You would think that having had around 8 months of knowing we were having a baby we would have pretty much have decided on a name by now. But here we are, one week before my due date, scanning through a baby name book looking for some inspiration.
We have a few names picked out for both sexes but I have always felt it is a huge decision – our choice could impact on the rest of their life. You have to consider what the name could potentially be shortened to or worse what is could rhyme with making school break times a mine field of future bullying.
A study by Bounty.com a few years ago revealed that around half of all teachers surveyed make judgements on kids before they have met them just by their names, as certain names carry with them a perception of having a certain personality type. Those earmarked as troublemakers – include Jack, Connor, Casey, Liam and Brooke. All things you have to take into consideration.
Also we love many of the Gaelic names but you then have your child spending their whole life spelling out their name on the phone or correcting people when they mispronounce it.
Our first child was born in London and we loved the name Cairn – but hearing it said wrongly with a London accent and Londoners trying to make out the name in our Scots accent and mispronouncing it as Kieran left me frustrated so we decided against it.
We have it on our shortlist for baby number 3 but a friend who gave birth weeks ago has just called her child the same name and they would be in the same year group when they reach school , so suddenly the individual name isn’t so individual any more.
If our first baby had been a girl I had always loved the name Ruby – but cousins on both sides of our families pipped us to the post with having a baby girl first – both calling their daughters Ruby – so we felt we had to strike that one off the list. I did feel slightly disappointed when they had taken ‘our’ names – just as I’m sure other friends possibly felt the same when we named our kids with their shortlisted favourites.
We have waited for a couple of days post birth to name our other 2 children – I think when you see them it helps as suddenly a name you think you loved just doesn’t suit them in the flesh. Our almost 10lb chubby baby girl didn’t suit the delicate sounding Blossom when she was born desite it being in our top 5.
We both love music and my other half being a singer and guitarist would love a Henrix (Jimmy) or Vedder (Pearl Jam) which would be really funky but what if they end up some wee quiet academic and not a rocker – will they love their name then?
The other tricky business is also that everyone has their opinion on your kid’s name. I had one relative openly tell me they didn’t like my first born child’s name and that it had eventually ‘grown on them’. My advice is if you don’t like the name, don’t tell the newborn’s parents – they will only be offended!
People like to quiz you before the birth on your choice of names – I don’t always like to tell them – not because I want it to be a big surprise, but they are less likely to give a negative opinion on your shortlist selection when they baby is actually here (unless you are fore mentioned tactless relative).
Every year the top 100 most popular baby names are published. I have memories of being in a class with 3 Fionas, 2 Greames, 2 Andrews and then 3 Stevens, so I have been looking at the list to try and avoid at least the top 50 names. Although most children don’t want to stand out from the crowd too much at primary and most of secondary, when you start growing up, having some individuality can be a wonderful thing. Maybe Hendrix wouldn’t be so quirky after all?!
But within the next 2 weeks we will have made our decision – eeek! The countdown is on!