It’s an exciting time when you find out that you are going to be a parent. So many things to do. You’ve got to get the layette, decorate the nursery, choose a travel system. So many decisions to make. And then, there is what to name your little bundle of joy.

If you are like me (and most of my friends), you’ve had names picked out for you kids since high school. But do these names really work? You may have loved the name Donald back then, but who knew your future husband’s last name would be Duck? So, what are the rules for naming your children?

First of all, is this a name you could live with? Your child is going to have to live with this name for the rest of their lives. If you were in their shoes, would you love this name or hate it?

Next, how does the name your looking at sound with your last name? For example, my husband loves the name Stephen, but when your last name is King that just isn’t feasible. Then there was my high school teacher, Harry Butts. You really don’t want to do this to your child.

Then there are the initials? They don’t spell anything unfortunate, do they? I had a friend once who’s initials were BCH. Looks harmless until kids wanted to call him a certain profanity. Or Calvin Owen Walls-who wants their initials to spell cow?

The length of the names are important too. As a general rule, if your last name is short, then you want a long first name and vice versa. Both names being too long can become a tongue twister. If they are both short, it may be too sing songy.

Does the name rhyme? That is not a good thing when you are in school. It makes it too easy to make up a song to make fun of your child. On the same note, avoid having the same beginning letters unless you want to risk your child sounding like a cartoon character.

Is the name popular? This can be double-edged sword. While a name that is too obscure can be made fun of, if the name is too popular you could end up being one of ten Matthews or Kaitlyns in class.

children birthday backdrops/birthday backdrops for photography/backdrop for boys birthday party

And what about the spelling? While it may be cool to put a twist on a popular name, do you really want your child to go through their whole lives having to spell or pronounce your name.

Finally, ask for others opinions. We can all become clouded in our judgment when trying to pick a name for our child. So ask someone you trust to critique your choices. They may see something you don’t. That name could be the name of the newest cartoon character. Or maybe it is just fine.