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Choosing a name for your child is one of the most exciting and rewarding parts of being a new parent or newly pregnant. This is the moment when your child stops becoming a series of incomprehensible x-rays and noises, and instead actually takes on a personality and an identity of their own.

However at the same time naming children is also very difficult. The fact that a name is tied so closely to a personality and identity means that although it's very exciting it is also very important and that means it can be quite stressful and difficult. This is particularly the case if the two of you are undecided and are struggling to choose suggestions that both of you like. This is a name that will define that child into adulthood and that will follow them for the rest of their life. It is the first gift you will make for them, and it is certainly the most important – so how do you go about selecting?

When naming a baby girl there are hundreds of names to select from, but there are some that are more popular and more suitable than others. You have several important criteria for your little girl's name – you need to make sure that it is first of all a likeable and pleasant name that is easy on the ears and nice to hear. At the same time you need to ensure that it is a name that suits any personality they may already have, and you can also think about whether that name would suit the mother – as they will likely grow up to be similar.

You also want to make sure that the name is not too dated and if you call your daughter 'Edith' or 'Margaret' then they may start to feel old before their time. Often the more popular baby names are those inspired by the media, so if you have a particular favourite actress or female singer, then naming them after these is a good way to ensure that the name is current. Currently names like 'Jennifer, Christina, Britney, Cheryl, Scarlet' are all popular. You can also look to other role models and this is a great way to find names too – for instance if you have a gran that you are or were particularly fond of then naming your child after them is a great honour for them and a great way to give them a name that you are familiar with and fond of already.

The only reason that choosing a namesake may not always be the best strategy is that you will be risking giving your daughter a name that is overly popular and common. The danger here is that when someone calls your daughter's name – half of their class or half of their office turns around to answer and this can make them feel less unique. Another place to look for names then that's a bit more original is in books and stories that you like.

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