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Tips On How To Choose A Baby Name

Tips On How To Choose A Baby Name - ParentsCanada

Advice  |  Top Baby Names  |  Baby Name Pseudonyms

Only you can decide what factors are important when you name your baby. Maybe you want your child named after a relative or friend. Perhaps you want an unusual name. Whatever your choice, here are some practical guidelines.


If you have a long surname, keep the first name short. And vary the number of syllables in each name. A first name with an odd number of syllables sounds best with a last name of even-numbered syllables. Avoid ending the first name and beginning the last with a vowel. Ray Bennet is easier to say, and sounds smoother than, Anita Adams.


Changing the spelling of a common name may be the beginning of a misspelling nightmare. Avoid cute spellings like Suezin instead of Susan, or Bobbee instead of Bobby, or Suezin and Bobbee will spend a lifetime correcting others, which, over the years, will become tiresome.


Names come and go and then come back again. In the 1950s, Mary, Patricia and Susan were popular choices for girls. Today, baby girls are more likely to be named Olivia or Emily. If you choose a fashionable name, make sure it is one that your child will love for life. Some children in the 1960s were given trendy names like Sun, Moon or Chastity. It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, and certainly reflects the era they were born in, but may not have stood the test of time. 


Middle names are a common practice but not compulsory. This name often is used to pay tribute to a close relative or friend. The mother’s maiden name also can be used as a middle name if the children have the father’s surname. We hope these guidelines are helpful but, in the final analysis, you are the only judges of what will be the best name for your baby.

10 Tips for Picking Great Baby Names

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.

Mombaby2 - tips on how to choose a baby name1. 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.

Read more: 
10 Pretty Floral Baby Names
19 TV-inspired Baby Names

Originally published in 2008.

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