Tuesday, April 1, 2014

4 Tips for Selecting a Unique Name for Your Baby

When the time comes in an expecting couple’s career to start thinking of names for their future son or daughter, there can be a lot of pressure to pick the perfect name. Naming a baby is no trifling matter. The name that is chosen, whether for a boy or girl, will stay with that child for his or her entire life and have a direct impact on the type of life he or she has. Nowadays, it seems that picking the perfect name also includes picking one that is unique. 

Uniqueness in a name is thought of as both a way to ensure a child’s sense of individuality and personal identity, as well as a way for parents to express their love to their future son or daughter. Giving a child a special name makes parents feel that they will give their child a special life, and this is an important factor. While the popularity of naming children after biblical characters or elder family members has not entirely diminished, it has seen a decrease in recent years. In a culture that is dominated by media and entertainment, the fact that celebrities have a tendency to give their children unique names certainly has some influence on the choices made by modern parents-to-be. 

While uniqueness, in itself, is typically viewed as a good thing, there is also another side to it that should be carefully considered before making a final decision on a baby name. There are varying levels of uniqueness that can determine the manner in which a name is received by the child’s future peers. The right amount of unique, makes a person “special,” while too unique can make a person an outcast. While, this may seem an extreme perspective for something as simple as a child’s name, make no mistake. A name that is deemed “weird,” will most certainly cause your child some difficulty with the other kids at school. It’s important to weigh these factors carefully.

So, if you are a person fortunate enough to be at the point in your life where you are considering a baby name, what’s the best way to go about picking a unique one? 

1. See what’s Popular - When choosing baby boy names or baby girl names, one classic method is to look through baby name books. Now with massive resources available online, a simple search will bring up statistics on all the most popular and current names for boys and names for girls. This can be useful for a couple reasons. This will allow you to find a name that you like without the fear of picking one that is too outdated. On the flip side, you can make sure that you’re not naming your child the most popular name in the year. No child wants to have three or four classmates with the same name.

2. Make a List – This is probably the most important step to take when choosing a name for your future baby. Memory is not a reliable place to store information and, during your search, you will undoubtedly come across a large amount of names that you like. You can even use a system of check marks or ratings to help determine your favorites on the list. The list should be ongoing. You have plenty of time before you have to make that final call. Keep it open-ended as long as you need to.

3. Think outside the Box - If picking a unique name is important to you, lists of popular baby names will probably do very little to help you in your search. Think about the parts of life that you love most. Places you like to visit, activities, philosophies, music or the arts. You never know in what way inspiration will hit you. Keep an open mind.

4. Consider Alternate Spellings – This method has become increasingly popular over the last couple decades. If you are worried about giving your child a name that is too unique, you could simply rework a classic popular name. If you choose this route, be careful not to make the name difficult to pronounce from reading it. This will give your child many headaches throughout his or her life. Try to avoid adding silent letters or interchanging vowels that should not be interchanged. Changing a “C” to a “K” is usually a safe bet. Changing an “I” to a “Y” can also work but should be done with care.

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