Picking a middle name (or names) for your baby might be a walk in the park – or just like the first name, it might be something you want to give a lot of thought.
After all, each part of your baby’s name is a big decision, as more often than not, she’ll be sticking with it for the rest of her life.
Sometimes, little ones even decide as they get older to be referred to exclusively by their middle moniker!
So, here are 9 things you should think about before making a final decision.
1. Is it really a middle name, or part of their first name?
Say your child is called Elizabeth, and their middle name is Mae. Will they be referred to as Elizabeth, or Elizabeth Mae?
And if the latter is the case, do you want Mae officially classed as a ‘middle name’, or would it make more sense to be part of the first name?
You can also think about whether or not you want to double-barrel it…
2. How many middle names do you want?
Having more than one middle name isn’t so uncommon – and having 2 (or even 3) middle names can work really well, and sound nice and formal.
Just look at the names of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s children, Prince George Alexander Louis and Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana!
3. Can a second surname become a middle name?
Of course, your child can take either your surname or your partner’s, or you can double-barrel it.
But if you’d prefer not to add a dash, you could consider choosing either your or your partner’s family name as a middle name.
4. Do the initials spell out anything… weird?
If you’ve got a little Alex Smith on the way, adding in the middle name Sam has dangerous consequences for their initials… so make sure whatever you pick doesn’t spell out anything untoward when initialised.
A few other ways to check the spelling, just to be on the safe side: A S Smith and Alex S Smith.
5. Does it sound right with the first and last name?
The middle name you’ve chosen might be gorgeous, but when you say your child’s intended full name, it could end up making the whole thing sound a bit clunky, or too long…
Say it several times to check you’re cool with how it sounds.
6. Does the meaning line up with the first name meaning?
If your child’s first name means ‘snowflake’ but their middle name means ‘sun’, make sure you know about it and you’re happy with it.
Because if you aren’t, you’ll still have time to switch to names with meanings that really do match up perfectly.
7. Will it help inform a nickname?
Calling your little one Tara, but fancy shortening to TJ?
Then a middle name like James, Jennifer or Jane would make perfect sense!
8. Is the middle name a family tribute?
Paying tribute to a family member with your child’s name is one of the loveliest things you can do, in our eyes.
But if the name is too old-fashioned for you, not quite your cup of tea, or belongs to a relative you see often and who is still living, the place to do it might be somewhere in the middle!
9. Are you AND your partner on board with it?
Just because the middle name may not frequently be said out loud, doesn’t mean (in our opinion) that either mum or dad should feel a bit iffy about it!
How MFM mums choose their kids’ middle names
Naming after a specific loved one or family member
Elisa B told us: “My son has my Dad’s name, Robin, as his middle name as my Dad passed away when I was younger.”
While Hayley H shared: “My daughter’s middle name is Heather. Hubby’s grandma passed away a couple of weeks before our daughter was born so it felt like a fitting tribute to her.”
While Rachel L got creative when including her female friend in her son’s name:
“My little boy’s middle name is Jacob, named after my best friend who’s surname was Jacobs. She passed away when I was 7 months pregnant. So it’s my little tribute to her.”
Keeping a name in the family, because it’s family tradition
“My little dude has James Stuart for middle names,” mum Sarah C explained.
“James is in both our families and Stuart is on my mums side, my grandad and uncle have Stuart as a middle name, I was a girl so escaped it, so it made sense to give our wee man Stuart in the middle.”
Inspired by places, things and random moments
One mum admits her son’s middle name comes from her and her husband’s shared love of their favourite Charmed character, Paige Matthews.
A movie fan, Lauren S, shared: “My sons middle name is Obi, from Star Wars…. he was born May the 4th and daddy was in charge of middle name LOL”
While Gillian P told us: “My eldest’s is Fintan after my husband heard it on the radio and liked it. He wanted it to be his first name but I wouldn’t agree!
“2nd daughter’s is Harley after her daddy’s love of the Harley Davidson ?” laughed Helen S.
Trina M shares a great story behind her son’s middle name – all to do with the day he was born:
“My son’s middle name is Daniel. He was born in Watford hospital, right next to the football stadium.
“Elton John was playing in concert and was singing Daniel when the midwife brought my son out of the operating theatre to meet his dad! I went to sleep listening to Lulu and woke up to Elton John, lol!”
One of our MFM editors has a brother with a rather unusual middle name: Delaval. Named after his birthplace, Seaton Deleval Hall, a grand house in the North East of England!
Making a name original
“My daughter’s is Leigh just because I liked it and she’s the only child in her school named Dannii-Leigh,” Nikki P admits.
Share your stories
What’s your child’s middle name, and how did you go about picking it? Are there anything other aspects of picking a middle name our mums-to-be and dads-to-be should consider?
Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook!