Naming a new human is right near the top of the list of important responsibilities when you’re expecting and actually takes a lot more time than you might first think. So how do you decide from ‘literally’ millions of name options for your little person? And how do you make sure you won’t regret your decision? Well don’t worry, we’ve got your back! We’ve decided, after going through this process a few times, that we’d share some of the considerations and the process we’ve gone through when selecting the perfect name for your baby…
It’s a Team Effort
We know – your pregnancy has seen you do all the heavy lifting, well apart from that small – and probably rather enjoyable, contribution made early on from Dad (oh the inequality). The temptation to say, “I cook and push, I choose” is really tempting. But don’t leave Dad out of the baby naming process. Get him onboard, early, even if it’s just for veto rights. You don’t want to have your heart set on a name only for him to poo-poo it once you love it. The MOST helpful tool is the brilliant “Babyname App” – It’s tinder for baby names! Connect the App with your partner, swipe right for names you like and left for those you don’t, they do the same and the app creates a list of names you both like. GENIUS!
Aussies LOVE a nickname! Damo, Scotty, Shorty, Dan, Jess, Nicco. No matter what you call your baby, it will ultimately end up with a shortened version or nickname. Consider what that might be. You can decide for yourself and refer to your baby as that and hope that it catches on. Or you can leave it up to others to decide. If you love the name Jessica, but can’t handle Jess or Jessie, then we advise you to think twice about the name! Also, take heed some stern advice being aware of initials – Willow Thea Fitsimmons is a lovely name but (W.T.F) – not as ace; Brianna Anne Grayson (B.A.G) Finn Michael Leeson (F.M.L) Sofia Elizabeth Xu (S.E.X) August Susan Sullivan (A.S.S) – you get the drift! C.I.T: Consider it all!
Bear in mind that what’s cool now, might not be in a decade (harsh reminder; we all thought pencil thin brows were a great idea once). We’re not saying don’t be unique and if you absolutely love the name Sansa or Rue; own it. But remember, Game of Thrones and Euphoria won’t be in the HBO ‘everyone’s watching’ list in 2032. And if your partner suggests Dusty or Danger – kindly remind him that not all footy players stay great – on or off the field. Also remember, one day that baby name will become an adults name. Does your chosen name still work for an adult – a doctor? A CEO? A prime minister? Don’t forget; Trends come and go; your baby’s name is forever.
Classic Can Be Cool
We’re not talking John, Paul and Mildred – But a deep dive into vintage and classic baby names can deliver some absolute treasures. Names that have stood the test of time, but remained obscure enough to not be ‘worn out’. Think; Adeline, Belle, Casper, Cleo, June, Sabine, Margot, Otis, Remy – all classic, all fabulous. Nameberry have created a fantastic list to capture those vintage vibes. https://nameberry.com/list/339/Vintage-Baby-Names/all
Be Kind With the Spelling
If you have ever had to consistently spell your name for people, you will understand the importance of this consideration. Kelleigh, Rybekkah, Jorja, Jaxon, Hunta… just a few examples of people who no doubt understand this lifelong crutch. It’s great to be unique, but think about the affect that may have on your baby.
Throwing back to your family’s history can be a great place for inspiration. Whether it be a name taken directly from or inspired by a relative, decedent or a cultural reference such as a place (think, Luca, Sienna), choosing a name that is from your family tree or cultural background can be a beautiful way to honour your heritage. If choosing a cultural name, be careful to check the meaning. ‘Tuvalet’ seems like a beautiful French Polynesian name, but actually means toilet in Turkish! Just like those Asian scripture tattoos you thought about getting while on a yoga retreat in Ubud – please check the meaning!
Don’t Get Too Attached…
Having the perfect baby name is not a pre-requisite for going into labour. Often when your baby is born, they may not suit the chosen name. That’s ok! A shortlist of well considered names is a great idea, but keep it flexible. We know stories of people who have had their hearts set on names, only to have close relative or friends use it for their own child or it just didn’t seem to suit baby. And its ok to wait till your baby is born and try a few on for size. You have 60 days to register a birth. It’s also worth noting there are some restrictions around what you can call your baby. Names that are offensive, too long or contain certain monikers can’t be registered – you can get more information from your state government.
Say it. Say it a lot. Say it with your baby’s surname. Say it in a sentence. Whisper it like you are telling them you love them as you send them off to school. Get your partner to say it. Yell it like the neighbours will hear when they are 14 and refuse to put down their phone. Sing them ‘Happy Birthday’. Scream it like they just kicked a winning goal in a Grand Final. Say it with a prefix – Doctor, Ms, Professor, Sir. Write it. Write it again. Now in capitals. Still love it? Perfect.