Choosing a Baby Name: Why It Matters More Than You Think

by Elizabeth Peters July 11, 2016

Choosing a Baby Name: Why It Matters More Than You Think

Choosing a baby name can be one of the hardest decisions new parents make. Months can be spent agonizing over choosing the perfect name. Whether parents realize it or not, there is good reason for this – what you choose to name your baby will have a long lasting effect on their life.

What’s in a Name?

Research suggests that a child’s name can have a significant impact on their future and can have ramifications that they carry into adulthood.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a name for your baby.


Names With Unique Spellings or Pronunciations

Unique baby names are all the trend right now, with celebrities leading the way by choosing to don their children with such names as Bear Blu (Alicia Silverstone) and Apple (Gwyneth Paltrow). But before jumping on the unique name bandwagon, there are some things to consider first:

• The child will most likely have to deal with people butchering the spelling and pronunciation of her name for her entire life. 

• Unique names can lead to children being teased by other kids during childhood.

• A unique name can be seen as less formal by some people and lead them to see your child as silly or frivolous by association.

Right or wrong, the way your child’s name will be seen by other people is something to consider when choosing a unique name.


Boys With Girly Names

It isn’t unusual to come across a boy named Shannon or Ashley, but research has shown that naming a boy something that is traditionally seen as being girly can have lasting effects.

Research has shown that boys with traditionally female names exhibit more behavior problems in adolescence than boys with traditionally male names. This is believed to be due to self-consciousness surrounding their name and possible teasing from other students. The effect seems to be intensified if the boy shares a class with a girl of the same name.

Our Name Can Affect Our Self-Esteem

Our names are an integral part of our identity. There are many situations in life where people know our names before they ever meet us – and as people we tend to form judgements based on what little information we have ahead of time.

Research has shown a link between a person’s like or dislike of his name and his level of self-esteem. What we name our child can affect other people’s perception of them and that can begin to trickle into their own perception of themselves. A bubbly girl named Bambi or Candy, for example, may have trouble getting people to take her seriously or be written off as being silly, which can affect the way she begins to see herself.

The Bottom Line

Choosing a baby name is an extremely personal choice. The name we bestow upon our children will ultimately become a part of their identity and who they are. While there are many things to consider when choosing a baby name, the choice is ultimately yours.

Elizabeth Peters
Elizabeth Peters


Elizabeth Peters is a mother of two and freelance writer who specializes in the parenting/family niche. When she is not writing for clients she can be found blogging about parenting on her own blog at She currently resides in Alabama with her husband and two young children. Connect with her on Twitter: @themommyvortex

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