Preparing for the Baby

by Pastor Jack Hyles

(Chapter 1 from Dr. Hyle's excellent book, How To Rear Infants)

Someone is coming to live in your home. Serious and loving preparations should be made for his arrival.

The wise couple will realize that every aspect of their lives is about to change. They should discard the stereotype picture of parenthood which emphasizes the joys, thrills and excitements and deemphasizes the problems that are sure to arise. If these problems are predicted, and if proper preparation is made for them, a couple will not find themselves disappointed and disillusioned by parenthood. Such preparation not only can avoid domestic strife and marital problems, but it can bring the parents even closer to each other, and the baby can be a reconciler rather than a divider. Several types of preparation should be made.

1. The parents should determine that the baby will not come between them. Definite plans should be made so that there will be ample time for Mom and Dad to be alone. They must be aware that before the first baby arrives, they have been alone together, and that now a very attractive and enticing intruder is about to enter on the scene. Before he enters, they must both promise and plan to spend time alone together after he arrives. They must plan to continue to be sweethearts. They must also face the reality that the baby is only theirs on loan for a few years. In 18 or 20 years he will be gone, and Mom and Dad will still have each other.

They must purposely plan to be closer to each other on the day of his departure than on the day of his arrival. There are just a few hours between the bassinet and the honeymoon suite, between the playpen and the college dormitory; between the moment that the proud parents observe the nurse arriving with their new loved one and the moment that together they watch daughter disappear as she leaves the marriage altar. Proper preparation before the baby's arrival can insure that both his coming and leaving will bring Mom and Dad closer together.

2. The couple should prepare for help when the baby arrives. When Mother and child return from the hospital some assistance will be needed for at least a few days. Careful planning is important for you, for your child, and for the relationship between the two of you. Whatever assistance is secured and arrangements are made, it is vital that you realize that the little one that is coming is YOUR baby and YOUR responsibility. This outside help that comes in must not interfere with the quick adjustment of parents and child and must not retard that spontaneous warmth and affection that is God-given. DO NOT BRING SOMEONE IN TO TAKE CARE OF THE CHILD! Let the assistance be in caring for the meals, the house, etc. This will enable the parents to give more time to the baby and to other children in the family. Too much emphasis could not be given to the fact that the parents should take care of the child. Outside assistance could take care of cleaning, cooking, shopping, and other household responsibilities. Spend your time giving assurance to older children, becoming acquainted with the baby, and offering each other the security of increased love. It is not necessary that the parents employ an experienced nurse to come and care for the baby. It is not necessary that Grandmother be brought in to take care of the baby. This is not to say that Grandmother should not be the one chosen to assist, but whoever it is should confine his or her duties to performing a task that will free the parents so they can spend more time with their new arrival, with each other and with other children. More than your baby needs professional care, he needs you. God has placed emotional appetites within the breast of that little one that can be satisfied only by the ones who gave him life. No one else can substitute. In some cases, this may require a frank talk with Grandmother and Grandfather who oftentimes will remind you that they have raised several children of their own and that they are experts in the field. No such expertise can take the place of the ones who gave life to this winsome little intruder. No amount of experience can take the place of maternal and, yes, paternal instinct and love.

It might even be wise for Dad to take part or all of his vacation for this little period of adjustment. Bear in mind, after marriage, there was the honeymoon so the couple could get to know each other better and adjust and blend. Perhaps at the coming of a child there should be a "little honeymoon" where Mom and Dad and baby can learn to adjust to each other.

The wise grandparents will allow for such time. They will give themselves to making it easier and more conducive for the new unit to become adjusted. This is difficult, for there is the unique joy and thrill given to grandparents upon the arrival of their grandchildren. How proud they are! How boastful they feel! This is certainly a natural reaction.

This excitement, however, should be properly channeled. Perhaps it would be good for the grandparent to pause and remember. Then he may adjust his behavior to that which he once wanted from his own parents when his children were born.

If a couple cannot afford a nurse or a housekeeper, and if relatives are not available or their coming would cause problems, there is yet another place where a mother can turn for help. She could turn to her own husband. Many husbands take vacations during the first days after the baby comes home, and they clean, cook, wash, and in general, help to free the new mother to become adjusted with her baby. One thing is often overlooked, and that is, just as there is a mother instinct, there is also a father instinct. In some cases, perhaps Dad is the best help of all!

