Choosing your little girl's name is one of the most important things you'll ever decide. Remember they're stuck with it for the rest of their life. So here's a few tips and pointers on how to make this difficult decision just a little easier.
Things to consider
Compatibility and sound
Luckily your last name has been decided for you. That's one less decision to make but when considering a first name for your little girl make sure it flows well with your last name. For the most part longer first names go well with shorter last names and vice versa. Puns may be cute in the beginning but will quickly lose their appeal and result in tired jokes over the years. The same thing is true with first names that rhyme with your last name. It worked for Hannah Montana but she's also a TV character that had the luxury of growing up in a utopian Disney school.
Sophia and Emma may be great names but they've also been the most popular girls names for the last 3 years. Think about whether you want your daughter to be one of many Sophia's in her class. Sometimes it can be a good idea to pick a name that helps them stand out from the pack. Especially if you have a last name like Smith that lacks pizazz.
Your family may be a melting pot of ethnicities but if you have immediate family that lived in the old country you may want to choose a name that reflects their heritage and family tradition. There's plenty of resources that provide lists of ethnic names and can also provide you with the history and meaning behind those names.
Nicknames and Initials
Kids are more clever than we give them credit for and they will always find a way to attach a nickname to your child. Make sure your girls initials don't create undesirable acronyms such as ZIT or PEE that could result in unwanted teasing and ridicule.
Do you have that pushy relative pressuring you to name your girl after Grandma Bertha? Take recommendations in stride and never feel pressured to name your child after a relative. Especially if the name is somewhat unattractive. Sometimes it's endearing to name a child after a loved one but remember that this is your child and not theirs. Pick a name you feel comfortable with.
Most of us don't care too much about the meaning of our name but it's always nice to avoid names that have less than stellar histories. Cameron is a great name but your child probably won't ever be proud of the fact that it comes from the Scottish surname meaning 'crooked nose'.
Are you a new age kind of parent? Then you may want to choose a name that matches their horoscope personality. Got an Aries on the way? They're a natural born leader. Better choose a name that lives up to the hype.
Baby name books
Looking for some reading material? Check out some of my favorite baby name books.
Popular baby names
Whether you want to avoid or embrace the current trends in baby names you may want to check out the most popular baby names of the last hundred years. Here's the most popular from 2013:
Uncommon baby names
Looking to go against the grain? Here's some uncommon girls names that are still classic enough they'll stand the test of time.
Trends in baby names
Every year prompts new trends in baby names. The age of names ending with 'Lyn' is upon us in 2014. Some up and coming names this year are:
Nature is also making its influence known with names such as:
Celebrity baby names
Celebrities are the best at coming up with crazy unique names. Want to follow in the footsteps of your favorite celeb? Here's some celebrity baby name inspiration:
- Aviana (Amy Adams)
- Violet (Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner)
- Memphis (Bono)
- Evelyn (Bruce Willis)
- River (Kelly Clarkson)
- Frankie (Drew Barrymore)
Cute baby girl names
Let's face it, your baby girl is going to be adorable so she should have a name that reflects her cuteness. Some cute girls names to keep in mind are:
Classic baby names
A good classic name will never go out of style. Here's a few of the most popular names from the 1880's
Pick a name, not a fight
Maybe even more important than choosing the right name is keeping your marriage intact during the process. There can be a surprising amount of disagreement between spouses when it comes to agreeing on a name. Here's some ways to avoid conflict as you make this decision.
Discuss issues like image. Is the name too masculine and tom-boyish for a girl? Will a name hinder their ability to gain respect in a professional setting? Is the name too trendy or will it hold up over time?
Make sure you immediately eliminate any ex-boyfriend/girlfriend names from the mix. The last thing you want is to be reminded of your spouses ex when looking at your child.
Your spouse will undoubtedly have opinions on a name. Listen to them and don't criticize their positions. Many times a name carries a personal attachment and meaning to it. Rejecting your spouses name can sometimes feel like a personal rejection of themselves. Let them explain why they like a name. Who knows, they may sway your decision.
If they recommend a relatives name don't use the opportunity to bash your in-laws. Instead pick your battles and understand their viewpoints. Picking a name is a process and rarely will a single recommendation reflect your spouses final stance on a name.
Purchase a few baby name books and look through them together. Then make a list of 'Yes' and 'No' names for each of you. This allows you to easily narrow down names both of you agree on and come to a compromise. It's all about creating a win-win scenario.
Take a break
If things are becoming too stressful remember to take a breather. Taking a few days to cool off will allow you to re-approach the discussion with a new perspective. You have time and there is no pressure to rush into a decision. Sometimes the baby can feel more real for the mother than for the father early on. Don't jump the gun on discussing names too early. Waiting until after the ultrasound can help make the baby more real for both of you.