In the mix of other responsibilities that accompany the birth of a baby (diapers, naps, feeding, clothing), naming your baby is a very fun and special part of the process. We all want something timeless, unique and fitting to each and every one of our children. This is a very tall order.
It wasn't too long ago when a new mother would huddle over a cradle and say, " Goodnight Bob.", Or would coo and laugh with a baby girl named Beatrice. Now days it would seem quite odd to us to call a baby Bob, Norma or Ned, as those names conjure images of men in business suits and sweet elderly neighbors.
On the other end of the spectrum, there are names that are cute in the short run and less practical when entering the real world. Just ask Apple Martin, Lion Jones or any other "celebritot" for that matter.
The fact is that baby names change. Sometimes for the better, and other times for the worse. Names change connotations, become linked with famous or infamous people and can even become synonymous with bad words.
So what is a good-intentioned parent to do?
Pick a name that will last the test of time. Follow some of these guidelines.
Avoid being too trendy.
There are names that get caught up in our collective consciousness. All at once we collectively decide that Emma would be the perfect name for our little girl. It even goes great with Ian, her brother. And before you know it, to the dismay and disarray of preschools everywhere, Emmas and Ians are a dime a dozen. This rule, however, is not do or die. It never hurt anyone to fit in; and with your stellar parenting skills your child will no doubt be a stand out regardless.
Spelling a name in an unusual way is a great way to make a name unique. However, make sure that your name doesn't defy the laws of phonetics. Using too many distinctive vowel placements or complicated sounds can be especially troublesome. Braelin and Traisyn are very cute names. So are Mylissa or Bre'anne. But children will probably be respelling it or correcting teachers on the proper pronunciation for years to come. Coming from someone with a generically spelled name, there is enough trouble already!
Pick a family name.
Paying homage to a close friend or relative is a great way to give a special meaning to a child's name. Even if the name is common, what makes it unique is the connection drawn between the generations. Family names are great as middle name too, especially if they have fallen a little out of favor. As a bonus, even cute or "in" names can be the victim of the proverbial classroom bully. Yet, there is no better retort than, "I am named after my beloved grandmother!".
Ultimately, naming your baby is your choice. These are simply suggestions to help you navigate the process, and we're here to help with all the other parts of pregnancy too.