Having a Baby? Let’s Help You with Tips For Choosing Baby Names

Having a Baby? Let’s Help You with Tips For Choosing Baby Names

Recently got to know the gender of your child and have started to research and think of names for your little one? Or even if you aren’t in the name shopping mode, check out our list of most popular baby names around the world and what they mean!

When Do You Start Naming Your Child?

There’s no “best” time to start naming your child. Some parents prefer to name their child even when they are still in their mothers’ womb so that they can call the names of their child and talk to them even before they are born. Yet other parents prefer to leave the naming until they see their child. No matter which option you choose, ensure that it is a name that both parents like and read on for the tips we have to help you with selecting your baby names!

Did You Know?

According to the Immigrations and Checkpoint Authorities, baby names can be changed within a year of their birth, provided that they have not been issued any birth extract. For name changes, a birth extract, not a new birth certificate, will be issued.

6 Helpful Tips for Choosing Baby Names

Naming your baby can be a fun and exciting process; but sometimes, new parents-to-be may also face overwhelming choices as they jump from unique and creative names to the timeless, classic names, finding the perfect one for their child. Choosing a name for your baby is a huge commitment, so here are some tips you may just want to consider when naming your child!

1. Timeless Names Doesn’t Mean They Are Boring

Rather than seeing names as common, see them as timeless names that will stand the test of time. You don’t want to name your child after a trend (Katniss or Harry Potter) only to have them explain the origin of the name over and over again to people over the course of their lives.

Another perk of having a classic name is that when your child travels in future, he or she will get to purchase “personalised” souvenirs bearing their names!

2. Contemplate All Possible Nicknames and Initials

Especially for longer names like Gwendolyn or Nathaniel, are you also happy with the shorter nicknames of Gwen and Nate? Putting in this extra effort when thinking of your child’s name can also save them from possible bullying and name-calling whenever they are in school.

Pay attention to initial as well because sometimes we may be so engrossed in our child’s beautiful name and when we factor in their middle and last names, it could very well spell disaster! Ashley Sara Soh or Fedric Mason Lee sound like beautiful names, but not so much for its initials…

3. Look Up Meanings of The Name

To ensure that you choose a name with a meaning that you resonate with, look up the name in different languages and cultures. For instance, Hugo, a popular name in Spain from an old Germanic word, also means “bright in mind and spirit” while Akay, a name of Turkish origin means “shining moon”.

4. Do your close friends or their children have the same name?

What happens then if you love a particular name but you have close friends or their children having the same name? Some friends may not mind if your child has the same name as theirs, but if they do you may then want to consider changing the spelling or using the same name in another language. For instance, Jakub (instead of Jacob), a popular name in Norway which is derived from a Hebrew word that is translated to “at the heel”.

5. Honor Your Culture or Family Traditions

Check with your parents to see if there are anything you’ll need to keep in mind when naming your child. Did you know the name Zoe is banned in Iceland? As common as the name Zoe is, according to Icelandic tradition, baby names should not start with Z and they must be easily integrated into the Icelandic grammar. Since Zoe cannot be integrated, babies in Iceland cannot be named Zoe!

Sometimes, family traditions include having a certain character or alphabet of the name that should be kept constant. Others may include having a religious name for your baby. This means that you’ll likely have to consult with your family regarding baby names.

6. Does it pass the radio test?

Are you someone (or know someone) who have experienced numerous misspellings or mispronunciation of your name whenever you order your favourite drink at Starbucks? Or have you experienced instances when people forget your name even after repeating them countless times during an orientation camp in school, or in networking sessions in your workplaces? Especially if you want to make an impression, having important people forget your name because it is too long or too complex defeats that purpose.

If you do not want your child to be stuck in this situation, ensure that the baby names you choose passes the radio test. The radio test for baby names checks if people can spell the name when they hear it. That doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be common names like James or Mary, but it must be something that they can repeat.

Sometimes, spelling of names can also be tricky as certain names have various ways of spelling. For instance, Caroline vs Carolyn or Sophia vs Sofia. Though unique spelling of names can be unique and they can be a good way to modify a name that you and your partner already love (as in the previous tip), do think about how your child may have to correct others repeatedly!

Fun Fact: How about Middle Names?

Finding it difficult to choose just one name for your child? Nowadays, middle names are also increasingly popular among new-age parents! If you’re wondering where did this trend come from, read on!

In Stephen Wilson’s “The Means of Naming: A Social History”, he writes about the custom of middle names originating in Italy where elites started including middle names for their children after Saints with the belief that those saints would protect their children. This practice then spread on to other parts of Europe and beyond, losing its religious affiliations. Instead, middle names now provided opportunities for people to shift their identities throughout their lives or even to distinguish themselves from another “Abigail” in the class.

Most Popular Baby Names in 2020

We’re past the midway point of 2020 and Names.org has already come up with its name predictions for 2020 in the earlier part of the year. The ranking of these names was derived by analysing the latest Social Security Administration data, patterns from the last five years, and user interest.

