Naming Your Baby: Easy as Pie or Scary as Diaper-duty?

Family Matters on 11.21.11
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Photo:kaatjevervoort/Creative Commons

Other than obtaining prenatal care and deciding to have a child in the first place, few decisions that parents make for a baby are going to impact his life quite as much as the little tyke's moniker. After all, it's going to be listed on his birth certificate, bedroom wall, school roll and resume for the rest of his life, so it's no wonder that some parents feel pressured to pick the "perfect" name. Others just want him to get free video games for life. To each his own, right?

I'm expecting our third boy, and I thought it would be difficult to pick his handle, considering the fact that we've gone the boy route twice already. Fortunately, one of the following naming suggestions made it a cinch for hubby and I. Can you guess which one?

1. Flow.
My last name is Hoyt, so single syllable names are immediately out of the question. For example, as much as I like the name Luke, it is just way too abrupt when coupled with our surname. When you're picking your baby's name it's important to consider how it flows in its entirety. Unlike a lot of people, I don't place a lot of stock in the middle name because few people actually use theirs in daily life.

2. Meaning
Some parents enjoy choosing a moniker that stands for a particular personality trait or ideal. My name, "Alia" varies in definition depending on the culture you consult, but the gist is pretty much the same: to ascend (Hebrew), sublime (Arabic), exalted (Swahili). For the record, my 'rents picked it because they thought it sounded cool, not because they wanted people worshipping at my altar or anything.

3. Uniqueness
Some people call certain names traditional, others call them boring. More and more parents are choosing to forego conventional names for ones with more exotic flavor. For the record, I didn't particularly care for my "weird" name growing up, but I love it now. Still, all of my children have names that are easy to spell and pronounce, which was an intentional move on my part.

4. Sentimentality
If you have a favorite actor, character from literature or musician who you absolutely adore, this could be your chance to recognize his or her influence on your life. Or, you could choose to honor or memorialize a family member or friend by naming your child after someone you love.

What considerations did you make when naming your kid(s)? Did I leave anything major off the list?

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