3. Preparation should be made for the feeding of the baby. Serious discussion and consideration should be given to breastfeeding or bottle feeding. Do not wait until the last moment to make this decision. Sometimes the decision is not made until the baby is born, and maybe even in the delivery room the doctor will ask for a decision. This is not the time to decide. Mom and Dad should have spent hours carefully weighing the pros and cons of breastfeeding.

In some cases, bottle feeding is best. However, it is the opinion of this author that there are many advantages derived from breastfeeding. In the first place, there is the instinctive desire in the baby to be close to the body of the mother. This instinct carries with it a desire to feel and see the face and to hear Mother's voice. These appetites can be satisfied as the child spends hours with Mother and develops a closeness that cannot be developed when Mother props a bottle on a pillow beside the baby and goes into the other room to watch television, or for that matter, to perform routine chores. If for any reason breast feeding is impossible, I strongly advise the mother (or father) to hold the baby while feeding him, especially in the early days of his life. Close contact is very important!

The child could be given a formula occasionally, even though the mother is breast feeding. This will give Dad an opportunity to feed the baby and will also provide a gradual process of weaning.

Another advantage of breastfeeding is that it insures the proper temperature for the baby's milk. It also prevents the sour smell when the baby is burped. It insures the fact that the diet has been provided by God rather than by man. It also helps to prevent dental problems later in life, for the breast is an aid in preventing the baby in becoming a tongue thruster. It also enables the proper supply of milk to be available. It certainly is easier for the night feedings (especially for Dad!). Breast feeding usually makes Mother less tense, for it guarantees that she will have a time to relax periodically during some very busy days of her life.

I have been pastoring over 30 years. I have never met a mother who regretted breastfeeding her baby. Occasionally I have talked with mothers who wished they had done so. Let me hasten to stress, however, that it is not wrong or sinful to bottle feed the baby. There are some cases (though very rare) when the mother cannot provide enough milk. Then there are some mothers who are so emotionally tense that it would not be healthy for the baby to be breastfed. It is, however, usually best for the baby to be fed from his mother's breast so he can feel the warmth from her body, the touch of her hand, the contour of her face and where he can hear her voice as she speaks and sings to him.

A study was once made which arrived at the conclusion that puppy dogs who were weaned too soon became destructive, especially with their mouths, and that this carried even into their adulthood. These dogs who were weaned prematurely chewed up table legs, chairs, beds, curtains throughout their lives. On the other hand, the dogs that were weaned naturally and later were not destructive. They seemed to be more contented than those who were prematurely weaned.

Before the baby arrives, the parents should sit down and talk and pray together. They should seek God's will concerning the child's feeding. They should secure whatever facts are available on the subject. If there is a disagreement, the mother's opinion should be the most important, for if the mother were to breast feed the child against her own wishes, it could cause more harm than good.

4. Older children must be prepared for the baby's coming. Let me hasten to say in the beginning that this preparation should not be overdone. Some parents become extravagant in their expenditure of money for purchasing gifts for the older children.

This is not wise. The children cannot be prepared with presents, things, material objects. They, like Dad, must be assured that the coming of the baby will not lessen their importance in the family, but rather increase it. They must realize that the baby will have a place of his own and that he will be an important part of the family, but that his place has nothing to do with the place of the other children. Each child has the place he has always had and is as important or more so than he was prior to the baby's arrival. Wise parents will see to it that the older child has some of their attention. This attention should not be demanded or even sought, for it is unwise for a child to feel that he must demand attention in order to get it. In some cases he will even resort to misbehavior to get this attention. The parents should explain to the child that there is a unique love for him that can never be diminished or threatened by the coming of another human being into the home. The love that the parent has for the older child is unique because he is unique; it is different because he is different. He must be led to believe that he has a special place in the home that no one can fill. The parents, however, should realize that it is normal and natural for the older child to have some degree of dislike about the idea of competition coming into the home. Because of this, the parents must prepare him before the baby comes by letting him know that he has a place no one can fill and that the baby will provide no competition whatsoever. Again, don't overdo it. Don't try to buy him off with expensive gifts. Rather, with calm assurance give him some undivided attention without his having to demand it to let him know that he will become even more important. Let him know that you will need help-his help-in rearing the baby. Remind him that God has given him to you as a helper during this time. Remind him that he is to be an example and a pattern to whom the baby can look. Remind him that he will be the baby's hero. Remind him that you had him first, and that will always make him a very special person. Take time to cuddle the older child, especially after the baby comes. Be sure he gets his share of attention. Tell him that the baby is coming. Get him excited about it. Tell him some things he can do to prepare. Let him be part of the family preparation. Mother, while you are in the hospital, call home several times, especially after the birth of the baby, and tell the child at home that you have already told the baby how wonderful he is! As soon as possible, introduce the baby to the older child. As you do, tell the baby what a wonderful brother or sister he has. Let the older child become a part of the total happening.

