Daydreaming about names for your babe?

Whether you think you have the perfect name picked out for your little bean or you don't want to commit until you see baby's precious face, make sure that the name you choose will withstand the test of time throughout your child's development from infancy to adulthood.

It may seem trivial in the long run, but research shows that an individual's name can have a lasting impact on the quality of their life.

A child's self-esteem may partially depend on how much they like their name. Additionally, children's behavior and academic tendencies in school appear to be related to their given names. (No pressure!)

Names can also play a role in our lives as adults. Research shows that important life decisions, such as what state to live in or what career path to follow, may be implicitly impacted by an individual's name.

It's true. There are more dentists named Dennis and lawyers named Lawrence than other occupations…and guess what state you can find more Virginias living in…Our names don't just impact our own behaviors. They can impact the behaviors of others around us. Teachers and employers may treat individuals differently based on their names, making assumptions based on nothing more than the combination of a few letters.

Based on these findings, it's no wonder you want to choose the perfect name for your perfect little sweet pea. Before you put pen to paper, make sure it's the name by taking it for a test drive first.

Make a monogram.

From your babe's first backpack to their wedding invitations, monograms are a tried and true way to beautify your child's initials. At some point in your child's future, you will almost certainly get a chance to see how lovely those intertwined letters look.

Get a sneak peek by testing possible initials with different styles of classic monograms at Mark and Graham.

Google it!

Before you inadvertently choose a name that belongs to someone famous (or infamous), try searching for the first and middle name or full name online. You may get an idea of how “taken" the name is if your favorite search engine completes the name before you even finish typing it.

Your child's name should inspire a new identity. Whether you want your child's name to stand out or to fit in with other peers' names, it may be easier for your child to feel secure in their identity if they don't feel overshadowed by someone who shares the same moniker.

The image of a timid teenage boy named George Michael comes to mind. *wink*

One Frappuccino coming right up!

Head to your favorite coffee bar and order a drink with baby's name. Does the barista spell it right? How easy is it to pronounce? Do you notice any strange looks from fellow latte-sippers?

Seeing baby's name written and hearing it spoken out loud by someone who is unbiased may open your eyes to possible pitfalls with the name.

For instance, research shows that children who have names with unconventional spellings may have more trouble learning to read and spell than children with conventionally spelled names.

Check its historical significance.

Social Security keeps a registry of the historical popularity of baby names since 1900.

The registry will show you which years your chosen name has been the most popular and will let you know how many years it didn't make the cut for the top 1000 names. You can also use the tool to compare how popular gender-neutral names are for boys and girls separately.

This tool is more than handy. It's downright addictive. Try not to lose a whole Sunday testing out names!

Visualize it.

Sure, you can write it, say it, or read it, but to visualize a name means to close your eyes and see what comes to mind when you think about it.

Do you see what your future child might look like? Do you envision happiness? Can you see yourself calling your child by that name or by an accompanying nickname?

If you are having trouble picturing what life might be like with that name, check out this site for testing baby names with a list of everyday phrases incorporating the name. So. Much. Fun.

At the end of the day, choose a name that you believe will inspire joy and wonder in your child.

If you know in your heart that you have chosen the right name, we say go for it. You and baby are already connected, after all. If you feel butterflies at the sound of a name, that may just be your little babe sharing their excitement!