Tips for choosing the best baby name

With all the selection available, many parents find themselves overwhelmed when it comes to choosing the best baby name. Add to that the pressures couples feel to fulfill religious and cultural requirements, and choosing baby names suddenly becomes a truly daunting task. The good news is, it doesn't have to be. With these helpful tips, you'll soon be on your way to finding the perfect name for your baby-to-be!

1. Say it out loud.
This may sound a tad obvious, but saying all your baby's names (first, middle, and last) out loud is one of the most helpful ways to make a decision. You want the name to flow, but you also want to make sure the way it sounds is not conducive to any teasing down the line. Same goes for initials - in other words, if your baby's name is Brian Uri Martin, you may want to reconsider changing either the first or middle name.

2. Popular vs. unique baby names
When considering baby names, many parents turn to the most popular baby names to make their decision. Although a popular name has the advantage of being easily recognizable, it also means your child will likely suffer the fate of having to compete with multiple peers of the same name.

If, on the other hand, you are deliberating on rare baby names, there are also advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind. For example, while your child will have the distinction of being the only one with his name, if the name is too "different," this could lead to teasing by peers. One good tip is to balance your child's first and last name - meaning, if his last name is more unique, opt for a more conventional first name, and visa versa.

3. Baby names and meanings
Considering the meanings of the baby names you've selected can be another helpful way to make your decision. While the meaning may not be as important as the way it sounds, choosing a name that has special significance is a great thing to be able to share with your child later on. In addition, if your child eventually finds out that the meaning of her name has a negative connotation (i.e. Amos in Hebrew means "a burden"), you may find yourself with some explaining to do!

4. Family and cultural heritage
One of the most common means of selecting a baby name is by choosing one that is either culturally significant, or one that runs in the family. According to some family traditions, for example, it is customary for the first-born son to be named after his father. For others, their religious or cultural background may dictate that the baby's name be chosen from a certain category. Besides giving your child's name additional meaning, these customs can also be a great way for her to learn more about her background.

If these traditions are meaningful to you, you may want to honor them. Otherwise, you may consider selecting the traditional name as your child's middle name, and going with your preference as the first (or the other way around).

In the end, the most important thing is that you and your partner like the name chosen for your baby. Though family and friends' opinions may be welcomed, don't be afraid to go against the grain if you feel it's best for your baby.


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