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The 3 Simple Steps You Can Take To Make Choosing A Baby Name Simpler

It’s likely not the most stressful part of becoming a parent, but choosing somebody’s name for them is quite an honour and a task that many parents don’t take lightly.

Where do you even start? Which names are trendy right now, and, crucially, which names aren’t trendy right now? How does it sound in your accent? What would their nickname be?

The questions are endless and the answers actually quite open-ended because, really, who can actually predict the nicknames that school children will conjure up?

How to choose a baby name

NPR spoke to a range of baby name specialists on their podcast to learn more about how we can narrow down our lists of baby names. First up was baby name expert Laura Wattenberg.

Don’t worry about popularity

Wattenberg, who wrote the book “The Baby Name Wizard”, and has looked at millions of names and studied how we name children, said that realistically, popularity shouldn’t factor into your decision.

She said: “The most common opinion you can have is to not like things that are common. So first thing to remember is that popular just means well-liked. That’s not so scary. No child’s life was ruined by having a popular name.”

Trust your own thoughts and choices

While naming a baby is a huge responsibility, there’s no reason you should believe that you’re not up to the task. It’s not quite as big of a decision as, say, having a baby!

Sherri Suzanne, a New York-based professional baby names consultant, echoed this sentiment on the podcast. She said: “Well, for parents at home, let me say one thing. You’re not going to make a mistake when you care this much.”

Don’t get bogged down with other people’s thoughts

We have all heard a baby name and thought “oh, really?” and, chances are, you’ll likely have this impact on somebody else when you announce your chosen baby name. However, how you feel about the name is the only thing that really matters.

Suzanne said that if you want to tell people the name you have chosen, you need to consider how they will react and if you’ll be able to deal with that. She explained: “Names are like art and not like science. And as art, there’s not – it’s not possible for all of us to see a movie the same way, to enjoy a book the same way, to like the same paintings, to like the same music.

“And if you go into that understanding that people may not have the same relationship with that name that you have, then it’s OK to share. You say, this is the name that I like.”

You don’t have to decide right now

Finally, host Diana Opong said: “You don’t have to name your baby right away. You can wait until you see that beautiful little being in front of you, cooing and stretching.

“You can decide in that moment based on your short list what feels right. You don’t have to share it with anybody. You can just sit in that moment and enjoy your child. Leave room for chance. You never know.”

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