Baby Naming Mistakes: 7 Things Parents-to-be Should NOT Do When Choosing a Baby Name by Donna John

Baby Naming Mistakes: 7 Things Parents-to-be Should NOT Do When Choosing a Baby Name

OK, there's really no "mistake" that can be made when naming your baby. Whatever name you choose – for whatever reason – will conform to your child and they will become one. Your son or daughter will just look like the name you gave them. It's weird. But, there are some things you can think about when you're in the baby-naming process. And here are seven...

  • Not picking a name you love because it’s “popular.” Who cares? Love Michael, Emma, Olivia or Noah? Use it! You may have more than one head turn when you call it out at the park, but so what. If you go with a popular name, consider a unique middle name. Fewer heads will turn if you call for Michael Zappa. Hmm. Or will they?
  • Skipping a baby name you love because it’s too “different” or “weird.” Do you think Gwyneth Paltrow cared if someone thought Apple was a strange name? If something sticks out to you that won’t have to be censored, require a court date or explained (too much!) when your child starts school, go for it. Being unique is the name of the game these days anyway.
  • Not spelling the name the way you want because you can’t buy personalized items off the shelf. Again, we’re back to … who cares? Most things can be ordered personalized if you can’t find the common spelling. And does your child really need to have his or her name on their sippy cups? My daughter went from Ashley to Ashlee after I read a "Soap Opera Digest." She survived. 
  • Sticking to common middle names. Ann. Lynn. Marie. James. Robert. David. When you hear the full name of a child (usually when they’re in trouble), the same names tend to make the rotation. Because middle names are not routinely used every day, why not have some fun with it, especially if you use a pretty plain first name. Donna Delilah is much more interesting than Donna Lynn. Consider a middle name that really means something to you. Robert Rugby? Mary Marigold? Johnathon Zombie? Remember, forms usually just ask for the middle initial.
  • Forgetting to consider the flow of a name or what will be monogrammed on those towels one day. While it might be fun to have a unique middle name, it’s not so cool to have A.S.S., D.I.E or P.I.G. as your initials. This is something pretty simple to test – and your child will probably appreciate it. Now, if their initials would be L.O.L., W.I.N or H.E.Y., that might be kind of fun.
  • Asking friends and family’s advice – unless you really want to know. Proceed. With. Caution. Friends and family members tend to be very open when it comes to their opinions on baby names. If you really love a name and have basically already decided on it, don’t ask their opinion about name choices or even ask what they think about your favorite name. When the time is right, just say, “This is the name we chose. We love it!”
  • Crossing your favorite name off the list because a friend or family member hates it. See above.
  • Not doing a little research just to see what’s out there. You may have been saying since you were 10 years old that you were going to name your little girl Amber. But tastes and times change. You may still end up with an Amber, but maybe you saw Amberleigh in a "Soap Opera Digest" and liked that better. Gotta love those soap stars. And my Ashlee definitely looks like an Ashlee, not an Amber. See how that works?

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Elisa Schmitz
YES! Great points, Donna John . We chose family names for our kids' middle names, and got more creative with their first names. The most important thing about naming your baby is that the name is beautiful to YOU, not anyone else. Great tip, thanks!
Ann Marie Patitucci
That picture! Adorable! My favorite from above are the ones about family and friends: your baby, your decision! :) Thanks, Donna John !

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