It should also be stressed to the older child that the baby will not be able to play immediately. He should be made aware that the baby is fragile and must be treated carefully for a few months.

The mother should realize that the child has the same problem that Dad has. Both Dad and child can feel threatened. The wise mother will provide ample security and assurance to these who love her and who need her love in a unique way to them. Never scold the child if he seems to be jealous. Overwhelm him with the positive, do not confront him with the negative.

This is a vital part in preparing for the baby. Done properly, it can provide an even happier home. Done carelessly or not done at all, it can provide emotional and psychological marks on the lives of parents and children that will never leave.

5. The parents should prepare for the baby's coming by the choosing of a name. It is tremendously important that care and prayer be a part of the choosing of a name for the baby. Too many of us think of names as being mere identification tags, but the right name can have a lifetime effect on the new human being that you are about to bring into the world.

In ancient times each person was given but one name and that name usually was a descriptive one that was hand tailored to fit. These names were chosen much like nicknames are chosen now; such as, "Red," "Slim," "Rusty," "Pleasant," "Grace," "Hope," etc. Sometimes these names were related to some circumstance surrounding birth or some quality of character or some achievements performed later in life. For example, Adam means "formed of red earth." Andrew means "manly." Naomi means "pleasant."

Later it became popular to name babies after outstanding characters. This meant that many people had the same names. Hence, people began giving family names and later, even middle names. Family names were usually derived from occupations, trades, local events or local surroundings. Here is a fellow, for example, who is named Bill. He is tall, so he would be called Bill Tall. There might be a Bill Short or a Bill Strong.

As parents choose the name for a child, there are several things that should be considered. Remember that the name given to the child will be a part of his identity for life. It can affect his personality; it can affect his security; it can even affect his acceptance by other people and his popularity. It could even adversely affect his opportunities for success in his chosen profession. Some parents try to be clever in naming their children and often cause much harm later in life. For example, if the last name is Green, it would be unwise to name the child Kelly, for no one would want to go through life with the name Kelly Green. If the family name is Hill, parents should resist the temptation to be clever by naming the child Ima, for who would want to be called Ima Hill for lifetime!

Care should be taken to be sure that the child's name distinguishes his sex. For example, in some countries a boy could be appropriately named Francis Jean or even Joyce, but in other countries this is not appropriate, for these are names uniquely suited and given to girls.

Often religion should affect the choice of the name for the baby. Catholic children are often given the name of a saint. Jewish children are usually named for some member of the family who has passed away. Christian children are often given Bible names such as Jacob, Joseph, John, James, David, Stephen, etc.

It is wise to consider rhythm in naming the child. It is usually best when the surname has only one syllable such as Smith that the given name has two or more syllables such as Bobby Jones, Johnny Smith, Betty Cook, etc. When the surname has two syllables such as Parker, Little, etc., a three-syllable first name is often suitable such as Anthony Roberts, Melinda Johnson. If the surname has three syllables, it is good for the first name to have only one or two syllables such as John Peabody, Susie Rosenbloom, etc. A good rule to follow is this: The given name and surname should have a different number of syllables. Now this is not always the case and certainly not a fast rule, but simply a guideline.

In naming a baby the parents should also consider the potential nicknames derived from the given name. Robert is usually called Bob, Richard is usually called Dick, etc. Think of all the possible nicknames that people (especially children) could devise.

