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10 Things to consider when choosing a baby name

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Written by Mary Fetzer   

We live in a society of trends that impact what we wear, what we eat and even what we name our babies. Unfortunately, trends are temporary and a name that sounds hip and cool today may sound dated or just plain wrong when your children are grown. With that in mind, we've compiled a list of 10 things to consider when choosing a name for your baby.

You may like the idea of giving your baby a name that marks the era, but keep in mind that unexpected names can be fodder for playground (and boardroom) bullies. Changing hairstyles and nail polish colors to keep up with the times is easy — changing a name, not so much.

1. One of the cruelest things kids do is create name-rhyming taunts. It's one thing to have a name like Alice that rhymes with palace, but it's completely another to be that kid whose name rhymes with tease-tempting words like vagina, nipple, poop, butt… you get the picture.

2. Edible names are about as popular as Gwyneth Paltrow's parenting advice. Avoid the likes of Apple, Grape, Cookie, Bread and Coke, whenever possible.

3. If it's a name that you might hear on reality TV, then it's probably not the wisest pick. This list includes Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kendall, Kylie, Honey, June, Joy-Anna, Jedidiah and Jinger.

4. Giving your child a name from a big-screen or literary classic is a great idea. Giving your kid a name from contemporary pop culture (think Mockingjay and Divergent) is not recommended.

5. If the name contains a record number of extraneous letters (Jeaneicia? Cheisianne?), avoid it. Relatives, teachers and friends will appreciate your decision to opt for a traditional spelling of Haley versus a modern deviation like Hay-Lee or Haeleigh.

6. Having to spell, pronounce or explain your child's name might make you feel important, but it will make your child feel tortured. Who knew that "La-A" was pronounced "LaDASHa"?

7. Take note of popularity lists and baby announcements in the newspaper and skip those names that keep appearing. Do you really want your son to be one of eight Noahs in his class?

8. Keeping a family name is a wonderful idea, but keep in mind the complications of naming your son after his father: Big John/Little John nicknames; a tendency to refer to the younger one as "Junior"; and credit, legal and tax confusion as your child grows and is confused with his like-named dad.

9. Consider that giving your child a unisex or gender-neutral name may force you to explain to inquisitive strangers that "No, she is a girl" or "No, he is a boy." That, or having to resort to pink and blue until they outgrow that hard-to-tell infant stage.

10. When you try it out on friends and family, do their eyes glaze over? Do their jaws drop? Do they look uncomfortable? Confused? Amused? Your child may face the exact same reactions every time she introduces herself for the rest of her life.

More baby name tips


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Your baby's initials: Dos and don'ts

Photo credit: KidStock/Blend Images/Getty Images

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