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Resources Centre / Twins Tips Introduction / Twins Tips / Tips for Naming Twins. Triplets & Multiples
Tips for Naming Twins. Triplets & Multiples
Naming your twin or triplet babies is one of the most exciting activities in preparing for their birth. It is also one of the most important decisions you make and many factors go into this decision. Naming one baby is hard enough but when you're faced with naming multiples. the number of names you need multiples with each baby!

Another challenge parents face when naming their babies. in addition to deciding on the right individual name. they then have to consider how the names work together as a set. Should the names rhyme? Share the same initial? Compliment or contrast each other? Be individualistic or unique?

Never fear. there are some tips and hints available to help ease your tension over choosing names for your twins. triplets and multiples.

Ten Helpful Hints for Naming Your Babies

Here are some questions to ask yourself as you're mulling over this decision:

1. Which Name for which Baby ? Deciding which baby gets which name can also be fraught with difficulties. Consider if you want your first-born twin or triplet to get the first choice name. Using a middle name can be used when it is not desirable as a first name and can be a way to settle the name selection between the parents. Sometimes. the mother"s maiden name is used as a middle name. Also. if needed to keep family members happy. each child can be given one or more middle names.

2. Honour a family member(s) or friend(s) with one or more of the names. If you decide to do this then you can use the same name. a variation of the name or the first initial for one or more of your children. Check with your parents or grandparents to collect as many family names as possible. Be mindful that although honouring someone by using their name can also bring the possibility of favouritism into the equation and you will need to consider how your other children. twin/triplet and other siblings may feel if a family member or friend appears to show a preference for one child.

3. Check the pronunciation and spelling of the names. If you use an unusual pronunciation. your child(ren) will need to continually correct it. If the spelling is unusual. your child will have to correct that as well. Consider what the potential mis-spellings and alternate spellings for the names are before finalizing your choice. The advantage is that if the name is popular. your child will not be so easily confused with others -apart from their siblings !

4. Finding personalised items. Will you be able to find things with these names on them? What if one is commonly available and the other isn't? At school. often many items are required to have name tags and although you can have name tags now easily made for items such as clothing. you may it more difficult to find other items if your children have particularly unusual names.

5. Does the name emphasise that my children are a pair? If yes. is that what I want? Are the names easily confused for one another ie sound too similar or/& rhyming ? This is a really difficult one for parents as the uniqueness of twins and triplets is a joy to celebrate but each child is also an individual and will want to be seen as such as they grow older. It is down to parental choice but again middle names give the children options to change their first names later on if they so wish.

6. The initials should not spell anything undesirable. This goes for the two main initials. as well as all three or more initials. If the initials are not satisfactory. then the first and middle name can be switched. The child(ren) can still use their middle names on a daily basis. If choosing names with the same initials. consider any complications that may arise with medications. appointments or at school etc

7. The names should have a positive connotations for you. They should be associated with pleasantries. The definition should also be meaningful. A name is a strong first impression. Imagine each child using the name not only on the playground. but as an adult. Consider if their names stand alone for when they are older and how do they sound if you were to call them out loud eg calling them in for tea or a teacher calling them out at a school ceremony ?

8. Be conscious of nicknames and variations. You may want to select names that can have many nicknames and variations. This will enable the child(ren) to have more control of his/her name when older. The disadvantage is that childhood nicknames can linger on into adulthood and be embarrassing. Consider are there easy alternatives for nick names. think about what "nasty" nick names they may be called too by children at school ?

9. Practice the names and see how they feel. Try out the full names on some good friends. You will say these names thousands of times in the future. You will whisper it when they are asleep and yell it when dinner is ready !

10. Some general baby naming advice : The first name"s rhythm should complement the last name. In general. the number of syllables in the first name should not match the number of syllables in the last name. Say the first. middle and last name several times to test the rhythm. Say the first name and last name together. too. Avoid letter redundancy between names. Often. first and last names with the same first letter do not sound right together. Also. if the last name ends with a vowel. the first name usually should not. The first name should not end with a syllable that rhymes with the first syllable of the last name.

Advice From Other Parents of Multiples
Like many issues in raising multiples. opinions are divided on this subject. Many advocate forsaking "twinny" names in favour of individuality. Others seek out complimentary names or combinations that begin with the same initial.

Some other ideas for choosing how to name are :

Birth Order
A. B. C. D... The order in which your babies are born is their birth order. They will be labelled with a letter or number. depending on what their birth order is. So baby A / twin 1 was born first. baby B / twin 2 second. etc. (Note: This may be different than their labelled letter/number while in your uterus. as that is determined by who is closest to your cervix.) Some parents choose to let birth order assist them in naming their multiples. So baby A becomes Adam and baby B becomes Brian. Some parents claim this helps keep the babies straight.

Zygosity is a fancy way of saying whether or not your twins (or other multiples) are identical (monozygotic) or fraternal (dizygotic). You may decide to let this influence your naming selections. Do identical twins get names that are more similar than fraternal twins?

Does the gender of your twins influence your naming? Would you name two girls. regardless of zygosity similar sounding names? Perhaps you would only consider names that are similar if the children were identical. It may also depend on if you have girl/girl twins. girl/boy twins or boy/boy twins or other multiples.

Matching Names
Zygosity may not matter to you. You've been dying to use cute matching names forever. Multiple birth gives you your chance. Be forewarned... Lots of parents of multiples choose to give matching names to multiples. When you do this you run the risk of getting the kids confused. (Did you say Madison or Madeline?) You also run the risk of confusing everyone else.

Several name sources are available. Both baby naming books and software programs are useful. You can select names from celebrities. books or TV shows. The soap operas are well known for fun and exotic names. The Bible is also a good source of names.

One last comment: If the names you have chosen do not meet all of the above hints but you like them anyway. use them. After all. you like the name and that is the most important rule of all.

Naming Poll
In a recent poll of almost 3000 families. the following are the results for how these parents chose names for their twins/multiples?
Totally unique names for each multiple. (951) 33%

Names that start with the same letter. (648) 22%

Rhyming. matching or soundalike names. (471) 16%
Similar but distinct names. (327) 11%
Names with similar meanings. (222) 7%

Family names. (222) 7%

To get some ideas whi not take a look at our Babies Names Book - compact and easy to read. it contains over 1500 names from around the world.
Happy Name Hunting !

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