Also, consider the danger of naming a child after someone whose footsteps you want him to follow. For example, it would be unwise to name a child George Washington, expecting him to become president someday; or Babe Ruth, expecting him to become a baseball star. Parents should not determine the vocation that their children pursue. They should not give them a name with the expectancy of their becoming a likeness of their namesake. Now, it would be fine for someone to name a child Stephen, in hopes that he will have the courage of Stephen; or John, in hopes that he will be as faithful as John, but care should be taken not to expect the child to follow in professional footprints.

Do not leave the child with a name that is a novelty. For example, I know a fine man whose name is Forrest Ranger.

Choose a name, but then say the name over and over again to make sure it will not be a cause for embarrassment in years to come.

Be extra careful to look into the meaning of names before you name a child. For example, you would not want to choose a name which means "dark" for a child who is of light complexion, or a name which means "small" or "little" for a child who may someday become huge.

Remember that you are doing your child a favor if you give him a name he will enjoy. Though he can legally change his name, usually he will not. He will bless you if you give him a name that is pleasant to the ear and positive in its impressions.



Aaron - a mountain of strength; he who is exalted
Adolph - a noble helper
Adrian - brave
Allan - harmony, graceful
Albert - intelligent, bright
Alexander - a helper of men; a protector
Alvin - a friend to everybody
Andrew - manly
Anthony - graceful, valuable
Arnold - strong as an eagle
Arthur - strong as a bear; strong as a rock
Arvin - a friend of people
Asa - physician
Aubrey - chief who is fair-haired, rich and mighty
Austin - renowned
Baldwin - prince friend
Barry - son of Harry; also spear
Bart - ploughman
Baruch -blessed
Basil - kingly
Ben - blessed
Benjamin - son of right hand
Bernard - bold as a bear
Bertrum - fair and pure
Boris - a fighter
Boyd - light-haired
Brian - strong
Brice - ambitious; alert
Byron - a clear discerner
Caleb - bold
Carl - strong; manly
Chalmer - king of the household
Charles - manly; of great strength
Chester - fortified
Christopher - Christ-bearer
Clarence - bright; illustrious
Clark - scholarly
Clement - mild, kind
Conrad - wise counselor
Curt or Curtis - courteous
Dallas - skilled
Daniel - God is my judge
Darcy - stronghold
Darrell - beloved
Darren - loved
David - beloved
Davin - the bright one
Dennis - lover of fine wines
Dillon - faithful
Dominick - born on Sunday
Douglas - dark
Drew - skilled and honest
Druce - wise man
Duane - singing
Duke - leader
Durand - enduring
Durwin - dear friend
Dustin - stronghearted leader
Dwight - light
Edgar - good spearman
Edmond - blessed peace; defender of happiness
Edward - happy guard; guardian of happiness
Edwin - rich friend or happy conqueror
Eldon - respected
Eldridge - wise adviser
Eli - highest
Elmer - noble
Elmo - friendly
Emel - industrious
Emery - ambitious
Enoch - dedicated; educated
Eric - lord; hero
Ernest - serious; sincere
Ethan - strength; power
Eugene - well born
Ezra - helper
Farrell - valiant
Felix - happy
Fergus - strong; fierce
Forest - from wooder country
Forestor - keeper of the preservation
Frank - free; courageous
Frederick - peaceful
Gabriel - God is mighty
Gale - lively
Galen - healer
Gardiner - flower lover
Garett - mighty sword
Garner - the defender
Garrick - mighty warrior
Garth - ground keeper
Garvin - friend
Gaylord - joyous
Gene - noble; well born
George -farmer
Gifford - gift
Gilbert - pledge
Gilroy - the king's faithful servant
Godfrey - God's peace
Godwin - beloved of God; a conqueror for God; divine friend
Gordon - a fine man; a strong man
Graham - stern; gloomy; a frowner
Grant - brave
Gregory - watchman
Griffith - red-haired; ruddy
Gunter - bold warrior
Guy - guide; leader, director
Gustave - noble
Harold - leader of the army
Hans or Hansel - a gift from the Lord
Harrison - son of Henry
Harry - son of Henry
Henry - ruler at home
Herbert - great fighter
Hermon - noble warrior
Herwin - a lover of battle or a friend
Hilary - cheerful; merry
Hilliard - protector
Hiram - most exalted; most noble
Holden - kind
Homer - pledge
Hosea - salvation
Houston - from a mountain town
Hoyt - of shining mind
