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Most parents will spend almost the entire nine months of pregnancy deliberating over the possible name of their child. For many, the decision isn't made until the little bundle of joy arrives. A name you see, is a very important thing. Your child will be judged by their name for their entire life. It is, after all, one of the very first pieces of information we give about ourselves.
This month, the Office of National Statistics has released their figures for the most popular baby names for 2013 and it makes interesting reading. It shows how our location influences our choice and of course, the influence of celebrities, sport and royalty. Baby names are cyclical and the same names tend to come round on a regular basis. But what was the most popular last year?
For girls, the most popular name in 2013 was Amelia, closely followed by Olivia and Emily. Very pretty, very English names. Meanwhile boys saw Oliver in the top spot followed by Jack and Harry. However, Mohammed (when taking into account its many different spellings) was the overall winner. But perhaps it is those names that are further down the list that really show how we are influenced in our choices.
Of course the Royal baby made a huge impact with George in the top ten alongside both William and Harry. But maybe a little more surprising are those names that have come from hugely popular TV series'. Theon and Tyrion from Game of Thrones have been offered as names to a total of 17 boys, while Walter and Skyler from Breaking Bad have also had a big impact.
Whether you have chosen one of these popular first names or you have gone for something a little more unique, it can be difficult to tell how your choice will influence the life of your child. Some child psychologist believe that a child's name can be the key to its self esteem.
For example, if your son is named Richard and is given the embarrassing nickname of Dick, you might expect that to have an effect on their younger years. Likewise it is a good idea to think about the initials of your child. If your last name is Lots you should probably avoid calling your little girl Isobel Penelope... (I.P.Lots?)
Choosing celebrity monikers may also seem like a good idea at the height of their fame – but as we are all aware, celebrities are known for doing things that make them look stupid or they quickly lose their fame (perhaps becoming infamous). Does your child really want that association?
The fact is that your name defines you. It either makes you one of the crowd or sets you apart. It can be a sweet name suitable for a tiny baby or a grown up adult name they will grow into. Whatever your choice, it has to be made carefully. This may be the most important decision you ever make for your child. Way above disposable or terry towel nappies!
Don't forget that you can add the name of your child to your picture frames or simply add a message if you just haven't made up your mind yet.