If you’re reading this, then chances are you’re pregnant. Congratulations! It’s great, isn’t it? Just kidding, rather you than me.
Now obviously dealing with this heat, that’s the easy bit.
Harder by far is deciding (and agreeing upon) what you will call your baby.
Somehow, from the thousands – no, millions – of potential names, you have to decide on one name that you like better than all the other names. The perfect baby name.
The name that your child will be stuck with from birth until the end, and the name that will be written in the history books when they discover a cure for cancer or win gold at the Olympics, which of course they will because no child of yours is going to eat Play Doh and wake you up because their pajamas have spots on and they can’t sleep in spots.
Obviously family names are very popular, and if your baby comes out looking exactly like your much-loved and dearly departed great uncle Rod then it might make the whole process easy (unless your baby is a girl).
On the other hand you might already have a few names in the shortlist and be undecided.
Well never fear, I am here to help you out.
Here are the steps you need to take to decide which one is the perfect name for your newborn baby:
1) Say it out loud
Now this isn’t a guide for complete novices, you understand. I trust you have at least gone this far of your own volition, but just in case it slipped your mind (pregnancy brain is totally a thing) then say the name(s) and surname in a variety of accents before you sign that bit of paper and saddle them for life.
Even if you really like it, if people think they’re receiving a prank call whenever they introduce themselves, you might want to reconsider.
2) Spell it out
Of course it’s up to you entirely whether you want to go for something common, something unusual or maybe even unique.
Personally, having lived 34 years with a fairly normal name that nobody can spell correctly (I get Francis with an ‘I’ more often than not, which is the male spelling), I was always fairly set on simple names for my children.
Unfortunately I didn’t really think too much about this at the time and now they both have names that can be spelt legitimately in a manner of ways. They’ll live and I really have no right to get angry over it (still do though eh).
3) Imagine it in use
Think about how you’ll feel when you have to say it ALL THE TIME, I’m talking well over hundred times a day. Maybe a million, I don’t know. Imagine using it at volume over a windy car park when they’ve high tailed it, and in the supermarket when they’ve done a runner towards the smashy bottles.
Does it slip off the tongue next to the phrase ‘GET YOUR SHOES ON’? How many times can you say “XXXX brush your teeth!” before you want to hit the smashy bottle aisle yourself?
4) Make sure it’s a suitable telling-off name
Imagine that they’ve got to the smashy bottle aisle, and done some smashing. Or perhaps they’ve got your lipstick out and painted the door with it. Maybe they’ve bitten another kid at soft play, or they’ve smeared their dinner over the carpet. Sorry, I’m not trying to scare you I promise.
The important thing is that saying their full name has to show that you’re angry, otherwise what is the point of a middle name at all?
5) Think about nicknames
If you hate the shortened version, it might not be a winner. When they’re small it’s not an issue if they are a Matilda but definitely not a Tilly, or a Bejamin but please don’t call him Ben. Once they get to school though, it’s beyond your control.
6) Autocorrect it…
My husband Doug is forever getting emails addressed to ‘Dough’, which is pretty funny until the point it gives you a complex. Cheers autocorrect.
A friend of mine whose daughter is called ‘Orla’ gets a lot of messages about ‘Oral’… thank goodness she didn’t call her Alan I guess.
So yea, it might be worth plugging it into your phone and seeing what they could be living with forever as a member of the WhatsApp generation.
7) Translate it
Not entirely relevant here as I’ve not left the country in two years, but if you do like to travel, it’s worth looking it up.
A friend told me ‘I loved the name Pippa until I found out what it meant in Italian and Swedish’.
Sorry to any Pippas out there who were blissfully unaware to this point.
8) Google it
Is there someone famous – maybe someone that you’ve never even heard of – with the same name(s)? It can rather put you off if the name you have set for your beautiful offspring is well known for putting it about on Love Island.
Perhaps it has been used by a celebrity couple recently? It’s worth checking out if you don’t want every man and his dog to ask you ‘Are they named after xxx?’.
Of course when a celebrity couple go on to use the name a few weeks or months later, there’s not much you can do. Except accuse them of copying you.
9) Get into the mindset of a sibling
Think about what they’ll call each other.
Kids are cruel, and siblings are the worst. They also have amazing imaginations.
What does it shorten to, rhyme with or sound like? It might be extraordinarily tenuous; put yourself into the mindset of a five year old. If you can’t, get your other half to help.
10) Check out the initials
It can’t be much fun going through life with the initials STD or BOG.
I believe there’s some psychology in it; would you even believe me if I told you that a friend knows someone whose initials are JCB… and is a farmer? It’s true.
Maybe you can make them awesome. Who wouldn’t rock the initials ACE, or FAB?
…Or not, it is your baby after all.