As a parent, you want to choose the perfect name for your new baby. While sometimes you know exactly what to name the baby as soon as you find out you're pregnant, other times it becomes a painstaking process of trying to find something meaningful, distinctive or that fits in with your family's naming traditions. However, in your attempts to be creative or cover all of your bases you can sometimes saddle your baby with a name that could become the bane of her existence.
You may love the name Jackson for a boy or Sophia for a girl, but if you look at a list of top baby names, you'll find that a lot of other parents do too. While a popular name may not seem like a big deal, it becomes a larger problem when you're one of 10 other moms calling out the same name on the playground. It could also frustrate your child to find herself in class with a number of girls who share the same name when she enters school. If you still want to use a name from this year's Top 25 list, give your child a nickname to help her stand out or choose a distinctive middle name in case she wants to use it instead some day.
Some parents try to avoid choosing a favored name by coming up with a different spelling for that name. Others simply choose names with difficult spellings because they like the way they sound. However, doing so will expose your child to a lifetime of having the spelling and pronunciation of his name mangled. If the name you want to give your child has a more common spelling, go with it. Otherwise, make sure the name has a lot of meaning or family significance before giving it to your baby.
Kids can be cruel and they'll find every opportunity to embarrass one another. Don't let your child's name provide fodder for playground taunts. Remember many Richards are often referred to as Dick and the name Jack could easily be combined with the word off. Say the first name with the last name to make sure it fits well too. Kim Kardashian may be able to get away with naming her baby North West, but your child's future friends may not be as understanding with your desire to name your child Ben Dover or Rob Banks.
The Awkward Initials
Even if you don't plan on buying monogrammed items for your baby, you'll want to make sure the initials you choose don't lead to any embarrassment either. Pay attention to what they spell out. Sarah Apple Dawn becomes SAD and Grayson Andrew Smith becomes GAS. Pay attention to organizations or products with acronyms similar to your baby's initials too. For example, Lila Shane Dearborn becomes LSD, something that middle and high school students will love to use against her. Think about the first two initials too. Raymond James may be cute when called R.J., but Benjamin Owen likely won't enjoy being called B.O.
The Not-So-Good Connotations
In 2012, parents in New Jersey spent time fighting their choice of a baby name in court. The self-proclaimed Nazis had saddled their child with the name Hitler. If you want to go with a biblical name, you'll want to avoid choices such as Cain and Jezebel. There's even an app to help you avoid giving your baby a stripper name. As you narrow your list, think of any negative associations in popular culture or even in your own life that come with the name. If you come up with even one, consider choosing a different name.
The Location Name
It's hard to imagine naming your child after the place he was conceived if it was in Indianapolis, but other cities such as Brooklyn, have inspired numerous baby names. While it's OK to name a baby after a place, you may want to avoid names inspired by places of conception, as that could cause embarrassment later in life. You will also want to pick places that have a history of being beautiful or cool. For example, a child named Detroit might not enjoy his name as much after the city went bust.
Every so often it pops into the news that a parent has intentionally named a baby after a product to earn a bit of advertising money. However, every year babies are saddled with product names and most of the time parents don't earn a dime. While you may love Chanel, Mercedes and other luxury brands, stick to buying products with the name on them rather than naming your baby after them. The same holds true for names such as Chianti, Chardonnay, Jack Daniels and other alcohol-inspired names.