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Choosing a name for your baby seems stressful. It doesn’t need to be.
No matter how many kids you have, choosing a name for your expected child always seems to bring a large amount of stress and worry. You want to choose the perfect name for your child, and there are just so many options. Trying to figure out what you’re going to call your child for the rest of their life can feel overwhelming if you let it be. It really doesn’t need to be.
Too often, we feel like we’ve got to make everyone happy. We want to like the name ourselves, but we also want others to like the name. We don’t want something too common, and ideally we are choosing a name (or perhaps a middle name) which pays tribute to someone in our family. Trying to choose a name under all of these pressures really adds up to make it a stressful situation.
In reality, most of the worries and concerns that you may have when choosing a name are not really things that you should worry about. The number one criteria for choosing a name is that you should like the name. By choosing a name that you like, you’ll be happy and able to live with it. And if your child grows up hating their name, there are legal ways for them to change it.
There’s no requirement that your child’s name has to be unique. You don’t have to come up with a new name that you’ve never heard before, and you most definitely have to make something crazy up for your child’s name. Making names up can lead to far more shame for your child down than road than sticking to something a little more common. There are plenty of stories about names that are impossible to pronounce when you look at them on paper.
That’s not to say your child’s name shouldn’t be unique, just don’t feel like it has to be if it’s stressful for you to do so. Go online to a baby naming site, and choose a name out of those that they have there. While you may not want to choose an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend’s name, there will be plenty of names that you’ll find that you will like. If you ask your parents, there’s a real possibility that all they had was a book of names to choose from, and not the thousands of ideas you’ll find online.
If you want to give a name to your child that’s part of your family history, that’s great as well. A lot of parents choose it for a middle name (because they realistically may not love the name, but want to pay tribute), and that’s totally fair. Don’t feel like you have to though - your family will not be upset, especially if they never knew you were considering it. However, it’s totally fine to do so if you want.
Plenty of kids have been named after their own mothers or fathers, and they’ve had the exact name. You’ve definitely heard of names with a Jr., II (2nd), or III (3rd) in them. Guess what, that’s great as well. Did those kids get made fun of because they had the same name as a parent? Possibly, but not anymore than any other kid.
Choose a name that you like, don’t overthink it, and make the decision easy. Choosing a name doesn’t have to be a stressful part of becoming a parent - there is plenty of stress ahead in more important decisions.