Hubert - a bright mind
Hugh - intelligent; thoughtful; wise; high; lofty
Hume - lover of home
Humphrey - protector of the home
Hyman - masculine
Irvin - friend of the sea
Isaac - laughing
Jack - God's gracious gift
Jason - healer Jay-lively
Jeffrey - joyful peace
Jeremiah - exalted of the Lord
Jeremy - exalted of the Lord
Jerome - holy
Jesse - God's gift
Joab - praise the Lord
Job - one who mourns; one who is persecuted
Joel - he who wills or commands
John - God's gracious gift; grace
Jonah - peace or dove
Jonathan - gift of the Lord
Joshua - saviour or deliverer
Joses - helped by the Lord
Junius - born in June
Kemp - a soldier; champion at arms
Kendall - chief of the valley
Kenneth - good-looking
Kerby - from the church village
Kervin -noble; kind; friendly; handsome
Kimbal - brave
Kirk - living close to the church
Knute - kind
Kyle - fair and handsome
Lambert - innocence
Lance - servant
Lang - tall
Lawrence - laurel; crowned with honor
Lawton - man of refinement
Leland - of the lowlands
Lemuel - consecrated to God
Leo - brave as a lion
Leroy - the king
Ludwig - safeguard; good leader
Luther - famous warrior
Lyle - from the island
Madison - mighty
Malcolm - dove
Manuel - God with us
Mark - brilliant; polished; born in month of March
Martin - marshall; warlike
Matthew - gift of the Lord
Maurice - dark complexion
Maynard - strong and mighty
Medwin - strong friend
Meredith - sea protector
Micah - like unto the Lord
Michael - God-like
Miles - soldier
Mordecai - a wise counselor
Myron - myhr; a sweet smell
Nathan - gift of God
Nathaniel - gift of God
Neal - champion
Neil - champion; of a dark complexion
Nestor - continual wisdom
Noah - consolation; peace
Noble - to be admired; renowned
Nolan - renowned; to be admired
Norman - man from the north
Nortan - from the north place
Odel - wealthy man
Oliver - oliver tree; symbol of peace
Oscar - bounding warrior; he who leaps to the fight
Osborne - divinely strong
Osmond - protected by God
Otis - quick to hear
Otto - wealthy; a mountain
Parry - protector
Parker - keeper of the parks
Patrick - noble
Paul - little; small; gentle
Peter - little rock
Philbert - radiant soul
Philip - lover of horses
Powell - alert
Preston - of the priest's place
Prior - superior
Proctor - leader
Quartus - fourth son
Quentin - born
Radburn - he lives by the red brook
Raddiff - from the red cliff
Radford - by the red valley
Raymond - quiet; peaceful; wise protector
Redmond - adviser
Regan - royal
Reginald - mighty ruler
Ruben - behold, a son
Rex - king
Richard - generous; benevolent; liberal; wealthy
Richmond - powerful protector
Robert - bright shining; famous
Roderick - generous counselor; famous king
Rodney - famous in counsel
Rodger - famous warrior
Russell - red-haired
Samuel - asked of God
Saul - longed for; desired; asked of the Lord
Scott - a Scotsman
Shawn - God's gracious gift; grace
Seth - chosen
Sewell - victorious at sea
Shane - God's gracious gift; grace
Sherwin - true friend
Sigmund - victorious protector
Sinclair - saintly; shining
Sloan - warrior
Solomon - peaceful
Sprague - quick
Standley - the pride of the camp
Stephen - a crown
Sterling - honest; genuine
Stewart - keeper of the estate
Sumner - one who summons and calls
Sutton - from the south of town
Tate - cheerful
Tadis - son of David
Ted - happy guard; guardian of happiness
Terence - tender
Thad or Thadeus - praise
Theodore - gift of God
Thomas - a twin
Timothy - one who honors God
Titus - safe or saved
Tobias - goodness of God
Tony - graceful; valuable
Townsend - from the end of town
Tracey - a brave protector
Trent - swift
Truman - a faithful man
Tyler - a maker of tiles or bricks
Tyson - a German son
Val - might; power
Vance - son of a famous family
Victor - conqueror
Vaughan - small
Vernon - flourishing; green
Vincent - the conqueror
Vincin - the conqueror's son
Virgil - strong; flourishing
Wade - mover or wanderer
Waldo - mighty; powerful
Wallace - from Wales; a foreigner
Walter - chief of an army; woodmaster
Ward - watchman; guardian
Ware - always careful
Warner - protector
Warren - protecting friend
Webster - a weaver
Wendell - a wanderer
Wilfred - peaceful
William or Will - determined protector; protector of many; defender;
Winfred - friend or winner of peace
Winston - from the friendly town
Winthrop - from the friendly village
Willie - charming
Yancy - English man
York - sacred tree
Zachery - the Lord's remembrance



