Name_Your_Baby_3With four kids I feel like I am pretty experienced in the baby-naming department. We’ve been through all kinds of baby name scenarios from everyone I know hating the name we picked to not having a name idea until two days after the baby was born. I feel like we did pretty well in the end.

There are plenty of articles and books about baby names with great advice on choosing a name. What many of them don’t include are things to avoid when you’re trying to decide on the perfect moniker. Here are 10 tips on how not to name your baby.

1. Don’t mispell a name just to be “original.” I guarantee you someone has probably already done it, but that’s not the point. When little Caytelynn grows up she’s going to be constantly correcting people on how to spell her name.

2. Don’t dwell on the popularity of a name. It doesn’t matter if it’s number 1 or 1,000 on the top baby names list – if you like it, use it! My older two sons have fairly popular names, and it hasn’t negatively affected them. Just ask one of the 15 Jessicas you went to high school with; it’s not the end of the world.

3. Don’t name your baby after a brand or product. No matter how obscure that brand name may be, just don’t do it. Sure Camry sounds like a cute name, but people will forever attribute it to a car. And it’s not even a luxury car.

4. Don’t worry too much about the meaning of the name. A lot of etymology is outdated or from completely different languages. Just because Cameron means “crooked nose” in Gaelic, doesn’t mean they are going to be born with one.

5. Don’t forget to include your spouse in the name-choosing. You’re a team! You have this baby as team, so it’s only fair to name them as a team. Compare lists of your favorite names and combine them into a short list that includes choices from the both of you. Then narrow it down to one when the time comes.

6. Don’t try to be funny with it. Rhyming first and last names, giving a silly middle name, or forming a bad word with the acronym of first, middle and last is not a good idea. You can laugh about the possibilities, but don’t put it on the birth certificate.

7. Don’t let anyone bully you out of a name you love. If someone doesn’t like your choice, they may try to talk you out of it. Don’t let that happen. Stand your ground.

8. Don’t use a family name if you hate it. With our fourth child, she was the only girl born into my husband’s family in 30 years, and the first granddaughter on both sides. With those odds we were really feeling the pressure to use a family name, but there were too many and I didn’t like any of them. We named her something completely different and everyone was okay with it…eventually.

9. Don’t bypass a name because of a possible nickname. I love the name Jackson, but didn’t want people to call him Jack. So far no one has ever called him that, and if they do I will politely correct them. When he’s older he can choose to go by Jack if he’d like, and I’m okay with that.

10. Don’t tell anyone what name(s) you picked. With our first son we were so excited. We picked a name out and told the world. Everyone hated it so much that we completely changed it. After that I decided I wouldn’t even bother sharing, and the next time I was pregnant I avoided the name question by simply saying that I hadn’t picked one out yet.

Do you have any baby naming tips to share?

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When I'm not writing, I'm cleaning up after my three very messy boys, ages 8, 5, and 2, and my 1 year old girl. If I had to describe myself in just one sentence: Slightly crunchy, a little crazy and always exhausted.

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