Choosing a name for your baby can be a source of anguish—you and your partner can’t agree and your mother-in-law keeps turning up her nose at your short list!
It is hard to know where to start when you’re trying to choose the perfect baby name so that’s why we have put together this step-by-step guide to picking the best name for your baby.
The 7 steps to the finding the perfect baby name
Write down all the letters of the alphabet on a piece of paper. Take each letter in turn and cross out any that you don’t want to use starting with these suggestions:
- think about the starting letter. Do you think it’s important not to use an initial that another family member already has? For example, in years to come, if letters arrive addressed to T Jones, could they be for several family members?
- are there letters that combined with your surname make an undesirable word? – e.g. S Windler becomes Swindler
Work through the letters that are left with the following suggestions:
- start with a good baby names book or online list and write down names you both like—with perhaps a secondary list of names that one of you likes and the other might be persuaded to like
- mark names as suitable first names, suitable second names or both
- look at the initials. Take particular care when using middle names that start with a vowel – e.g. Simon Andrew Davies and his brother Bruce Anthony Davies
- say the name to yourself several times quickly, does the name sound like something else when put together? Theresa Green or Jenna Taylor or Callum Murray.
- is the spelling unusual—will you and your child get fed up of spelling that for people for years to come?
- do you like the shortened version of the name? Don’t use the name William if you hate Will, Wills, Willie, Bill or Billy.
- how will a shortened version sound with your surname, Matthew Latt or Joseph King sound great, but Matt Latt or Joe King aren’t so great.
- unusual and unique baby names can be beautiful – but consider what your child might think when they’re older.
- even if your scans have told you that you are having a boy, pick out girls names too because scans can be wrong.
- are you worried that the name will be ‘too’ popular? Will there be 4 other girls called Charlotte in your daughter’s class at school? Check out the current Top 100 Baby Names in Australia.
- want to discuss your name choice—but not with family? Discuss (anonymously if you wish!) on our forum, you can even start your own poll and get other viewers to vote on your choices!
- if you don’t want your family and friends to disagree with your chosen names—don’t tell them what names you are thinking of using!
- do you already know somebody, or somebody famous with that name or something very similar e.g. Harry Potter, Greg Norman
After a few days, check your ‘short’ list again and cross out any of the names that don’t appeal anymore. Keep doing that every few days until you have a shortlist of half a dozen or so.
Take a break from choosing baby names!
Keep repeating step 3 until your list is short enough.
If you’ve decided upon names—fabulous! If you still have a shortlist, take the list with you to the hospital—you may get the final inspiration on what name suits your bub best when you see their beautiful face!
Don’t forget to register your baby’s birth within 60 days of the birth with your local Birth Registry Office. Make sure that you get the correct spelling on that form as that will be your baby’s official name forever!