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.