Choosing a baby name, you'd think it would be pretty easy really. Go through a few lists, check out family names, find one that you like and bingo, your baby has a name, right? Wrong. For many prospective parents there's a lot more thought and consideration goes into choosing a name for their precious newborn and in some cases it takes a lot longer than most would imagine.
Take me, for example. As a mother to four children, three girls and one boy, I spent a long time choosing each and every name, with my husband of course allowed an input too! In fact, so long did I spend deciding upon our first baby's name that my husband ended up making the final decision. It was more or less the same story with each of our children, but the worst of all was picking our last daughter's name just a couple of years ago. It took me a full two weeks to finally settle on Sophia and even after deciding on it, I almost went through with officially changing it as I just couldn't settle myself as to whether or not it suited her. Thankfully, it grew on her and she is a perfect little Sophia now, but I must admit, knowing we were not intending on adding to our family probably made it harder for me to choose as I knew this was my very last chance.
Recently I received a copy of Best Baby Names for 2014 by Siobhan Thomas and it would have been very welcome in 2011 when our daughter arrived. Containing A to Z directories of 8000 traditional and modern names and their meanings, the first section deals with choosing the right name for your baby and has lots of useful tips about considerations such as matching first names to surnames, personal associations with names, pronunciation and spelling variations, choosing middle names, how to deal with hurdles such as your family, friends or partner disliking your choice, nicknames, common associations with names and even checking initials to ensure there are no unintended bloopers.
Section 2 deals with inspirational names such as those of screen and stage stars, literary names and musical names, artistic names,sporting names, historical names, religious and mythological names and traditional and popular names in various countries. It even lists names that suit hair colours, nature names and names that have been popular in recent years. All of this before you even reach Section 3 which is where the main name choices are presented.
Each name comes with its meaning, origin, pronunciation, description and alternative spellings and there are some great choices to inspire you. Names such as Caspian, Maximus, Fallon and Makayla alongside more traditional names such as Adam, Jack, Holly and Rachel.
Best Baby Names for 2014 is a lovely book which makes choosing a baby name an altogether pleasurable experience rather than the fretful one it can sometimes become.
Priced at £6.99, Best Baby Names for 2014 is published by Vermilion and available from Random House here. It will be available from 28th November 2013 in paperback and also in ebook format.