Abby - sweet refuge
Abigail - her father's joy
Ada - significant; of great beauty; ornament; joyous; prosperous
Agatha - good
Agnes - pure; chaste; gentle
Aimee' - beloved
Alberta - bright; noble
Alda - rich
Alethea - truth
Alexis - helper of mankind
Alice - noble; illustrious; truthful
Aline - noble
Alma - fair
Althea - wholesome
Alvina - bright; joyous
Amanda -beloved
Amelia - busy; energetic; a good worker
Amy - beloved
Andrea - brave; noble
Angela - angelic
Anita - gracious; merciful
Ann - grace
Annabel - beautiful Ann
Arabella - sweet; a refuge
Aurella - golden hair
Aurora - dawn
Angie - angelic
Anya - grace
Ardis - fervent; zealous
Astra - like a star
Audrey - strong; noble
Barbara - a stranger
Beatrice - blessed; happy
Belinda - graceful in motion
Becky - see Rebecca
Beryl - gem
Bernice - she brings victory
Bona or Bonnie - good; fair
Beth - house of God
Beverly - a beaver meadow
Billie - wise protector
Bina - a princess
Blanche - fair; white
Bobbi - stranger; foreigner
Bonnie - sweet and good
Belinda - dark-haired; dark-eyed
Brenna - with black or raven hair
Bridget - strength
Candace - pure
Cara - friend
Carissa - graceful
Carla - strong
Carlotta - valiant
Carmel - God's fruitful field
Carmen - charming
Carol - joyous
Caroline - one who is strong
Carrie - one who is strong
Catherine - pure; virtuous
Cecelia - gray-eyed; musical
Celeste - heavenly
Chandra - she outshines the stars
Charissa - graceful
Charlene - strong
Charity - lovable
Charlotte - womanly
Charmaine - jittle song
Chlo - fresh; youthful
Christine - follower of Christ
Clara - shining; glorious; brilliant
Claribel - brightly fair
Clarice or Clarissa - fair; pure
Claudette or Claudia - lame
Clementine - mild in temper
Cleopatra - glory of her famous father
Coleen - a maid; little girl
Constance - stedfast; firm; unyielding
Cora - jewel of the sea
Corine - a maiden
Cornelia - symbol of royalty
Crystal - clear
Cynthia - from Mt. Cynthus; also, goddess of the moon
Darlene - dearly beloved
Davina - the loved
Dawn - daybreak; beginning
Deborah - industrious; active
Delilah - delicate
Delphine - a loving sister
Denise - god of wine and drama
Diana - clear; bright; the goddess of hunting
Dina - one who is judged and vindicated
Dolly - gift of God
Delores - sorrow
Donna - a lady
Dixie - girl of the south
Dione - daughter of heaven and earth
Dorcas - she who has beautiful eyes
Dorinda - a gift
Dulce - sweet
Drusilla - soft-eyed
Edith - happiness
Edna - pleasure
Eileen - light
Elaine - light
Eleanor - light
Elen - light
Elizabeth - oath of God
Eloise - much holiness
Elsa - cheer
Elvira - courage
Emily - busy; energetic
Ema - nurse
Earnestine - serious
Estele - a star
Esther - a star
Ethel - noble
Etta - ruler at home
Eudora - a beautiful gift
Eugenea - well born
Eunice - victorious
Eva - a mother; a life-giver
Evelyn - pleasant
Faith - a firm believer
Fanchette - free
Faustina - happy
Fay - a firm believer
Felecia - fortunate
Fern - sincere
Fidelia - of good character
Flavia - blonde
Flora or Florette - a flower
Florabel - a beautiful flower
Florence - prosperity
Frances or Francene - free; courageous; strong
Frieda - peaceful
Fritzie - peaceful ruler
Gail - see Abagail
Geraldine - spear power
Gladys - lame
Gloria - glory
Grace - kindness; patience
Gwendolyn - white-browed
Haidee - modest
Hannah - gracious; merciful
Harriet - rich and powerful
