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December 09, 2023

Where Every Family Matters

Baby-Naming: Top Tips!

Trendy? Classic? Original? Choosing a name for your baby is one of the most fun — and difficult — exercises! Several great tips can help to steer you in the right direction.

Your baby is coming … but what about the baby’s name? Maybe that’s not bubbling up so quickly. You may feel some pressure to uphold a family naming tradition and end up with a name you dislike. If you don’t agree with your significant other, one of you may end up begrudgingly giving in to the other. Baby name expert Pamela Redmon, cocreator and CEO of Nameberry has tips to help you land on your baby’s moniker.

Baby Naming: Top Tips!

1. Avoid passing trends

Your baby’s name should stand the test of time. Will this moniker sound completely ridiculous in 10 years? Will other children be tempted to tease your child over it at school? Will your child have to spell or explain their name every single day of their lives? If the answer to any of these questions is “yes”, nix it. Here’s a list of top baby names from 2022.

2. Classic names don’t have to be boring

There are plenty of names to choose from that have been around for centuries but remain relatively obscure. Think Celeste, Ophelia and Willa for girls, and Edwin, Elliot and Silas for boys. Other beautiful choices include Aaliyah, Imani and Tiana for girls, and Jaylen, Malik and Zion for boys.

3. Look at your family tree

A great place to seek inspiration is within your family tree. Perhaps your parents have old records of family names or one of your family members has created a family tree online. Learn the names of your ancestors — there may be something in there that really speaks to you. There’s something really special about choosing a name that you not only love, but that also has a strong significance for your family.

4. Honor your culture

Choosing a name from your background is a beautiful way to honor your heritage. Spanish names include Marisol and Javier, French beauties you might like are Elodie and Laurent, and early African-American names that may strike a chord include Cato and Temperance. An online search for names from your culture is bound to turn up at least one that you love.

5. Look up meanings

This step is key so you don’t end up choosing a name with a meaning that horrifies you. You might love the sound of Giselle, for example, but did you know it means “hostage”? Or that Cecilia means “blind” and Cameron means “crooked nose”?

6. Contemplate all possible nicknames

One mom I spoke to told me that she named her son Tucker only to realize (thanks to kids at school) the cuss word it rhymes with. Kids be so
cruel. Brainstorm possible nicknames to be sure there isn’t some shocking possibility you’re overlooking.

7. Consider the importance of the middle name

You may choose your child’s middle name based solely on the fact that it fits nicely with their first and last names, but you could also use it to honor a family member such as a grandparent or a beloved aunt.

8. Consider the importance of the middle name

You may choose your child’s middle name based solely on the fact that it fits nicely with their first and last names, but you could also use it to honor a family member such as a grandparent or a beloved aunt.

If you do end up regretting the name you chose, don’t panic – you have options. You could use a nickname for your child forevermore and forget that their real name exists. And if worse comes to worst, you can always change your child’s name legally. It requires a lot of paperwork and some fees, but it’s not impossible. Happy naming!

 

COME TO THE BABY FAIR THIS FALL!

About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.