Skip to content
Dove Baby name inspiration

Choosing baby names your own way

Of all the joys of becoming a parent, choosing baby names can be the most exciting – although coming to a decision is often easier said than done. Whatever approach you go for, remember that when making such a personal decision, there's no right or wrong way – only your way. 

Do you go for something traditional or entirely unique? Do you research name meanings? Or do you wait until meeting your little one before making a decision?

Dad of two, Richard, had a baby boy name picked out well in advance. “After only a few months of dating my future wife at the tender age of 21 we entered the often dangerous conversation of ‘if we had children what would we call them?’” he remembers. “The first name we both suggested for a boy was Ethan. Fifteen years later we had a baby boy; no other name was considered – we still loved the name Ethan.”

But sometimes your baby's arrival can turn your naming plans upside-down. “I always had Florence, my late grandmother’s name, in mind for my baby girl,” says Louise. “However, when my daughter was born she just didn't look like a Florence and the name didn't feel right.”

“My husband looked at her and said: 'What about Grace?' It wasn't a name we had ever discussed before, but it suited her. It was almost like she was born with this name.”

Some parents think very carefully about baby name meanings, like Vinnay. Choosing their daughter's name came after a difficult time and a long wait. “Elianah was born but 7 months premature, and through God’s grace, she thrived and came home. Her name literally translates to My God has answered”. For Edwin, dad of 3, his second child was also a miracle baby, and that's exactly what her name Shamiso means - miracle. 

For Vatiswa, mom of 1, she wanted her son's name to define his approach to life, so she chose Khetha, which means 'choose', “Khetha Uthando, Khetha Okuhle", meaning Choose Love, Choose Good.

When considering baby girl names for his daughter, dad of two Garen combined family tradition with literary inspiration. “Researching my late mom's family history, I noticed that all the women for the past five generations had different names beginning with ‘M’. We carried on the tradition, naming our daughter Miranda after a character in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.”

Carla, a Baby Dove research Scientist and mom of two, also chose baby names rooted in family history. “We have a very simple last name, so we were OK to get a little creative for the first names. We wanted something unusual but not too crazy, and for a while we couldn't find the right fit. It was like a lightbulb switched on when we decided to check our family trees. For my son we chose Hayden – the name of my husband's grandfather. Then for my daughter we chose Lena, after one of my great aunts.”

For every parent who prefers classic names there's another who looks for something more modern. While some follow family conventions, others may seek out the latest trends, look to history, culture or sport for ideas, or take a more inventive approach. 

“My advice to parents would be take your time and listen to your heart,” advises mom of three, Louise. “It’s your baby and your choice of name. Don't ever feel pushed into saying what names you have in mind, or pressured by what others think of your choice.”

So what does your baby’s name have in common with Baby Dove products? We put just as much care and consideration into creating them as you do into choosing your little one's name. Our scientists (many of them parents themselves) carefully select every ingredient and test every formulation to ensure each one provides gentle cleansing and nourishing moisturisation that's mild enough for your baby. Care that’s tailored to them – just like their name.