Hazel - one that sees God
Heather - lonely
Hedy - defense
Helen - light; bright dawn
Helga - holy
Henretta - ever rich and mighty
Hilda - battle maid
Holly - friendship and happiness
Hope - trust in the future
Hortence - a gardener
Huldah - quick; spritely
Ida - thristy
Imagine - beloved child; last-born
Ima - uncertain
Ines - pure
Irene - peace; iris; the rainbow; picture of beauty uniting earth and sky
Irma - friendship; fidelity
Jaquelin - supplanter
Jane - God's grace
Jean, Jeanette, Jennie, Jenny - God's grace
Jemina - a dove
Jennifer - white wave
Jessica or Jessie - wealthy
Jewell - life
Jill - soft-haired
Joy - gladness
Joyce - vivacious
Juanita - God's grace
Judith - one who praises
Julia - soft-haired
Justine - righteous
Karen - pure
Kathryn and Kathleen - little darling; pure; beautiful eyes
Lala - a tulip
Laura or Laurette - laurel; emblem of fame
Lavania - left-handed
Leah - weary
Leila - dark beauty
Lena - peace
Leona - l ion
Letitia - joy, gladness
Lida - people's love
Lily or Linda - pretty
Lois - virtue
Loretta - emblem of fame
Louise - protector of the people
Lucretia - a good housewife
Lucia, Lucille, Lucinda, Lucy - light; born at daybreak
Lynn - a pool or lake
Mabel, Mabelle - fair one
May - weeping
Mae - weeping
Malvina - smooth forehead
Marcela - brave
Marcia - brave
Maria - merry
Marie, Marietta - distressed or tearful
Marilyn, Marlene - distressed or tearful
Maxine - the greatest
Maybelle - fair one
Melanie - black
Melinda - sweet as honey
Melissa - honey bee
Merie - blackbird
Mildred - gentle
Mina - beloved
Miranda - admirable
Mona - alone
Monica - one dwelling alone
Muriel - of sweet scent
Mira - weeping
Nada and Nadeen - hope
Nancy and Nanette - grace
Naomi - pleasant
Nina - small darling
Nola - honor
Norma - pattern; example
Octavia - the eighth born
Olga - righteous
Olive and Oliva - peace
Opal - hope
Palma - victory
Pamela - sweetness; a brunette
Patience - aflicted without complaint
Patricia - of noble birth
Paula and Pauline - gentle; little
Pearl - health and long life
Perpetua - lasting
Phoebe - radiant
Phyllis - a reed
Polly - bitter
Portia - safety
Priscilla - old-fashioned
Prudence - wisdom; discretion; knowledge
Rachel - innocence
Rebecca - one who snares men by her beauty
Regina - a queen
Renee - revived
Rhoda - a rose
Roberta - a shining counselor
Rosabel - fair rose
Roselyn, Rosalie and Rosalind - pretty as a rose
Rosemund - rose of the world
Rose - symbol of love
Rosemary - rose of the sea
Rowena - to acquire peace
Roxana - dawn
Ruby - contentment
Ruth - beauty
Sabina - chaste; religious
Sarah - a noble lady
Selma - fair
Sibyl - divine
Silvia - of the forest
Sophia - wise woman
Stella - a star
Stephanie - a crown
Susan, Susanne or Susette - a lily
Tabitha - beautiful eyes
Thalia - flourishing; blooming
Theresa - a harvester; beautiful
Thora - consecrated
Ursella - a little bear
Valerie - healthy
Verna - youth ful
Victoria - conqueror
Viola and Violet - pretty; modest
Virginia - a virgin; chaste
Vivian - lively; merry
Yvonne - God's grace or gift
Zora - dawn

The wise parent will carefully and prayerfully choose a name. That name may be a dream within the parent's breast. It may be a lovely description of the child as the parent sees him. Remember, it is a gift given by the parents to the child that is rarely ever returned.


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