One of the most difficult challenges when naming children is to choose a first and middle name that goes perfectly with the baby's last name. The choice is especially hard when the last name is hyphenated or when parents choose to create a unique last name for their family.

Picking the perfect first and middle name

If you have chosen to keep the family surname as is, with no hyphens or name changes, choosing the ideal first and middle name is slightly easier. There are three helpful tips when choosing a first and middle name to match the last name:

  • Check the initials: After making a final baby name choice, check the initials you have chosen for your child. There is nothing worse than giving your child a name with initials that end up spelling some embarrassing word. For instance, Bryan Isaac Bennett spells BIB, which could lead to your child being teased for being a baby. Another less than perfect choice is Caden Anthony Taylor leading to the initials CAT.
  • Skip all rhyming names: Steer clear of rhyming the first and last name as children can be cruel and a rhyming name is a perfect fuel for mean children. Think of names like Harry Barry, Larry Kerry, Hank Banks, and Lily Schill.
  • Read the name out loud: The human ear is the best tool for choosing first and middle names that match with last names perfectly. If the name rolls off the tongue easily you have a hit, but if the name is difficult to read off the paper you may want to go back to the drawing board. Short first names pair perfectly with longer last names and vice versa, so try inversely matching syllables.

Hyphenated names 

Hyphenated last names are longer so shorter first names work perfectly. For instance, the name Hal goes perfectly with the last name Holden-Bach – short first name with a longer, hyphenated last name. Elizabeth, on the other hand, does not go as well with the hyphenated last name Cavalier-Hardy. Refer to the say it out loud tip to match first and middle names with a hyphenated last name.

Choosing a unique last name for the family

Creating a completely new last name for the family is a trendy choice that requires a bit of legal preparation. If you want to change the family surname it is best to take all legal steps before the baby is born. Some couples choose to combine the surname from father and mother to create the new surname. For instance, Jones and Elliot could be transformed to Jonell or Ellone. When all legal paperwork has been filed and the surname has been changed on all legal documents and identification, the baby will be given the new last name. 

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