Saturday, November 21, 2015

Baby Names

Jessica's doctor asked her what she was going to name her baby. When she said River, the doctor said, "She's going to get made fun of with a name like that" or something along that line. He was very abrupt about it, but he was just speaking his mind. I don't think he meant to be unkind, although it came across that way.

I said something like, "Well, she's going to be a really cool kid, so no one will think of making fun of her name." I also told him the obvious--ever since River Song on Dr. Who (don't watch it but Jessica is a fan), the name has become much more popular.

     One of your first decisions concerning your baby usually takes place before the child is ever born, and that is choosing a name. The name you choose is the one that he will live with for a lifetime, so the name should be chosen with care.
     How do parents choose names? Here are some considerations.
    Biblical names. From Moriah to Bethany to Micah to David to Jordan, some parents choose biblical mountains, rivers, cities and people after which to name their children.
     Family names. Some children are names after a favorite relative. Others carry their father’s names or have their father’s names as their middle names. Some are given their mother’s maiden name as a first or middle name.
     Ethnic names. Names such as Raul, Kelem, Jose and Sven are names used by different nationalities. Parents may select ethnic names to help their children have pride in their heritage.
     Meaning.  Some people still choose names according to meanings or may names their children Faith, Charity or Hope after character traits.
     Popular names. These change over the years. For example, compare the popular names from the year I was born with 2014.

Michael    Lisa
David      Mary
John       Susan
James     Karen
Robert    Linda
Mark      Patricia
William   Donna
Richard  Cynthia
Thomas  Deborah
Jeffrey    Sandra
 I knew several people with each of these names growing up.

Jackson  Sophia   
Aiden     Emma
Liam      Olivia
Lucas     Ava
Noah      Isabella
Mason    Mia
Ethan     Zoe
Caden    Lily
Jacob     Emily
Logan    Madelyn

What should you consider when choosing a name?

  • Will the name still fit the child when he or she is an adult?
  • How does the name sound with your last name? Does the whole name flow?
  • What are the initials? For instance, when we adopted our twins, we kept their Haitian names, Fredlin and Frednise, as their middle names. We matched their American first names Haitian style, Kaleb and Kayla (Unfortunately we realized too late that it's hard to tell those names apart when they're said. With one ending in an "a" and one with a "b" you wouldn't think that is a problem, but it is). That makes their initials KFC. Sharing initials with a fried chicken restaurant isn't too bad, but other combinations might be, so check the initials.
  • Do you like the name? Choose a name you like without pressure from others. Don’t feel pressured into naming your child Alfred Henry VII just because the name has been used for generations. Whoever chose the name for the first time liked it. That doesn’t mean that you favor the name. One way to avoid the problem is to say, “We’ve already picked the name, but we’re keeping it a secret until the baby is born.” 
  • Will the name be a problem for your child? Most children don't like to be different. Think back to when you were in school and the same was probably true. You wore (or wanted to wear) the same clothes, watch the same TV shows etc to fit in. Don't make the name so unusual that it singles the child out.

     The name you choose is your first gift to your baby. Choose the name with care.

What were the popular names when you were born? When your children were born? How did you chose the names for your children? 


  1. We chose names that we could agree on, that left a small number of names, haha. We also tried to integrate a family name in there somewhere, either middle name or first name. It makes all of our family connected.

  2. I always did the name choices, but Rick agreed with them. There was only one name that was a possibility for a middle name that he didn't like.