Every hour, over 14,000 babies are born. While no two children are precisely the same, they all have one thing in common: a name.
Let’s face it; choosing a middle name for your baby is a significant milestone in the baby’s life, even if you are not a Royal Family member. Most of the research, brainstorming, opinion-gathering, hand-wringing, focuses on the first name. However, middle names are equally important and sometimes more challenging to select.
It is crucial to deliberate about your intention when selecting a middle name. Is it to honor your culture or family member? Or do you simply want a name that rhymes well with the first and last name?
No matter the reason, we have come up with a few factors you can keep in mind before making the final decision.
What If You Cannot Settle on a Middle Name?
If settling on a middle name is hard for one parent, both parents agreeing on a name might prove more challenging. To assist you, we have compiled some of the challenges you might experience in your search for the right name, plus some practical solutions.
Things To Consider When Selecting Your Baby’s Middle Name
It can come as a disappointment if you have grown up wishing to bestow a particular name to your child, only for your spouse to reject it out of hand. There are cases where one spouse is relentless in giving your child a celebrity name while the other cannot stand the character.
To avoid this, here are a few factors to assist you in finding an appropriate name:
Factor One: Family Connection
Depending on where you come from, some people have recurring middle names in their families. If this is you, it is advisable to talk to your parents or relatives to inquire about the right middle name to give to your child.
In such scenarios, middle names tend to break some standard baby-naming practices, therefore do not worry about giving your boys different middle names from girls.
Factor Two: Honouring a Family Member
Perhaps, you would like to show respect to one of your parents or someone who means a lot to you by using their first name as your baby’s middle name.
Whether it is your favorite uncle or late grandmother, this is an excellent way of maintaining a family name tradition without having to name your child “James IX.”
If you and your spouse cannot decide between your mother’s and his great grandmother’s name, you could use both. A growing number of parents are settling to bequeath two middle names to their children — one from each side of the family.
Factor Three: Family Tradition
Your cultural background can be a great source of inspiration. Some families have an existing naming culture where all the firstborns have a designated middle name.
If you or your spouse were born on a different continent, you could turn to family traditions for naming options.
On the other hand, most people are resulting in giving their children more than two middle names. This is attributed to our exposure to the British system and royals for decades. British royals do this as a way to honor two people at once.
Factor Four: The Name Is Meaningful To You
Maybe you conceived your child in Milan during your Honeymoon, or you met your spouse in Kenya. Venue names that have a significant meaning to your life can make great middle names.
You might also have a special connection with a movie personality, musician, or any ambiguous character that only you and your spouse understands.
Factor Five: Find Common Ground
One way of avoiding disputing over a name is coming up with a list of possibilities before going into labor. Have a column for boys and another for girls. Put spaces for crosses or ticks next to each name.
Go through the list, ticking your likes, and crossing your dislikes. Your spouse should also do the same for both of you to come up with a summary. During your pregnancy, refer to the list often as your feelings towards a name might change.
Factor Six: Name Generator
If you still need more inspiration, you can opt to use a baby name generator to help you brainstorm. These online tools can also come in handy in suggesting potential names for you.
Sometimes they include meanings to the name. If you want a name that translates to strength, courage, kindness, or beauty, you can find a beautiful name that suits the meaning you have in mind.
Things to Consider Before Settling on a Name
If you have hit a deadlock, it is advisable to take a break and do other things such as shopping as you continue looking for a name.
Before you pen your child’s birth certificate with that name, take a few moments to check on these factors:
- Google the name: If there is a serial killer or an adult star out there with the same name, you might want to reconsider.
- Initials: Counter check your child’s initials to confirm it does not spell anything outlandish such as COW, FML, etc.
- Rhythm: You can choose to say the three names out loud to confirm they rhyme courteously. You can also decide to write them out to see whether they look nice together. For instance, if you have settled on a long first and last name, you might want to consider a short middle name.
If your baby has already come and you are yet to settle on a name, do not panic. You have about six weeks to register your baby’s name. So, you have some time to decide on a middle name, even after you meet baby.
More often than not, most infants seem to choose their own names by simply befitting them. It is a common occurrence where a parent finds themselves pondering, “ She looks like Victoria” or “He is just a Peter.”
If in doubt, you can always opt for a name with a nickname already attached to it. Also, you can settle for a middle name that you can shorten.
For instance, Elizabeth can be Liz, Libby, Beth, Liza, Bess, or Betty, and Edward can be Ted, Eddie, Teddy, or Ed. By doing this, you can avail yourself a few options when deciding what to call your baby in everyday life.