6 Vital Things to Keep in Mind When Picking Baby Names


If you’re expecting a new baby in the family, you might naturally feel some excitement. If you are a new parent, that will bring some additional responsibilities. Siblings will surely have them as well.

You must get the house ready. You’ll set up a crib and perhaps paint the nursery. You may buy some baby toys or see whether your other family members have some that you can use.

You must also think about baby names. When the baby arrives, you should have a name ready. If you don’t, you must choose quickly. Perhaps you’ll pick a name only when you look at the child and gauge their personality and temperament.

Whether you pick an original or trendy baby name, you should keep a few things in mind. We’ll talk about them right now.  

You Should Not Make This Decision Lightly

Picking a baby’s name isn’t like naming a goldfish or a guinea pig. You might choose a name in two seconds flat, but that child must carry this name for their entire life.

That baby will grow into a teenager, into an adult, progress through middle age, and then on into old age if they’re lucky. They might live seventy years, or eighty, or even one hundred. They carry that name the whole time, and people will use it when they address them.

When you consider this, you might view this task more seriously. If you pick a name that doesn’t fit or that you feel you’ll regret, the child might not like it very much. If they dislike their name enough, they might even legally change it, pick a nickname, or go by their middle name instead.

If you pick a name that sounds foolish, the child might hate you for it. You’d hope that won’t happen, but choosing a joke name won’t win you any points as the child’s parent.

Trendy or Old-Fashioned Names Aren’t Always the Best

You might look at a list that shows modern names. Certain names become popular and then fade into obscurity. If you name a male child something like Joe or Jack, those names have staying power. If you name the child Archibald, you’re picking something that hasn’t experienced popularity in centuries.

Trendy or outdated names probably aren’t your best bet. You might love a name that’s popular right now, or perhaps you like one from bygone times that you very rarely encounter in 2023.

You might like the name right now, but will your child feel the same way? Names with a long history and staying power aren’t usually problematic. Very of-the-moment names or ones from centuries before can cause problems once the child understands they’re stuck with this moniker for life.

Keeping a Name in the Family Shows Respect

You might name your child after yourself, though some people feel that’s arrogant or shows self-involvement. However, maybe your father named you after him, and perhaps your grandfather had the same name as well.

If that name has familial significance, you might keep it around. Naming the child after yourself means you needn’t take months coming up with names and discussing their merits with other family members. If both parents are in the picture and agree on naming the child after the father or mother, that might work out fine.

You might also pick a name that someone had who has passed on. Maybe you name the child after a grandparent or a great-grandparent. Doing so shows respect for previous generations, and you might feel good about doing that. If a grandparent’s name was something unusual or outdated, though, you might reconsider.

Some Names Don’t Fit Well Together

You must also consider the whole name, not just the first name. Maybe you pick out a first and middle name, but then you string them together with your last name. How does it sound? You might like the first or middle name, but when you say the whole thing out loud a few times, it doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

You might try several combinations. You can pick first and middle names, add the last name, and write them down in a list. Then, practice saying them. 

Ask relatives about the names. Ask friends or neighbors if you respect these individuals. You want honest feedback, and if too many people do not like the way a particular name sounds, you might look into some other options.

Do Not Choose a Name that Rhymes Easily

You might also avoid names that rhyme easily. If you can think of rhymes that go with a name, other kids probably can as well.

Certain names sound strong, while others sound bookish. Others might sound exotic. If you can think of cruel rhymes that go easily with the name you pick, though, you might doom your child to torment on the playground for years. Consider that before choosing one.

Some Names Work for Both Male and Female Children

You might also pick names that work for male children and others for female children. You may have two lists. You can add names as they come to you or subtract them as you approach the child’s birth.

You might learn the baby’s gender before it arrives. You may also choose waiting until the child comes because you want a surprise.

Either way, you might pick some names that sound okay for either gender. Something like Jackie, Jessie, Kerry, Jodie, or Brady might work. These days, society doesn’t look at baby names so rigidly. Picking some gender-fluid names may work well when the child arrives, and you must make a decision quickly.

The right child’s name might take time to arrive, just like the child themselves. You can solicit suggestions from people in your life, and you should have several months before you must make this crucial decision. Hopefully, you will come up with something that your child likes when they’re old enough for some self-reflection.


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