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You may have the nursery colors picked out and registry items picked, but have you chosen a name for you baby? Maybe you already know the gender and are floating around some ideas for your sweet girl or boy. Or maybe you’re waiting to find out and have to come up with two names (or at least a gender neutral one). Whether you’re all-in on a name already or you’ve no idea where to start, here are some things to consider before naming your child.

Check the Trends

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You might be going for something classic, a namesake (like a cherished family member’s name), or are going for something entirely unique. Still, it’s a good idea to check popular baby name lists just to see how unique that name really is. While the name Emma is lovely, it’s also trending at #1 for baby girls this year. Although you can absolutely name your daughter whatever you like, just be aware that she may have a number of Emma classmates with her in school.

Count it

And by “it,” we mean the syllables. When considering names for your kiddo, make sure you’re considering the length of their name as well. If you have a four-syllable last name, you might want to keep the first and middle names a bit shorter so your baby isn’t stuck with a total tongue twister.

Nicknames & Initials

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We’re just going to say it: Although nicknames like “Tommy,” “Annie,” and “Jimmy” are adorable, please don’t use these as your child’s legal name. Nickname? Certainly. But give them the original names (Thomas, Anne, James) so when your child grows up they can choose what they want to go by.

While you’re at it, make sure you’re considering potential nicknames that people may come up with for your child’s name. A great way to do this is to say the name out loud to kids and see if they think it’s funny or not—a good test run for future teasing. Watch those initials, too! If your last name is Davidson, it’s probably not a great idea to name your baby boy Samuel Thomas… even if those are your grandfathers’ names.

Imagine Life with That Name

After you’ve found a name, try to imagine living life with that name. Is it easily mispronounced? Did you check to make sure the name doesn’t have any sort of unfortunate meaning tied to it? If it’s a name like “Charity” or “Wisdom,” be aware that is a lot to live up to! It may be added pressure on your kiddo. And while you might think naming your kid “Merry” with your last name being “Christmas” is cute, just take a little while to step into the name and make sure it’s a name you would love living with for a lifetime.

Everyone’s Got an Opinion

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… but you don’t have to listen.

Ultimately, naming your child is your choice, not anyone else’s. Enjoy diving into the process and discovering that gem of a name that your sweet baby will make all their own as they grow into it!