Picking a Middle Name: 5 Mistakes Parents Often Make

My daughter's first name came easily to me and my husband. Her middle name, however, really stumped us. Should we honor my grandmother or throw that tradition to the wind and pick something hip? The fact is first names may get all the hoopla, but picking a middle name can be equally (if not more) tricky.

Here are five mistakes parents make when choosing a middle name ... so you can avoid them at all costs!


How to pick a middle name for baby

1. Choosing a middle name first. This often happens when couples want to honor a relative, only, well, Great Uncle Doodah's name isn't up to snuff for the first name slot. So you place it in the honorary middle spot, then start looking for a first name that sounds good with it. Only what sounds good with Doodah? Letting the middle name cramp your style like this is a trap, warns Laura Wattenberg, founder of BabyNameWizard.com and NameCandy.com. "Don't let a middle name you don't like dictate your style," she says. Go ahead and keep the middle name as is if you want, but make sure to choose a first name you adore, regardless of how well it goes with the middle. "A family namesake is beautiful and meaningful, even if it doesn't flow perfectly with the first name," Wattenberg explains.

2. Using a top first-name choice for the middle. "If there are only two names in the world that you and your partner agree on, think hard before using them as given and middle names for your first baby," says Watternberg. "Many parents do, only to wish they had one back for baby number two."

3. Thinking a middle name can "fix" a problem first-last combo. At the end of the day, Astrid Elaine Durst is still "Astrid Durst."

4. Not considering the initials. Unless you want your kid's monogrammed towels to say "ASS," don't name your kid Andrew Sean Smith, all right? 'Nuff said.

More from The Stir: What Your Baby Name Choice Says About You

5. Letting one parent pick the middle name as a consolation prize. If you and your partner can't agree on a first name, you may discuss the possibility of splitting your responsibilities: One picks the first name, the other the middle. Sounds fair, right? Wrong. "It may feel like a compromise to let one parent pick the first name and one the middle, but it's nowhere close to an even trade," says Wattenberg. "For most of us, our first name is our identity, and our middle name is a kind of a keepsake."

Which was harder for you to pick, a first or middle name?


Images via allthecolor/Flickr; © iStock.com/Kubrak78

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