Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Naming Baby

Just how do you pick a baby name? Along with the purchase of baby furniture, cute little outfits and deciding whether to use cloth or disposable comes picking a name for that new family member. Some people choose to pick the name this way. They look at the baby when it's born and say "She/he looks like a ..." This is how my sister in law and brother in law pick their baby names. They went to China and adopted a baby girl from there. They had no names in mind, but decided on Lily when they got a glimpse of her. Of course she had a Chinese name that was picked by the orphanage, but it was "Autumn Rain" in Chinese. The workers at the orphanage tend to name the child something significant that has to do with the way they were found or the way they look. My niece was abandoned and found outside in the rain in the month of October by orphanage workers.

I prefer to be a bit more organized, armed with a list of names than to wait till the last possible minute to name my child. On the other hand, some people can't decide what to name the child and the baby goes begins it's life without a name for the first week or two without a name and without an identity.

The thing is that you need to pick out a name that is not cutesy or odd or anything because you will be using it a lot! I remember when my oldest was a little girl and thinking, it is a good thing I really like the name I gave her, because I am sure calling her quite a bit. What about naming your bouncing baby boy after your old uncle Ebenezer? I would advise against it. Think how much he will be teased when he reaches school. So it's best not to choose a name just to please a family member. We named our youngest Hannah after an aunt on my husband's side. Her name was Joanna in English and in German j's are pronounced with y's so we just dropped the jo and thus came up with Hannah (this was before the name became popular though) so sometimes this does work, but not all that often.

Trendy names are cool, but in a class of ten Emilys will your daughter really stand out? Also you will not want to name your child something that can spell a word such as Catherine Alyssa Taylor (CAT), although I went to school with a guy that hated his first name (James) whose initials were JET and thus he was known as such.

Another thing you might want to consider is how the baby's name rings with yours and its last name. Rhyming is not good as well as parents trying to be cute by naming their child Sandy Beech or Holly Wood. Biblical names are cool as long as there are not too off the wall as well (our oldest daughter's name is Leah).

Name meanings can be important to some people. Leah got named her name because I like the name, not because of what it meant (it means weary). There are a lot of other issues to consider when picking out a name for baby than just the name's meaning. Things like the short form of the name can be important to some. There are a lot of names that I like but am not too crazy on the short form of the name. These include names like Matthew or Samantha. We all know people that are named these names and these people are usually called by the shortened form. Also you might want to think about a unisex name such as Taylor or Presley (I happen to know both boys and girls with that name).

It is funny how we associate names with past events too. If someone that we had a run-in (good or bad) with is named Josh (ie if he was your first boyfriend) would you want to name your son that? Or remember that girl named Abby that always picked you when you were in grade school, why would you want to envoke such memories every day?

You will find that everyone has an opinion about the name you choose if you tell them ahead of time. My sister-in- law made the mistake of telling her sister-in-law a name that they had chose for their first child and well the name ended up being 'stolen' by the other family. To avoid this it is best to keep the name to yourself and take all the suggestions, smile and thank them and do what you want to do. Do your research on the Internet or at the Library (there are tons of sites and books that can help you), carry around a little book and if you hear a great name, jot it down. Remember that the name will be with the person all of its life and most importantly, it's your child and half the fun of having a baby is naming it!

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