Choosing a Name

Candace Alper namegameArticle

It’s the first thing that you give your baby and the one thing that will be with them forever.

Choose wisely – if you choose something unique or out of the ordinary, you’ll have a lot of explaining to do and so will they. This is true not only for the name itself, but also for spelling and pronunciation.

There are books and websites that have devoted themselves to helping you choose the perfect name for baby. You can browse by categories that include: gender, nationality, number of syllables, celebrity, historical figures, biblical figures – it’s all there.

By default of what I do for a living (at Name Your Tune), I have become somewhat of an expert (I have developed a special interest) in baby names that includes looking at spelling and pronunciation. In pulling together the data to create our Top Baby Name list of the Year, we found that Aiden was the most popular name when we took into consideration all of the different ways that we see Aiden spelled – Aiden, Aidan, Aden, Ayden, Adyn, Eidan and it goes on. We also noted that this name has joined Taylor, Jordan and Harley as one that is given to boys and girls.

What to consider when choosing a name:

1. Does the name have a story that you can tell anyone – over and over. Will your child tell that story too?
The story or reason behind the name that you choose for your child is one that you will tell over and over – to your parents, your in-laws, your cousins, neighbours, friends and co-workers. It is a story that you will share with the new moms that you’ll meet in music classes, mom and baby yoga and preschool teachers. Love your story as you love your child. It’s how you send them out into the world.

We hear a lot of people telling us that they named their baby after the place where he or she was conceived. Consider how that will sound coming from your four year old son. Or when he’s a teenager. It’s the first thing that you give your newborn baby and the only thing that will be with them forever.

2. Does the name require tips about pronunciation?
You say, Tomaytoh, I say Tomawtoh. But really, the Tomato doesn’t mind. You love the name Arianna. When you say it, it sounds so pretty “Areee- onna”. People may read her name and say “Air-ee-anna”. If this will frustrate you and your daughter, you may want to consider a different name. Other names similar to this are: Isla, Cara, Madeline, Eva, Keira, Mario, Darius and Mattias.

3. Do you have to spell the name for everyone?
With a desire to be unique and give your child a “different” spelling of a traditional name comes the added responsibility of spelling their name every time someone needs to write it down. We see a lot of the silent “h”, interchangeable y’s and i’s, c’s and k’s, and substituting x for ck. Khate, Masyn, Jaxon, Kameron will always spell their names. Remember that old Sesame Street episode about the Silent E? Now it’s the silent h!
4. How do the initials look?
Consider what the initials spell: Anna Sophia Smith isn’t going to like her initials; Braden Aaron Donnelly may not like his, either. You may not want the initials to spell anything at all.

5. Consider the short forms and nicknames. Be ok with them. It’s inevitable.
My name is Candace and when I went to summer camp, they called me “Candy”. It’s the only time and place in my life, that I was ok with that. It was cute and sweet, when I was eight. If you don’t like Ben for Benjamin, you might have to learn to shake it off. Same goes to Tommy for Thomas.

6. How thick is your skin?
Lots of people want to give their kids a name that is special and unique. Gwyneth Paltrow has been called out for naming her daughter Apple as have many others for choosing names like Fish, Pirate, Crash, Maple and Huckleberry.

Whatever name you choose, love it. You will say it more than you say any other word (well, maybe other than “no”).

When we debuted Name Your Tune in 2003, we began with 700 names in the recording studio. Today, we have more than 4000 names in our catalogue that include all of the above baby names and many more.

Name Your Tune is the leading children’s music compilation that is made-to-order and personalized for each child. The CD has been named as an iParenting Award winner (the first time a personalized product has ever been awarded this), and the PTPA (Parent To Parent Award). Executive Producer/Creator Candace Alper was also a recent Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year nominee.

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