Narrowing down your list of potential baby names is a great idea. It can help to get input from family and friends.
But it’s important to remember that the final decision should be made by both parents. And don’t forget to run a quick Google search on the name, just in case it has a negative connotation.
Popular Baby Name Trends
For those soon-to-be parents, the possibilities for baby names are seemingly endless. Some may opt for the timeless classics, while others may peruse trending topics to find the perfect moniker for their bundle of joy.
Some of the best baby name trends to watch out for this year include options influenced by nature, pop music or TV shows. You can also take a quiz, as a fun way to make a decision, or just help you with inspiration.
When a new Star Wars movie premiered last year, the name Andor shot up the ranks in popularity, perhaps inspiring parents to give their kids a name that is both cool and geeky.
Nature-inspired names for girls are also on the rise. Names like Ivy and Laurel are growing in popularity, along with floral options like Violet, Rose and Daisy. Meanwhile, gender-neutral monikers like Willow and Birch are climbing the charts.
Western-inspired names are having a Yellowstone moment, as many families are gravitating toward a more rugged ideal. Names that evoke a sense of place like Harlan, Aspen and Colter are gaining in popularity, as well as character names from the hottest new Western TV shows including Brando, Tex and Yellowstone.
Meaningful Family Names
Some parents have a preference for a particular family name and hope to honor it with their new baby. This can be a lovely way to celebrate family history while also making sure your little one has an important connection to their heritage.
Sometimes, family names can inspire full-length baby names as well. Maybe your grandmother gave you a nickname you absolutely adored, and this could inspire a formal name for your child that will work with them into adulthood. Alternatively, you can even work backwards from nicknames to find the perfect full-length name.
Another great source of inspiration is your own family tree. You may find a long-lost relative with the perfect name to honor or pass down. If not, there are plenty of books and online resources to help you find a meaningful baby name.
Choosing a baby name is an exciting and intimidating task. It’s the decision that will follow your child throughout their life, so it’s a big deal.
However, don’t feel like you have to settle for the first name that comes to mind. Nothing is set in stone until you sign the birth certificate, so if you decide you’re not in love with your baby’s official name, it can always be changed later on.
Cultural and Ethnic Influences
The names you choose for your baby can help to honor your cultural heritage or your family’s ethnic origins. Many people also consider naming their babies after places that have special meaning to them or that they have visited. Devon is a picturesque place in England that could make a beautiful name for a baby boy or girl.
While you can get lots of great advice from friends and family, it’s important not to let anyone influence your decision too much. If someone has a serious problem with the name you’re considering, try to politely let them know that it’s your baby and that you feel confident about it.
You might even want to keep the name a secret until the baby is born so that you can see if it fits them well. Once you have the baby in your arms, a name that seemed silly or unfit might suddenly seem perfect.
If you’re not sure about a name, try to come up with nicknames for it to test out how they sound. You might find that your child will be referred to by their nickname throughout their life, so it’s good to have an idea of what that will be like before you settle on a full-length name.
The Importance of Pronunciation
For many children, their name is an important part of their identity. It’s something they carry with them throughout their lives. That’s why it’s important to consider how easy or difficult it will be for other people to pronounce their name.
A few weeks ago Life Kit published an episode featuring Ruchika Tulshyan, an author and inclusion expert. In the episode, she talked about how mispronunciation of her name has impacted her throughout her life.
When choosing your baby’s name, it’s a good idea to run it by some friends and family members to make sure they can say it correctly. You should also pay attention to the sound of your child’s last name and initials, which can be hard to pronounce for some people.
Finally, it’s a good idea to check the names you’re considering on the “hard to pronounce” list. While it’s not a guarantee that your child will say their full name by 18 months or 3 years, it is generally expected that they will be able to pronounce most sounds in their name by this time. This is especially true if their name has a lot of consonant sounds next to each other.
Creative Alternatives to Popular Names
If you love a name that is currently popular, it may be a good idea to consider some alternatives. Trends come and go, and you may not want your child to be the only girl named Emma in her class or the only boy named Braden.
It might also be a good idea to avoid trendy names that sound like a celebrity or a sports star. They might not be relevant in 20 years, and will quickly pigeonhole your kid to one specific generation.
Many parents are turning to creative spellings of popular names to try and be more unique. But this can cause problems later in life if your child wants to spell their name for friends and family. Plus, it can also lead to teasing from online baby names communities (for example, Kimberleigh vs. Kimberly).
If you are having trouble agreeing on a name with your partner, try taking turns choosing the first and middle names or a combination of both. If you are both on the same page, it will be much easier to get your kids on board with their new name.
Considerations for Initials and Nicknames
It can be easy to overlook the impact a baby’s initials will have. But it’s important to consider this before you commit to a name. You wouldn’t want your child to have initials that spell out a swear word, for instance. (That would not go over well in middle school.)
Similarly, it’s also worth thinking about how much nickname potential a name has. Depending on how your child acts and what his or her friends call them, a cute nickname can quickly become a cruel one.
You may find that people will be quick to give you advice about the name you choose. And while some of this advice may be helpful, it’s important to listen to your heart and make a decision that you feel comfortable with.
Naming a child can be a daunting task, but it is also an exciting one. With careful thought and consideration, you can find a name that will help your child flourish.
And, with a little luck, your family and friends will get used to it as they spend time with your growing baby. Hopefully, you will have plenty of cute pictures to share to help them along the way.
When it comes to picking a baby’s name, the most important thing is that you and your partner are both happy with the chosen name. Try to pick a name that has meaning behind it and that will make your child feel special.
Consider asking family members for their input as well, as this can help bring family together in celebration when the baby is born. At the end of the day, only you know what name you will choose for your little one – so go with your instinct and pick something that feels right to you.