The polls roll out every year telling us what are the most popular baby names - this year the top five most popular baby names 2017 are:
But what’s in a name?
Our name may or may not define us as an individual but it certainly is the thing that identifies us. It is the first thing that a person learns about us and something we carry with us from the day we’re born (or as soon as our parents can decide) right through the rest of our lives.
We probably don’t think about our own names a great deal it’s only when we come to have our own children all of a sudden a name becomes the most important thing other than the necessities that we will give our little one once they are born.
You often read facts that the simplest names belong to those who later down the line have the most successful careers, maybe because they are memorable and uncomplicated but I find that often the more unusual the name although slightly harder to remember once mastered are the ones that stick with us because they are unique and different.
Here are 9 things to consider when choosing a name for you new arrival?
- How popular is your chosen name?
It’s difficult to know if your unique name will suddenly become popular the following year or even fall in popularity. To ensure as best you can that your chosen name will remain unique take a look at sites such as BabyNameWizard.com or Nameberry.com. As many first time parents spend little time around children another way to see how popular or unique your chosen name really is is to speak with local teachers and parents to see if you come across a name the same and hope your unique name remains that way.
2. How will it go down with family and friends?
It’s tough to know whether releasing your chosen name prior to the birth of your new baby is a good or bad thing. Once you say it out loud you may well get a lot of push back from those that aren’t so keen on it.
No doubt you’ll find though if you stick with it as soon as your baby arrives those thoughts will soon dissolve and people will suddenly adore the name once it belongs to a real living little person. This shows that everyone will come round in the end and you should stick to what you love and ignore the thoughts of others.
3. Some people just won’t get it.
Although keeping a name to yourself may seem a great idea at the time it’s only once the name is out in the open that you start to see the trouble with spelling, pronunciation and associations that come along with it. Therefore a focus group of trusted friends or even strangers may be a great way to try it out before you make your final decision.
An online forum such as www.netmums.com may also be a great way to get opinions from strangers so that your chosen name remains secret amongst friends and family until the new arrival is here.
4. How do you and others associate with the name?
It’s easy to eliminate most of the baby names you may have originally set upon due to association, making finding and deciding on your true favourite even more difficult.
Name associations will soon fade once your little one arrives and all anyone, including you will see is them. So don’t be to quick to rule out what may have been your ‘first love’ name.
5. What if the name doesn’t suit their personality?
We are often lead to believe that it is extremely important to name our new baby as soon as we can, even before we leave the hospital and head home. However it may be that due to the rush to name your new baby that further down the line the name doesn’t match their personality at all.
Go with your instincts even if it wasn’t your first choice but feels right once the time comes. Alternatively go against tradition and wait as long as you can before naming your child despite the pressure from others. The worst case is you can always change it later on, though the paperwork you have to complete to make such a change may well encourage you to stick with your initial choice, they may well grow into it!
6. Pop culture can change everything
So you’ve chosen the perfect name for your new arrival. As they grow up it suits their personality and you’re glad you didn’t choose anything else, until something happens in the media that changes everything. All of a sudden there is an association to your little one’s name that conjures up a certain image or notoriety you’d rather avoid being linked with your kid.
Alternatively the celebrity use of the name may cause it to increase in popularity which is what you were trying to avoid when choosing it.
The main thing is to remain confident in your choice, it was yours first and as we’ve already noted associations change.
7. What will my child really be called when they’re older?
Something to think about after choosing the perfect name is how will the name be shortened? What potential nickname could your child end up with come school age. It may be that you want to avoid a nickname or accept that your chosen name lends itself easily to a nickname you may or may not necessarily love.
The downside to a nickname is it may change the way you feel about the name forever so think about this beforehand to avoid the regret. It may mean you choose something very different from the off.
8. Will your choice of name truly stand out from the crowd?
Often we think that the more unusual the name the more our child will stand out from the crowd and distinguish them from others in their classroom. However if the name sounds like or rhymes with other popular names it may inevitably sound the same and get lost in a crowd.
Consideration should also be given to the fact that the more unusual the name the more likely that others will not be so keen on the name (if this matters to you). Unusual spellings of common names make little difference, as no matter how difficult you make it for your child to spell its own name it will still be spoken the same making it just as common as the original version.
9. The name you pick will be perfect no matter what
It’s easy to obsess over the name that will be with your child for their entire life and in some ways rightly so. But maybe we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves. Once the baby is here many parents say that their final choice just felt right and that they couldn’t imagine their baby with any other name.
So leave your final decision until your little one is here, pull out your shortlist and let the stress melt away. With your new little bundle safe in your arms your decision will come naturally with no cause for regrets.
In my line of work obviously I see a lot of different names, my absolute favourite being Anastasia. But with two still fairly new royal children I certainly thought there would be a few more George and Charlottes but surprisingly this hasn’t been the case.
My best selling girls names right now are Olivia, Ava and Evie, which pretty much fits with current trends.
My best selling boys names are Harry, Finley and Theo; which may well change looking at the up and coming names from 2017.
My claim to fame as far as names and signs go is that I once made a sign for a Qatar Princess; yes even royals like a name sign to mark their spot!
To mark the spot with a special sign for your little one take a look at the full range here: http://florenceandgrace.co.uk