If you are an expectant parent, then two questions that you are likely to hear over and over are “boy or girl?” and “What are you going to call him or her?” Whilst mums and dads don’t usually have a say in deciding the answer to the first question, the name that they choose for their new bundle of joy will be something they think about long and hard. After all, the name that you give your child will be with them all their life!

The choice of a baby’s name is a very personal decision, and many factors can influence it. Does the name you’re considering sound right with the surname? Some sounds naturally work better together than others, and you should also be careful not to accidentally create a comic sounding name – Robin Banks, for example! Is the name you’re considering often shortened, or is there a common nickname for it? You might like Isabella, but do you like Izzy? How about Bella? If you’re thinking of Oliver, do you like the sound of Ollie? Family tradition may also be something that you need to consider, for example is there a tradition of naming children after grandmas or granddads? Even if there isn’t such a tradition, older family names can be a useful source of inspiration, particularly with traditional names such as Grace and George becoming popular again.

Some parents choose to give their child a name that is unusual, for example by using a different spelling to the norm. This can be a good way to avoid your child having the same name as their classmates in school or nursery, but on the other hand it may mean that your child stands out, or has to spell his or her name out frequently.

It can be useful to see what names other people have chosen to help you to make your decision. In 2013, the top ten most popular names for boys and girls were:

Boys: Oliver, Jack, Charlie, Harry, Oscar, Thomas, Jacob, Ethan, Noah, James.

Girls: Olivia, Emily, Sophia, Lily, Isabella, Isabelle, Amelia, Isla, Sophie, Ava.

So how should you go about choosing a name? Well, there are plenty of baby name books available, plus websites that can help you. You could look to favourite characters from books or films for ideas, although it’s usually best to avoid names that are too faddish and might quickly fall out of fashion.

If you and your partner don’t initially agree on a name, you could try each making a separate list of five or ten names and then comparing your lists. Make a note of any favourites, particularly any that appear on both lists, and then come back to it again a few days or weeks later to see if you’re still happy with your choices. This can work equally well as a way of generating ideas if you do it with friends as with a partner!

And don’t forget, when you have finally found the perfect name for your baby, you can proudly display it on your Slumbersac sleeping bags, comforters and bath ponchos by using our personal name embroidery service. You can add the personal touch to your Slumbersac items for just £5.95, making them ideal as gifts for births and baptisms as well as for your own special baby.