What's in a Name? Expectant Parents Believe It Holds the Key to Their Child's Future

New Survey from BabyCenter.com Reveals Changing Influences on Parents' Baby

Name Choices



Oct 17, 2005, 01:00 ET from BabyCenter.com

    SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier and earlier, today's
 parents seek out every advantage for their child, from eating organic foods
 during pregnancy to breastfeeding to securing acceptance at a top preschool.
 A new survey from BabyCenter.com, the leading online resource for new and
 expectant parents, shows that most expectant parents believe their baby name
 choice contributes to their child's future success in life, and they very much
 want to get it right.
     Over 35,000 parents from around the world responded to the BabyCenter(R)
 Baby Name Survey fielded in August 2005.  "Naming a child is an exciting
 milestone of new parenthood, so we were curious to understand what factors
 influence parents today," says BabyCenter executive editor Linda Murray.  The
 survey showed that 52% of expectant parents believe the name they give their
 child contributes to his or her success in life.  This is a significant change
 from the BabyCenter survey taken over five years ago, when just 40% of
 expectant parents agreed with the statement.
     Bellevue University professor Cleveland Evans, the 2005-2006 president of
 the American Name Society, says that the results may reflect a growing concern
 about financial security among parents.  "Polls show that many Americans are
 worried about the economy," Evans points out.  As a result, parents may be
 more focused on questions of success when choosing a name than they were five
 years ago.
     In another interesting finding, the survey indicates that parents have
 become more egalitarian.  Five years ago, just 60% of expectant parents said
 each parent's opinion was equally important when choosing a name, but that
 number increased to 84% in the 2005 survey.  "In addition to being in the
 delivery room and taking time off work for paternity leave, this is one more
 way in which modern dads are participating more actively," says Murray.
 "Naming a child is one of the first important decisions for new parents.
 Collaboration and compromise are necessities, and it seems no accident that
 they also happen to be important parenting skills."
     Results from the survey seem to indicate that fathers exert the most
 influence on boys' names.  At the same time that Dad's opinion increased in
 importance, strength replaced individuality as the quality parents most want
 their son's name to convey.  For girls' names, individuality remained the most
 important attribute, followed by femininity.
 
     Other key findings from the survey include:
     - Parents plan ahead - 78% thought about names before they became pregnant
     - Girls are easier to name - 62% say it is easier to name a girl than a
       boy
     - Middle names are meaningful - 48% select a middle name that honors a
       friend or relative
     - Trendiness is a turnoff - 38% nixed a name because it was too popular
     - Names can lead to name-calling - 34% of couples disagree about the
       baby's name
 
     In addition to the BabyCenter(R) Baby Name Survey, BabyCenter.com offers
 an array of free baby naming resources, including the BabyCenter(R) Baby Name
 Finder, top baby name lists for the U.S. and other countries, polls, and
 guidelines, to help make naming baby fun and easy for expectant parents.  The
 survey, interactive tools, and articles can be found at
 http://www.babycenter.com/babyname.
 
     About BabyCenter(R)
     Founded in 1997, BabyCenter LLC operates www.babycenter.com, the most
 visited online resource for new and expectant parents, www.parentcenter.com,
 the leading online resource for parents of children ages 2 to 8, and
 www.babycentre.co.uk, the leading U.K. resource for new and expectant parents.
 
 BabyCenter also publishes BabyCenter(TM) magazine, the first and only stage-
 based print publication for pregnant women and new moms, which is offered as a
 free benefit of membership to the BabyCenter.com site.  Offering extensive
 content approved by a medical advisory board, BabyCenter's Web sites attract
 over 3.5 million visitors each month, as measured by comScore Media Metrix,
 and have been honored with numerous awards, including the 2005 People's Voice
 Webby Award for Best Family/Parenting Web site.  In addition, BabyCenter's
 sites offer an array of interactive tools, a supportive online community, a
 premium subscription service, and an online store featuring thousands of
 products for parents and children.
 
 

SOURCE BabyCenter.com
    SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Earlier and earlier, today's
 parents seek out every advantage for their child, from eating organic foods
 during pregnancy to breastfeeding to securing acceptance at a top preschool.
 A new survey from BabyCenter.com, the leading online resource for new and
 expectant parents, shows that most expectant parents believe their baby name
 choice contributes to their child's future success in life, and they very much
 want to get it right.
     Over 35,000 parents from around the world responded to the BabyCenter(R)
 Baby Name Survey fielded in August 2005.  "Naming a child is an exciting
 milestone of new parenthood, so we were curious to understand what factors
 influence parents today," says BabyCenter executive editor Linda Murray.  The
 survey showed that 52% of expectant parents believe the name they give their
 child contributes to his or her success in life.  This is a significant change
 from the BabyCenter survey taken over five years ago, when just 40% of
 expectant parents agreed with the statement.
     Bellevue University professor Cleveland Evans, the 2005-2006 president of
 the American Name Society, says that the results may reflect a growing concern
 about financial security among parents.  "Polls show that many Americans are
 worried about the economy," Evans points out.  As a result, parents may be
 more focused on questions of success when choosing a name than they were five
 years ago.
     In another interesting finding, the survey indicates that parents have
 become more egalitarian.  Five years ago, just 60% of expectant parents said
 each parent's opinion was equally important when choosing a name, but that
 number increased to 84% in the 2005 survey.  "In addition to being in the
 delivery room and taking time off work for paternity leave, this is one more
 way in which modern dads are participating more actively," says Murray.
 "Naming a child is one of the first important decisions for new parents.
 Collaboration and compromise are necessities, and it seems no accident that
 they also happen to be important parenting skills."
     Results from the survey seem to indicate that fathers exert the most
 influence on boys' names.  At the same time that Dad's opinion increased in
 importance, strength replaced individuality as the quality parents most want
 their son's name to convey.  For girls' names, individuality remained the most
 important attribute, followed by femininity.
 
     Other key findings from the survey include:
     - Parents plan ahead - 78% thought about names before they became pregnant
     - Girls are easier to name - 62% say it is easier to name a girl than a
       boy
     - Middle names are meaningful - 48% select a middle name that honors a
       friend or relative
     - Trendiness is a turnoff - 38% nixed a name because it was too popular
     - Names can lead to name-calling - 34% of couples disagree about the
       baby's name
 
     In addition to the BabyCenter(R) Baby Name Survey, BabyCenter.com offers
 an array of free baby naming resources, including the BabyCenter(R) Baby Name
 Finder, top baby name lists for the U.S. and other countries, polls, and
 guidelines, to help make naming baby fun and easy for expectant parents.  The
 survey, interactive tools, and articles can be found at
 http://www.babycenter.com/babyname.
 
     About BabyCenter(R)
     Founded in 1997, BabyCenter LLC operates www.babycenter.com, the most
 visited online resource for new and expectant parents, www.parentcenter.com,
 the leading online resource for parents of children ages 2 to 8, and
 www.babycentre.co.uk, the leading U.K. resource for new and expectant parents.
 
 BabyCenter also publishes BabyCenter(TM) magazine, the first and only stage-
 based print publication for pregnant women and new moms, which is offered as a
 free benefit of membership to the BabyCenter.com site.  Offering extensive
 content approved by a medical advisory board, BabyCenter's Web sites attract
 over 3.5 million visitors each month, as measured by comScore Media Metrix,
 and have been honored with numerous awards, including the 2005 People's Voice
 Webby Award for Best Family/Parenting Web site.  In addition, BabyCenter's
 sites offer an array of interactive tools, a supportive online community, a
 premium subscription service, and an online store featuring thousands of
 products for parents and children.
 
 SOURCE  BabyCenter.com