How To Choose A Name For Your Baby

How To Choose A Name For Your Baby

How did you choose your baby's name?

I'm not sure I can really explain how we reached the decisions we did when it comes to naming our three children – their names just sort of emerged, and it felt as if that's just who they were. Sounds mad, but totally true.

We didn't even really debate or discuss their names, as far as I can remember. One of us suggested the name – I can't even remember whether the names we chose for our kids were my partner's idea or mine! And once we started thinking about the baby being called that, it just kind of stuck.

I know lots of other parents go through a much more practical process of choosing a name. And, of course, the papers are currently full of chatter about what the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will name their third baby when he or she arrives later this month.

Whatever they go with, I thought I'd offer these top tips to choosing your baby's name. Hope you're reading, Kate and Wills!

1. Decide whether you want the opinion of friends and family
I've often read that it's best to keep your baby's name under wraps until he or she is born, on the basis that if your mother-in-law hates the name you've chosen, she'll (hopefully!) be too polite to disparage it once she's distracted by your gorgeous bundle of joy. I get the sentiment behind this but I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all approach to this issue. Best to decide whether you do or don't want the approval or opinion of friends and family, and then either keep the name to yourself until the big day, or explain that you'd love to know their thoughts on the names you're considering.

2. Ignore trends
According to the Independent, the name Alexa has nosedived in terms of popularity of late, chiefly because "no-one wants a device and a daughter with the same name". But, of course, there's no way of knowing whether the name you pick for your child might be the next gadget or gizmo of the future, so ignore trends when it comes to names, and choose something that you'll still love even if your next Apple toy shares the same moniker.

3. Shout it loud
This sounds silly but trust me, try it. If you don't feel comfortable hollering the name across a busy play park or yelling it upstairs when it's tea-time, it's probably not the right name for your tot.

4. Check the initials
You'd be surprised by how many parents don't think to check whether their future offspring's initials spell something rude or offensive. Check, and chuck it out if the name you're thinking of means saddling your child with an embarrassing set of initials.

5. Do the nickname test
Weirdly, all three of my kids have short names that we chose, in part, because I liked the idea of names that couldn't be shortened. And yet they all still get called a variety of nicknames – most of which are longer names than their actual names! A bit like the trends point, you can't really predict what people will shorten – or lengthen – a name to, but it's still worth trying out all the obvious possible nicknames just to check you're not lumbering your child with a name that will inevitably turn into an embarrassing nickname.

And that's it! Beyond this, choose a name you love and you can't really go wrong. We'd love to hear about how you named your baby. Leave us a comment here or come and join the conversation over on our Facebook page.


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  • Rachel S.

    My husband is Icelandic and they have a name register there, so generally you can only pick names from there, unless you apply. So we wanted an Icelandic English sounding first name, I looked at the list and pick a few I liked and he had the final choice :joy: we did this with our two girls and just recently with our little boy who’s due soon.

    • Rebecca F.

      My two girls and one boy all have names from the Icelandic list too. We don't have an Icelandic connection though but we did visit once and loved it.

    • Clare W.

      We were stuck in traffic one day so I pulled up a list off a website on my phone. Told hubby any i liked, if he liked it to it got added to the list. That narrowed it down to about 5 of each and we thought about it for a couple of months and then discussed it again and choose one for a girl and one for a boy.

      • Jenny C.

        My youngest daughter is named after the baby boy I lost. He was called Callum Riley & she is called Riley Beth. We chose Riley as it’s a unisex name & we wanted to name this baby early in the pregnancy to help bond. Beth being my middle name of Elizabeth. All my other kids are named after their grandparents but in alternative ways like Caitlin for Kathleen.

        • Hannah V.

          For our first born Alfie we both really liked the name before I was even pregnant. And it’s also named after my husbands grandad... for our second born we really couldn’t decide on a name. It took us a few months but Ashton was the only name we could agree on!

          • Kathryn S.

            We had a list of 5 that we both agreed on. When she was born she didn't suit 3 of them. I dithered over the other 2 all day until it was time for hubby to go home. I wanted her to be named so I told him to choose as I couldn't :joy:

            • Nicola D.

              I chose my daughter's name after seeing it in the credits for a film lol, but changed the spelling - Lauryn Ashleigh :blush: And my son after a character in One Tree Hill - Lucas.

              • Shona W.

                My son is also Lucas - inspired from One Tree Hill! Miss that show :heart_eyes:

                • Nicola D.

