National Statistics' record of births in the UK over the whole of the year. For 2015, Mohammed and all its variation spellings was top for boys, with Oliver and Jack a close second and third. For girls Olivia has snuck into first position above Sophia, and Lily remains in 3rd place.
2. Use a baby name website, or even a good old-fashioned book where you can make notes which can be much more user-friendly. If you don't intend to pass the book on you can cross out names you know you don't like or even tear the pages out if you're feeling gung-ho, that way you'll be left with just a handful of pages containing the names on your shortlist.
3. Avoid acronyms. It may be seem obvious but sometimes we don't see these things initially (pardon the pun). Make sure the initials of your baby's name don't spell out anything rude or similar e.g. Poppy Olivia Osbourne!
4. Make up your own name. Fancy something different but not brave enough to go for the Beckhams' choice of "Harper Seven" or crazy enough to choose Kim Kardashian and Kayne West's "North"? We certainly weren't bold enough to call our baby "North West", but instead we came across a quick and simple way to create a unique and lovely name by putting two well-known names together. Hyphenated names are increasingly popular for both boys and girls e.g. Toby-Ted or Lily-Bella. We particularly love this book which allows you to see how different names look and sound together.
5. Think about how friends and family may abbreviate your child's name. You may love the name Florence or Michael, but do you love Flo and Mick as much?
6. How does your chosen name sound when called out loud, and does the name go with your surname? Imagine yourself calling your child across the school playground. Are you going to have a double-barrel surname for your child? Lots of parents do that these days but just make sure it's not too much of a tongue twister.
7. Avoid puns. Whilst you may have the surname Martin and love flashy sports cars, do you really think your child will want to be called Aston? Other puns such as Polly Esther and Hannah Ball may not be so obvious but will no doubt serve as great ammunition for a playground bully in years to come. A good rule of thumb is that if it makes you laugh then it will make all your child's friends and not so friendly acquaintances laugh too.
8. Find out the meaning of your short-listed names. You may want to choose a name that has significance, or cross one off your list that has a meaning that you don't like. Again, baby books and some baby name websites are good for this.
9. Think carefully about the spelling. Whilst it's nice to be different, unique spellings of names mean your child will have a life-time of correcting others, plus it will be tricky finding off-the-shelf personalised items with your child's name on such as mugs, pencils, Christmas stockings etc.
10. And last, but definitely not least, get it right first time! If you decide to change your baby's name you can do so within 12 months of registering the birth however the full copy of the certificate will contain both the original name and the new name for your baby meaning the "mistake" will be there in black and white for eternity.
We wish you all the luck in the world for your new arrival and hope that this blog has been of some help.