Questions to ask yourself when choosing a baby name

By PENDA HONEYGHAN

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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DECIDING on a name for your child is a huge responsibility; after all, it will be a defining piece of your child's personality. And while some parents choose their baby names from before they conceive, for others, especially the really indecisive ones, making a final decision even from their list of favourite names can be quite overwhelming.

Are you having trouble deciding on the perfect name for your little human? It's not something that you have to rush; in fact, you have some time to decide, even after the baby's birth.

The Registrar General's Department (RGD) provides registration of births and stillbirths at the bedside of the mother while she's still in the hospital. This, they say, has led to significant improvements in the recording of these vital events. Trained registration officers, who are employed by the agency, are stationed in all hospitals islandwide to conduct these registrations. Vital information, including, but not limited to, child's date of birth, sex, mother's name, and doctor or midwife present at time of birth, are captured for civil registration purposes.

No one is forcing you to name your baby in the hospital though. In fact, if you're unsure, it may serve you well to wait a while, before sticking with a name. If the infant is not named in the hospital, parents will then visit the registration officer for the district in which the child was born and complete a Certificate of Naming. This blank document is issued by the registration officer to the parent(s) in hospital, with instructions for them to complete this and attend the registration centre within one year to name the child.

If you choose this route, it gives you an opportunity to get to know more about the child's personality, before sticking them with a moniker which may not work well for the long term.

Here is a list of things that you may want to consider before making the final call:

The meaning

Meaning adds some amount of substance to a name. In fact, some people believe that the meaning of a baby's name not only significantly influences his/her personality, but is actually fuelled by some hidden energy that guides one's destiny. However, not everyone is caught up with the meanings of names and wouldn't mind choosing a cute name even if it has an unfortunate meaning.

Ask yourself if you really like it

Not because it's trendy, your mother-in-law wants you to, or you simply want to keep the tradition of names starting with “L” in your family, choose a name because you really like it. Baby name regrets are very real among parents; it should be a purposeful process and you must only grow more in love with it every time you see, write, say or hear it. Go with your gut, and don't be forced into making a decision. If you feel that you don't want anyone's input, then say, his/her father and I appreciate your suggestions but Baby X is our name of choice.

How it sounds

Luckily, this is one of the things that most parents take into consideration. Say it a few times. Does it sound good when it rolls off your tongue? Do you enjoy saying it? Or can saying it a couple of times annoy you? Also, and this one is very important, does it sound like it could be potentially embarrassing because if it does you might want to reconsider it. You also want to consider how the name or names sound with the last name. Reconsider going for a name that rhymes, or pun-inspired names. Your teenage child might not be happy with you for it.

Uniqueness

We all love to hear, “Oh nice, I have never heard that one before”, or it could just be that we are tired of Rihannas, Briannas, Aidens and the Jaydens, and so a refreshing change is always welcome. But be careful not to go overboard. While having to correct people who constantly mispronounce or spell might get overwhelming, what might get more awkward is giving your child a name that yes, you guessed it, is a side order of unwanted attention.

Initials and monograms

Sometimes we are so caught up on the sounds of the name themselves that we forget about the initials and how they could potentially encourage teasing or even bullying. Imagine naming your daughter, Hailey Ann Grant (HAG) or your son Zachry Ian Tate (ZIT) these just won't work on your kid's jersey or any other piece of memorabilia that should be fun.

Does it have the potential to hurt the child?

It is nice to want to have your child to have a unique name, but be careful not to go overboard. A recent poll conducted by researchers at The University of the West Indies, Mona, revealed that the name on a resume also acts as a deciding factor on whether or not you are hired. For example, it is more likely that a Liana or Hailey will be selected over Sharkeisha or Jerky.

Is the name overly popular?

The fact that it's popular means that more than likely it sounds good and so people gravitate towards it. But are you sure you want to wade through the pool of Aidens, Briannas and Jaidens? If you are content with your decision, and don't mind its popularity, make the spelling a little unique if you want to give it a slightly different touch.


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