Naming your baby

Whether this is your first baby, second, third or even tenth, naming your child is such an important part of the process. Our names stay with us forever, some even believe that they shape us in some way, and can have an impact on how we are treated through school and into later life. There are so many things to consider, modern or traditional, fancy or simple, inspired by a celebrity trend or by one of your heroes? The lists are endless, with hundreds of books and websites dedicated to the cause, but to begin with why not think about these things?

Do you like your own name? If so, why? If not, why not? Did you get picked on at school or did people struggle to pronounce it properly? Was it always spelled wrongly? Consider this when naming your own baby.

Family traditions? Are you a traditionalist that wants to take a family name? If there’s no immediate names that spring to mind but you really do want your child to be ‘named after’ someone you’re related to, check out your family tree – it can often throw up some lovely names of people you didn’t know existed and gives you a great story to tell the kids how you named them!

Modern or old? Names such as Alfie, Albert, Rose, Amelia, Nancy have all come back into ‘fashion’ over recent years and you’ll probably find no shortage of ‘old fashioned’ names in your local parent and baby groups. More traditional names are now taking up much of the ‘Top 10’ for boys and girls whilst ‘Biblical’ names are also on the increase with Noah and Elijah having become popular in recent years. Here’s a link to the Top 100 names of 2016 http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a25020698/top-100-uk-baby-names-of-2016-released

‘Themed’ names? If you’ve already got children, do you want different initials or the same? The rise and rise of the ‘Kardashians’ has made this popular with all 5 sisters names beginning with a K (including Khloe and Kourtney, both traditionally spelled with a ‘C’). If you go down this route think about when the kids are older and they start to get their own mail through the post – everything could be addressed to ‘S Brown’ or ‘J Jones’ so maybe use a different middle name initial to individualise each child.

Inspired by celebrity? With Jamie and Jools Oliver naming their newest addition River Rocket, the name became suddenly popular towards the end of 2016. The Royals also inspired everyone with Charlotte, Kate and George all being very popular in recent years. If you are thinking along the lines of naming your child after your favourite celebrity do consider whether your child will end up in a class with several other kids with the same name or, if it’s an unusual name (think Apple after Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin) consider this – most children of celebrities live highly privileged lifestyles and attend private schools with other children with unusual monikers where they won’t stand out! If your child is likely to go to the local school do you want them to have such a highly unusual name?

Ultimately, it’s a highly personal decision how to name your child, and you may just feel that they ‘look’ like a name once they’re born, or that you absolutely want to keep that special family tradition going by naming them after great grandma, but the main thing to keep in mind is that your child has to live with it forever! If you need some inspiration check out this site where you can use the ‘Random name generator’ to get you started on your naming journey http://www.babynames.co.uk/

Changing your child’s name – If you register your child’s birth with a certain name and then decide to change it, there are certain circumstances in which you can change it and get a new birth certificate to reflect their new name (within 12 months), however there are strict caveats to this and you must have either been regularly using the new name or have had your child baptised with their new name within 12 months of the original registration of birth. Remember that changing your child’s name is a huge decision, so choosing wisely the first time is a much better option for you and them!

This link will take you to the official Deed Poll website where more information can be found http://www.deedpoll.org.uk/CanABirthCertificateBeChanged.html

Fiona Brown

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