Your health:

How do you choose someone's name - for life?!

By Baby Blogger Kate Richards  
We've now only got eight weeks, roughly, until the baby's due and have finally reached a decision about his name.

What a huge decision it seems! Having had Ben around for nearly two years, I realise I'll be saying whichever word we choose approximately 500 times a day for the next several years. Added to which, anyone who crosses our path - that's dozens of people every day at the park, toddler groups, etc. - could form an opinion on its ordinariness/weirdness.

That's why we're playing it safe with a name that's been around for centuries, though its popularity has fallen over the last few years, according to a very useful chart at

As with Ben, we've decided to keep it a secret until the baby arrives, then no-one (fingers crossed) will be able to criticise. That's the plan anyway. Last time, my husband admitted he'd told his best friend one drunken evening, so I got to feel smug.

Mumsnet  has some pretty good advice on the subject. It recommends thinking about what the name might rhyme with, or be shortened to, whether it goes with the surname and any siblings' names, and what the initials spell.

It also advises not to use an unusual spelling of a normal name, and for the child's future benefit, it might be a good idea to put the full version of the name on the birth certificate, even if they will be known by a shorter version, so they have the choice of which to use later on.

We'll certainly be doing that because, although I like the more casual version of X's name, my husband is not keen (I predict most people will do it anyway). Of course, if the scan was wrong and X turns out to be a she, then we're in big trouble!

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