There are so many things to consider when choosing a baby name that it can be completely overwhelming. I remember picking a name for my daughter, my first born, and seriously didn’t know where to start! The one thing I wanted to make sure of was not to choose a name that was too popular. There is nothing worse than being one of three people in your school class with the same name!
If popularity is a concern the first place you may want to check is the Social Security Administration. They provide the most accurate list of popular baby names and you can search by year to get the top 10 of each gender or you can search the name itself, with the gender of the child to find out where your name ranks. It’s a really cool tool!
Okay, so now you know how many Emma’s there will be in your daughters 1st grade class…but how does the first name sound with the last name? The best way to test this is to say it aloud. Heck, call it out like a sports announcer! Things to consider when doing this are whether or not the first and last names are double consonants. Do we have a Peter Piper? Or if the first name ends in the same letter that the last name starts with….Chris Smith???
What about using family names? I am a HUGE fan of incorporating family names into your child’s name. I have done it with both of my children and plan on doing it for our third. My personal preference is to use a family name as a middle name. My daughter’s middle name is Marie just like mine, my mom’s, my grandma’s, and my great-grandma’s and we gave our son the same middle name as my grandfather & great-grandfather. To me this is the best way to honor your family and heritage.
Okay, so now we have to go back to making sure it all sounds good together. Say the full name aloud. First-Middle-last. You have to test it out just to be sure.
Considering Initials. Let’s face it, kids are mean and they love to tease other kids about their names. Something to consider is your child’s initials. You don’t want them going off to school with any ammunition built right in so be wary of any name combination’s that may result in initials such as P.E.W or P.E.E I’m sure we can all imagine what they’d be called at school.
Are there siblings? If so, then you may want to consider choosing a name for baby that pairs well with big brother’s. To check this, I use what I call the ‘Christmas Card Test’. It’s self explanatory, write out the names of your family as if your signing a Christmas Card then read them aloud…Do they all flow well? You don’t want to end up with something like ” Happy Holidays! Love, Jack, Janie, and Ignacius” Something about it just doesn’t sound right.
Naming your children with a common first letter. Now we all know since I
call my kids ‘The P’s” that I’m guilty of this one. A lot of people do it, I’m not sure why, but they do. If this is something you’re considering, make sure you pick a letter with several naming options…you don’t want to have run out of names by the time you get around to baby #3. So, you may be asking yourselves…what about you? What’s up with all the P’s? Well here’s what happened….
When choosing a name for my first born I tossed around several that I really liked. But it ultimately came down to one. My Sister, who was a huge One Tree Hill fan at the time mentioned the name ‘Peyton’. I liked the name but had never considered using it for a girl. And since this was 2006, and the Colts were in the height of their run for a Superbowl Championship, I mentioned the name to my husband and he immediately said ‘like Manning? I love it!’…I mean really, who isn’t a Peyton Manning fan? And so my baby girl came home from the hospital: My little Peyton.
The name Peyton quickly turned into the nickname Peanut or Pea so when I found out I was pregnant with our second child, I immediately new I wanted to do another ‘P’ name…so I could have my ‘Two P’s in a Pod’…I know, I know, a little cheesy, but that’s me! Choosing our son’s name was easy. We chose the name Preston. It is a strong, classic name, that isn’t too popular.
Now on to baby #3, we had a bit of a tougher time choosing. I had a couple P names selected but we just couldn’t narrow it down. We have ultimately chosen to name ‘P3’ Paxton. Boy or Girl, the first name will be Paxton and we have chosen different middle names depending on the gender of the baby. So now our THREE Peas in a Pod will be Peyton, Preston, and Paxton! I like the combination because 1. they all start with the letter P, 2. they all end in ‘ton’, 3. they all have the same origin: Old English, and 4. none of them top the popularity charts.
A few other minor details to consider is whether or not you want a unisex name versus one that is gender specific. You will also want to consider what the name will sound like as a child and as an adult. Is it something that will grow with your child into his or her adult life?
Now that you have some things to consider…