Naming a child may be the most difficult and stressful decision in the history of life. (or maybe I’m just being dramatic because we are not even close to having a name for this child that will be here in just a few months.)
There are many things to be considered when choosing a name – most of which come down to personal preference. Some people prefer more “normal” names, some prefer names that are a little more out of the box. Some people choose names that have significance in their family, some just like a name because they like it. You could name your child after an icon of popular culture (past or present) or a historical figure. The list of possibilities goes on and on.
I’ve heard of people using the “presidential name test” when choosing the name for their child. This basically means that if you put the word “president” in front of the child’s name it sounds reasonable. For example, President Evan William Jenkins sounds more presidential (to me at least) than President Mustafa Badger Jenkins.
Advice that I’ve heard over and over again, is to not tell anyone your top contenders for a name unless you really are sure you want their opinion. The likelihood of them having some opinion about that name – good or bad – is high. What if you really love the name, and then your friend tells you that they know someone with that name who was a horrible person? Or maybe they remind you of a mutual friend who is going to name their next child that name? For most people, that will then affect how you view the name, and it will likely cause you to think twice about your choice, and maybe not choose it at all. Now, that doesn’t mean that you and your partner shouldn’t discuss the naming of your child, or maybe if you have a really good friend that you trust you could run it by them, but overall I agree with the advice to not share your choice names with the world until you are ready to actually name your child that. People have opinions about everything these days, but the name of your child is something that you definitely don’t need someone else’s opinions on if you don’t want them.
Even once you have chosen a name (assuming it is before the child is born), do you tell the world, or do you keep it a secret until he/she is here? (for the record, we will be keeping it a secret.) I suppose there are benefits to each side of the argument. If you are really in to personalization or monogramming, then knowing the name ahead of time would allow people to give you these kinds of gifts ahead of time, or use the initials or name for for nursery decor. (Though both of those things could easily be done after the fact, too.) But on the other hand, (especially if you already know the sex of the baby) wouldn’t finding out the name of the baby be a fun thing to leave as a surprise to everyone until the baby is here?
Overall, I think baby naming – though difficult – is also super interesting. There are name combinations that I never would have thought of myself, but have heard them as friends children’s names and think they sound wonderful. It also is kind of fun to hear about a name that has a lot of history.
Tell me: if you have kids, how did you choose their names? If you don’t have kids, do you have future baby names picked out already? (I am not one of those people who has known for years what I would name my future children.)