Getting ready to be a parent comes with many preparations and difficult decisions. One of the most challenging choices is figuring out your baby’s name. Not only should you and your partner agree on the name, but your baby will need to live with your decision for the rest of their life. No pressure, right?
Our best advice is to tune out the many opinions from family members and friends and choose a meaningful name together as a couple (or solo if you’re raising your baby on your own). Do you think Elon Musk and Grimes asked anyone else for their thoughts before they named their children?! Definitely not.
Most importantly, remember that a name doesn’t make a person; it’s the other way around. Your baby’s name will sound the sweetest because of the meaning they add to it as they grow. To help ease the burden of this major decision, we’re here with helpful tips, useful apps, and some of the most popular names and trends of 2022. So read ahead before you fill out that birth certificate!
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How to Go About Naming Your Baby
You can pick a name long before your baby’s due date or wait until you meet them in the delivery room to decide. While you don’t need to select their name before leaving the hospital, waiting longer could sometimes complicate things.
Hospitals are must report all births to the state department, and that information is transmitted to the CDC on an annual basis. You’ll also need your baby’s name to complete the birth certificate and social security card forms. Often there’s a limited timeframe to add them to your health insurance plan, so it’s best to settle on a name sooner than later.
If opting for a home birth, make sure you research your state’s requirements and obtain the correct paperwork from the department of vital records to register your baby’s birth within the appropriate timeframe.
Apps that Can Help with Baby Naming
Gone are the days of grabbing a dictionary or library book to figure out what to name your baby, and scouring the internet is no longer your only option. You and your partner can now download an app and select a name together without saying a word to one another. It’s all managed digitally. While there are plenty of baby naming apps out there, these are our top three picks:
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This Tinder-style baby naming app is one of the most popular being used by Moms all over. You and your partner swipe right on the names you like and left on those you don’t. You’ll be alerted when there’s a match, and the name will be added to your list. This helps keep the process very diplomatic.
· Nametrix’s Baby Names
This powerful baby naming tool lets you search names by origin, pronunciation, popularity, and meanings. It includes a diverse range of names from different countries and has intuitive graphs that parents love. Its best feature is its pronunciation tool that gives audio for each name.
The overall concept of Kinder is the same as Babyname with a Tinder-type user interface, but it’s a newer app with some extra bells and whistles. Moms love the ability to filter names that start with a particular letter or are a certain length. You can also add custom names you heard elsewhere or include extra name sets for themes like Lord of the Rings or other languages.
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Top 10 Tips for Naming Your Baby
While you don’t have to follow all of these tips, this is a helpful list of considerations you should pay attention to while deciding on a name. You’d be surprised how often something like pronunciation or nicknames are overlooked but can impact your child down the line.
1. Does it Stand the Test of Time?
Say your baby’s name out loud. Think about it being called in a kindergarten classroom or appearing on a resume. Does it sound good in both of those scenarios? While the name itself doesn’t have to be a classic one, you might want to avoid “cutesy” names that sound strange as an adult. Or a name too “old-world” that might be odd for a child.
2. Consider How it is Spelled & Pronounced
Sometimes the uniqueness of a name is in its spelling or pronunciation. When choosing a name, consider the various alternate spellings and pronunciations. A study by New York University found those with easy-to-pronounce names had more successful careers. With this in mind, aim for simplicity. Bonus: you won’t complicate a lifetime of school roll calls for your child.
3. Is Keeping to Tradition Important to You & Your Partner?
Maybe there’s a naming tradition in your family or a religious reason for choosing a particular name? It’s normal to avoid ruffling feathers within your family, but if you feel pressure to choose a name that you don’t like, it won’t sit well with you over time. Instead, honor the traditions that are meaningful to you and skip the ones you would only follow out of obligation.
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4. Think about the Initials
You might have found the perfect name, but if its initials end up as SAD or COW, you won’t enjoy discovering this fact after it’s already official. So, to save you that trouble, we are pointing this out now. Write down the initials and see if you think it is worthy of a monogram.
5. Figure Out the Name’s Meaning
Before you land on a name, we recommend looking up its various meanings. Sometimes nice names can have terrible meanings, like Mallory, which means unlucky, or Portia, which means pig. If the meaning doesn’t bother you, don’t rule it out. Just be prepared with this information, so you aren’t shocked if someone points it out later.
6. Come Up with a Nickname
We all know kids love to make up nicknames, and sometimes they are not so flattering. Spend a little time thinking about nicknames you’d love to call your baby, as well as potential cruel ones others might come up with. This way, nothing is overlooked.
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7. Check with Their Siblings
If you already have other children, you’ll also want to consider their names too. If the siblings are old enough, you could even include them in the naming selection. Write the baby’s name next to their sibling’s names and see if they work well together. Consider creating a family naming tradition of your own with names that start or end with the same letter.
8. Put it Together with the Middle Name
As you saw with the initials, first names aren’t the only names that matter. Don’t forget to also think about your baby’s middle name. This is a great place to compromise on a family tradition, honor a loved one, or balance an unconventional name with a more traditional one.
9. Skip the Controversy
Imagine finding out your baby shares a name with a historic dictator or an adult film star? It probably wouldn’t sit well with most parents. Do yourself a favor and run a Google search to know what kind of people your baby will share a name with.
10. Consider Other Languages Too
This next piece of advice is crucial if you plan to travel a lot with your children. You’ll have to do extra homework to ensure your perfectly fine English name doesn’t translate into something offensive abroad. Take the name Gary; it sounds like the word geri, which means diarrhea in Japanese. By researching foreign name interpretations, you can avoid these unfortunate situations.
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The Most Popular Baby Names for 2022
Struggling to find a name you love? The Social Security Administration keeps track of the most popular baby names each year. Get inspiration from these names that are trending so far this year:
Top Girl’s Names
Top Boy’s Names
Top Gender-Neutral Names
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What’s Impacting Baby Name Trends This Year
From pop culture to the news, there’s a lot that can impact popular baby names. This year, one of the biggest name trends is inspired by the Netflix series Bridgerton. With season two just starting, their uniquely charming names are at the forefront of many parents’ minds. Names like Daphne, Euphemia, Colin, Benedict, or Phoebe are popular because of the show.
Disney’s animated film, Encanto, has fueled a trend of music-inspired names. It’s no surprise that Madrigal is top of that list. Others include Allegra, Calypso, Coda, Jazz, and Rhapsody.
According to Nameberry, there is also a resurgence of nature-inspired names like Dune, Forest, Lotus, Reef, and Sequoia. After lockdowns from the pandemic, it’s no wonder parents are being inspired again by the great outdoors.
Playful names like Trixie, Honey, Bear, Lucky, and Moxie are also trending, and there has been a rise in nostalgic names like Betty, Bobby, Mae, Sally, and Gus. Other patterns that cropped up this year include names ending in S or unisex names starting with the letter R.
We are sure you will find the perfect name for your little one with this guide. Remember, pay no mind to the naysayers. You are carrying this child, and you have every right to make this decision. Whatever it ends up being, we are sure they will add an overwhelming amount of beauty to the name.