You are about to be a mother or father and are looking for a suitable name for your child? So, keep in mind that this is a big decision, because your child will have to deal with this name for the rest of its life. In the following, we give you helpful tips on finding the right name for your baby boy or girl.
It should be so easy, like opening a book of names, choosing a name blindly and – poof – a name is found. However, you should take some time for finding the right name. The search for a suitable first name for the offspring mostly includes two people and therefore two opinions, wishes and feelings. Remember that the choice of name says more about you than about your child. Despite everything, the name does not belong to you, you only give a name to your child, because it cannot choose it itself. Keep in mind that later the name of your choice will reflect on your child. People have certain ideas and prejudices about first names, which can also be decisive in job applications or similar situations. So how can you be sure you’re making a sensible and wise choice? Check out our tips and you will definitely make the right decision.
Many people already developed certain ideas and desired names in the course of their lifetime or during pregnancy – you and your partner certainly did that as well. In this case, you should each create a list of your personal favorites, which you adjust according to your feelings or new insights about the respective names over time. Maybe think about the exact spelling too, like Sophia or Sofia? Thus, you can add new names or delete old ones from the list. Sleep on it for a few nights and ignore the list for a while, and certain names will emerge. In the end, you can compare your list with your partner’s and you can choose a name for your child together.
When looking for a suitable name, you should not forget about the importance of the last name. After all, first and last name form a unit. A well-sounding full name depends on various factors: A longer last name harmonizes well with a shorter first name and vice versa. Often, rhymed names or first names that come from a different cultural background than your last name sound nice. First and last names that begin or end with the same letter often have a peculiar sound, especially with vowels. However, exceptions prove the rule: The name of the former US president Woodrow Wilson sounds quite harmonious. The best thing to do is to repeat first and last names aloud several times in succession. That’ s how you get a sense for the sound of the name easiest way.
Of course, you want to give your child a special first name. But with unusual pronunciations or spellings you may complicate things for your child later. That’s why we recommend you spellings that are more common. For example, the spellings Phillip or Fillip are more familiar than Phillipp and thus more suitable.
Terms of endearment and nicknames usually develop quite naturally and are mostly used within the family, among friends, and sometimes exclusively in childhood. This is primarily because nicknames are often a cute diminutive of full names. At a certain age, these names can sound ridiculous. Therefore, we recommend using the full form of a name whenever possible – i.e. Thomas instead of Tommy or Rebecca instead of Becci. However, it turns out that names do change and get established. This is true, for example, for Jenny as a shortened form of Jennifer or for Max as a short version of Maximilian.
Basically, you have full rein when it comes to giving a name to your child. It doesn’t take long, of course, for a big “but” to come up. Some states have guidelines that determine which names you are not permitted to choose. These guidelines vary from state to state and are designed to ensure that the child is registered at birth. Any restrictions on naming are either due to practical reasons or to protect the child.
For example, while there are generally no restrictions on the number of names in the United States, some states limit the number of letters or prohibit numeric digits. It is best to check with the state in question to see which rules or laws apply there. Overall, parents in the U.S. are quite free to name their children as they please.
You should not rush into choosing a name. If you think you have made up your mind, you should sleep on it for a night or two. Then you can check whether your reasons for the decision are still valid. Often reservations or problems with the chosen name arise only after a few days.