Choosing the perfect name for your child isn't easy, so I've come up with some tips for naming your baby. This isn't going to be a list of names, as there are hundreds of books and lists that can give you ideas. Rather, I've come up with some ideas to guide your choice. Try these tips for naming your baby, and you should avoid picking something you - or they - will later regret …
One of the most important tips for naming your baby is to consider how your favoured name would work with your surname. Many perfectly nice names take on a whole new meaning when paired with certain surnames. Mr and Mrs Peacock failed to see the amusement that would be caused when they named their newborn son Drew (say it out loud - but not when sensitive people are around …).
It's also important to bear in mind what the child's initials will be if you give them any of the names that you like. Your offspring will have to use their initials many times in their life, so they won't want their initials to spell something rude or embarrassing! Don't forget to look at their initials both with and without the middle names that you want to give them.
Poor young Drew in point 1 is the perfect example of why parents should say aloud what the child's full name will sound like. If the Peacocks had done so, they would have soon worked out that they absolutely needed to pick a different first name. As much as you like a name, if it sounds silly with your surname then it's not a good choice.
4. Think of the Future
You should also bear in mind whether the names you like are appropriate your child when they grow into an adult. They won't be a baby forever, and what sounds cute now may not be so suitable for an adult. Call your daughter Princess Sky Pixie, and you are effectively barring her from being a lawyer or doctor - or ever being taken seriously.
Do you fancy using the name of a movie character for your daughter, or a book character for your son? The problem with using a 'current ' name is that thousands of other parents have the same idea. In five years time, schools may be full of little Bellas whose moms were Twilight fans. Watch out for fashions in names if you want your child's name to be more distinctive.
6. Avoid Imitation
Don't use a name that someone close to you has already picked, as it can cause confusion and conflict. Admittedly it can be very irritating if, before you can use it, a member of your family or a friend use a name that you've always wanted to give your child. Some people feel that their child's name has been 'stolen'. The answer is to not tell people the names you like. Then if they do use the same one it's just chance.
7. Room for Change
If you really want to choose an unusual name, consider giving your child a middle name as well. That way, when they're older they can choose which one they want to be known by. Or you could use the more unusual name as their middle name. Be cautious of giving your child a really distinctive name without any room for manoeuvre; they may not like it at all and have to change their name officially to get rid of it.
Choosing a name for your child isn't easy. There are a lot of factors to bear in mind. You have several months to consider a name, so use those months carefully. After all, your child will have to live with the name you pick. What's the most unusual name you've ever heard?