For Baby Boys

1. Liam

Liam is a shortened form and a more modern take of another popular name, William and the Irish name Uilliam, which means “helmet of will”. Parents who name their baby boys Liam hope that they grow up to become determined and iron-willed protectors.

2. Noah

The name Noah is associated with the biblical character who built the ark of refuge for the great flood. It is the most popular name in Denmark and is of Hebrew origin, meaning rest and peace.

3. William

William has been one of the longest-standing popular boys names of all time until it met its modern day take of Liam. The name William was first introduced to England by William the Conqueror and it means “harnessed with a gilded helmet”. Along with Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and the future King of England, there are numerous Williams in royal families in Italy, Netherlands, Germany, and Luxembourg.

4. Oliver

As a variation of the Latin-derived term for “Olive Tree”, Oliver is also the most popular name for boys in United Kingdom and Australia. Olive trees symbolise fruitfulness, dignity, and beauty, and its fruit, the olives, signifies peace.

5. Lucas

Lucas is a name of Greek, Latin origin, meaning “man of Lucania”. Interestingly, it was originally a locational surname for families from Lucania (ancient territory) in Southern Italy.

6. Benjamin

The name Benjamin has several great nicknames like Ben, Benny and Benji and it is derived from the Hebrew name Binyanmin, meaning “son” and “right hand”.

7. Elijah

Elijah, like Benjamin, is a name of Hebrew origin meaning “My God is Yahweh”, the name of the Hebrew God.

8. James

James is the leading boy’s name in Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland and it has been popular amongst royals, presidents, writers and entertainers.

9. Henry

Henry (or spelled Henri in France) means “ruler of the home” and the name is of German origin. The name Henry has been a favourite among royals and several celebrities have chosen this name for their sons.

10. Alexander

Alexander wins as the top favourite name for Icelandic and Russian boys. The name was derived from the Greek name Aléxandros, meaning “defending men” and has been in the top boys’ name since 1990s. The noble Alexander has also led to several variations like Alex, Zander, Xan, and female versions of the name like Alexandra, Alexia, Alexandria.

For Baby Girls

1. Emma

Emma’s a top favourite female baby name in the United States and it is of Latin origin meaning “Universal”. I guess that explains why there so many well-known celebrities named Emma!

2. Olivia

Olivia, a variation of the Latin-derived term for “Olive Tree”, is the most popular name for baby girls in the United Kingdom and it was first popularised by William Shakespeare’s character in the Twelfth Night.

3. Ava

The name Ava dates back to the medieval era and has Germanic, Latin and Hebrew roots, meaning “life”. Ava is a popular name for girls in the United States and is often seen as a variant of the name Eve.

4. Isabella

The name Isabella is derived from the Hebrew name Elisheba, a variant of the name Elizabeth, Isabella means “pledged to God” and the name has a rich history among medieval royals.

5. Charlotte

Charlotte is the feminine name of Charles, meaning a “petite and womanly” in French. In 2017, it was the most popular name for girls in the United Kingdom after it was given to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s first daughter!

6. Sophia

Sophia, meaning “wisdom”, has Greek origins and was originally used as female names of European royalty in the Middle Ages. Its variant, Sofia, is the top girl’s name in Italy, Denmark, and Russia and has been gathering popularity ever since the 2000s.

7. Amelia

The name Amelia, with its variant Amalia, came from the Germanic word meaning “industrious”. Parents who name their child Amelia hopes they grow up to be diligent and hardworking in everything they do!

8. Mia

Mia, meaning “Ocean Goddess”, “Queen” or “guardian of justice” in Scandinavia, sounds like a great name to behold. The short but two-syllabic name makes a great baby girls’ name without the need to worry about nicknames!

9. Mila

Mila has Russian and Slavic origins and it comes from Slavic names ending with Mila, like Camilla. The nickname turned popular baby girl’s name means “gracious” or “dear” in Russian, and “miracle” in Italian.

10. Harper

The name Harper was initially used as a surname and came from the occupation of a harp player. Harper is also considered a non-gendered baby name as it can be used for both genders.

No matter which name you eventually choose, bear in mind that your baby’s name is one that lasts for a lifetime and it helps define your child as an individual – within the family, to friends, at school, at work, and to everyone else he or she meets in future. Should you consider the options carefully and select it with love, I’m sure your child would grow to love his or her name!

Looking for Infant Care in Singapore?

Established in 2006, Mulberry Learning is an award-winning Reggio-inspired preschool with 11 locations around Singapore. Its Full-Day and Half-Day Infant Care Programmes help your babies and toddlers aged 2 months to 17 months to learn and grow in a fun and engaging environment. Mulberry Learning is the world’s first and only preschool network certified by the USA for the Habits of MindTM framework, and its curriculum has been voted as “Singapore’s Best Holistic Learning Programme” for 3 years running by leading parenting publications.

Mulberry Learning’s Infant Care Locations

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Kallang – 8 Stadium Walk, #02-05 Water Sports Centre, Singapore 397699

Shenton Way – 6A Shenton Way, #03-01/04 OUE Downtown Gallery, Singapore 068809

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