It’s the question that consumes all parents during the 9 months of pregnancy, ‘What will we name our baby?’ The decision you make will have an impact on your child throughout his life, so choose wisely! Here are some tips compiled with help from The Best Baby Names for Canadians, published by HarperCollins.
1. Vary the syllables in the first and last names. So, for example, if your child’s last name will be short, try to give him a longer first name. This is only a guideline, not a rule.
2. Avoid first names that end in the same letter or ‘sound’ of the surname.
3. Avoid creative spellings for traditional names. Your child will spend countless hours re-spelling it slowly to people for the rest of his life.
4. Consider choosing a ‘common’ name. As parents have become more trendy, simple names, like Jane, Susan and Linda are now rare.
5. Make sure the initials don’t spell anything unintentional.
6. Do a Google search of your chosen name. Make certain there are no unfortunate associations.
7. Match to rest of your family. Make certain that siblings’ names aren’t a mixture that leads to something that sounds odd.
8. Remember that twins are not one entity. Avoid names that ‘go together’ (such as Hope and Faith), or rhyme or are too similar.
9. Remember that too many opinions may make your choice even harder. Almost everyone had a bully in school who has tainted a certain name for them.
10. Check out your family tree to draw names from your relatives. Some older names are often lovely and fresh now.
Originally published in 2008.