You're about to welcome a new baby into your life, and this bundle of joy needs a name. Seems easy to figure out, right? Think back to your teens when you scribbled down dozens of great names and kept them on file for when you had a baby. If you've found your old list and still love those names, you've got a head start. If not, the search is on.
To get started, create a list of all the important factors you want to consider in choosing a name for your baby. Ask yourself the following questions:
Is there someone you care about or admire — living or deceased — whom you want your baby to be named after?
Are you only considering using names that begin with a particular letter of the alphabet?
Is there a special place that you might consider using as a name?
Is there something you're passionate about that would make a great name?
If you're spiritual, would your prefer a name that reflects your religious heritage?
Do you feel a strong enough affinity to your (or your partner's) family heritage to consider a more ethnic or culturally influenced name?
How crucial is the meaning of a name to you?
Thinking about your priorities and making note of these criteria will help you narrow your focus considerably.
Do your tastes run traditional or trendy? Traditional names remain popular among the trendy choices, like Ethan, Madison, and Ashley. But trendy has its place, too. Sawyer, Lexi, Ryder, and Destiny seem more common than ever among the tried and true. If you want to be traditional
Something else to consider is how your child might connect with his or her name. Frank Zappa, the late rock music legend, had four children, whom he named Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukah Rodan, and Diva Muffin. The kids actually thrived well through the years — Moon had a hit record and Dweezil had a cooking show on television. The uniqueness of their names built character. But if Dad had simply been a hardworking insurance broker in Cincinnati, the kids would likely have had quite a different destiny and maybe a few identity issues to boot.
Names are our identities. Even if we don't love our names, most of us learn to live with them and form our personas around them. So, as you search for the right name for your baby, keep in mind how your own name may have shaped your life. Finally, use the name dictionary to learn the origins and meanings of different names. Check out the sidebars of name lists and tips, too. Make note of the names you like and have your partner do the same — or do it together! Have a discussion and narrow your choices. Then, get ready for the big birthday!