                  Me too! I loved the name up until 3 weeks before I was due but then decided against it because I didn't want people to think I was only doing it to match my daughter's 'L' name lol, good job I liked it again a week or so later because he was 9 days early and surprised us all :joy:

                • Samantha G.

                  My son is named after a game character. My daughter is named after a tv show character :see_no_evil:

                  • Nikita P.

                    I liked the Doctor Hardy (Ethan) from casualty for our first then Hubby suggested Athena for our second :slight_smile:

                    • Megan P.

                      I had picked a name for our son long before he was born. When he finally came he didn’t look like the name we had chosen so when the registrar was doing his rounds I just told my husband to name him whatever as I was exhausted from a 61 hour back to back labour. Big mistake.

                      • Elaine W.

                        Oh no!! You need to tell us his name

                        • Megan P.

                          It’s not a bad name. But his best friend and my brother have the same name and I just really don’t like it :joy::joy:

                          • Julie I.

                            You can register a baby up to 6 weeks so I'm sure you could of changed the name

                            • Megan P.

                              I know. However there were good reasons for choosing the name and sadly I didn’t have the heart to change it :joy:

                            • Tara O.

                              My Grandma sadly passed away and not long after we found out we were expecting, we called her Tabitha Beryl, Beryl after her Great-Grandma. Some people thought we were nuts as it’s quite an old fashioned name but I couldn’t imagine her being called anything else :purple_heart:

                              • Cheryl E.

                                My first is named after the baby from the labyrinth :grin:

                                • Chrissie W.

                                  I loved the name Brie but my husband didn't want to name her after cheese so we compromised and named her Brianne.

                                  • Michelle B.

                                    We were on holiday in Mexico and we got talking to a very intelligent, lovely and very attractive girl from Washington. She was so friendly and interesting. After speaking to her for quite some time we properly introduced ourselves and she told us her name . . . Eden! I thought it was a gorgeous name and that was it, if I ever had a little girl she was being called Eden . . . . And that’s what my eldest daughter is called. Unfortunately my youngest Esme was just a name my sis in-law suggested as we were struggling to find one second time around x x

                                    • Gemma H.

                                      My daughter is Esme too :blush:

                                      • Michelle B.

                                        Its such a lovely name isn’t it? Xx

                                      • Jenni M.

                                        My son is named after an ex Hull FC player - Logan Campbell!

                                        • Geraldine E.

                                          My son who was just over 2 at the time kept saying his sister was in my tummy he would talk to her so I asked him what we should call her after a few days he said hollie so when she was born we had to name her hollie :disappointed: They are 19 and 22 now

                                          • Geraldine E.

                                            Our names are passed on from family to family So I have an aunt Aine and sister Aine an aunt Sheila and sister Sheila and since I was the last child of 6 I was given female name of my grandad Geraldine the male being Gerald :hugging: x

                                            • Victoria T.

                                              We went on honeymoon to Rome while i was pregnant- we found the name 'Annia' which translates as being from the family of Antonius in Roman. My dad Antony died a few weeks earlier so we thought that was perfect! Her middle name is 'Sophia' named after her big sister Sophie who died aged 2 months old xx

                                              • Anna M.

                                                We had decided on George before we even got married. It’s the name of both of our great grandfathers on our dads sides. Then his middle names depended on the side of the month he was born (dd 15th July - my deceased grandads birthday was the 6th July, husbands deceased grandads birthday 23rd July) as it happened he was born on the 15th July so he’s George John Eric. Second, George was convinced he was getting a sister so we called bump “poppy” until he was born. Then George walked into the hospital room and said “it’s my baby brother harry” and that was that. He became Harry (luckily we both have great grandfathers called harry) then we named him Elliott after my brother and Herbert is his dads middle name (and my husbands great great grandfathers were both called Herbert on both sides of his family so it had to get in there somewhere) We both like traditional family names but I’m a big fan of Harry Potter and doctor who so I was really chuffed that both my boss names work really well for my favourite things too!

                                                • Vicki M.

                                                  We put our favourite names in a hat and the family took out a name each. We put them on the floor and let the dog choose :heart_eyes:

                                                  • Donna L.

                                                    My dad named my sisters and I after songs, which is an idea I loved. So I did the same for my son. I love the Beatles therefore Jude was the chosen name. I've also a pug called penny and a sister called Michelle. Lol.