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Party Ideas - Choosing a name

Choosing a Name

Of all the many wonderful, yes and questionable, things we give our children in life, few have quite the impact or lasting impression as the name we choose for them. It's not unreasonable therefore to take at least a little time to think about how the name you choose will affect your child, not only when they're cute and cuddly, little and lovely but also when they're big and beautiful, or big and burly for that matter. Here is a little advice, and one or two warnings to help you avoid forever being the cause of your child's pain and anguish over an ill-considered or hastily chosen name.

In ancient times anyone who could afford it consulted an oracle whenever they were in need of advice or information. These days there are so many sources of information we are more likely to suffer the effects of information overload. There have been dozens of baby naming books written with alphabetical lists, origins, meanings, different spellings and common abbreviations so take advantage of them. Check out the internet also. The National Statistics web site will keep you up to date on the most popular names which you may follow, or studiously avoid, according to your preference

Consider a name that has meaning, for you, your family or your home town. Be careful though if the meaning is something best kept to yourself - I know of at least one child named after the place she was conceived, fine if it's Kerry as in County Kerry but not so catchy if Mum and Dad did their romancing in Watford!

Another option is to name your child after a figure from Roman, Greek or Norse mythology. Possibilities include Diana, Victoria, Chloe and Jason. Again proceed with caution. For example Thor may be a great first name if your family name is Heyerdahl, like the famous Norwegian explorer. But don't expect it to work as well if your last name is Smith.

Have fun picking out your baby's name. Give way to your silly side. That way you'll at least get it out of your system, and you never know you may even discover a name that's just perfect. Share your ideas with friends and family, but remember you won‚t please everyone.

Make lists of all the names you have considered. Write down as many combinations as you can think of, remembering of course to include a middle name and your last name, a vital ingredient in the final result. Consider how each combination sounds. Say the name aloud, spelled out in full, initials only then first name, middle initial and last name. Try all the abbreviations and nicknames you can think of. If you don't do it now you can be sure someone else will do it for you later.

Use a process of elimination to make your short list shorter. Delete those that 'just don't sound right' and those that remind you of people you'd rather not remember. When you have it down to around ten possibilities put the list aside for a week or so. You may be surprised how your feelings may have changed when you come back to it. Hopefully one or two will stand out as the best of the best. Put these final few on post-it notes and display them where you'll see them every day. Before long you'll know your baby's name. Alternatively, place a list of names on the wall. Take a dart!