- It’s a good idea to think about possible baby names while you are still pregnant.
- When looking fora name for your baby, you might like to think about your family tradition, culture and the meaning of any names you are considering.
- There are some restrictions on what you can name your baby in Australia, to ensure that your baby’s name can be easily used in society and legal identity documents.
- To register your baby, visit the website of your state or territory’s Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
- In most states and territories, you have 60 days after birth to register your baby’s name.
What should I think about when choosing a name for my baby?
Picking your baby's name might seem to be a difficult task, but there are plenty of places you can look for inspiration.
It’s a good idea to think about names before your baby is born. In most Australian states and territories, you have 60 days after birth to register your baby's name.
You may already have a list of potential names ready to go, or maybe you haven't thought about baby names yet. Either way, here are a few things to consider before you make your final decision.
If you are just starting out or are undecided, start a list so you don't forget any potential options.
Many people think about their relatives or close friends when looking for a baby name. You might follow a family or cultural tradition that can help you choose. You can also consider naming your child’s middle name after someone, if the name is not your preferred choice for a first name.
You might like to consider the meaning of a name before you make your decision. There are many sites on the internet that can help you find the meaning of particular names.
It's helpful to anticipate any potential nicknames, initials or first / last name combinations that may arise from your choice. Try saying the full name aloud a few times, and see how it sounds to you and your partner. Remember that your child will have this name for life, so consider any issues this may cause in the future. You should also keep this in mind if you are considering choosing a name that is unusual or has an unusual spelling.
Where can I find ideas for baby names?
There are many commercial websites with lists of baby names for you to consider. The NSW Government has a list of popular baby names that you might find helpful.
You can also check your state or territory’s Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages website for a list of popular baby names in your state or territory by year.
Can I choose any name for my baby?
In Australia, there are some restrictions on what you can name your baby. This is to ensure that your baby’s name can be reasonably used by the community and in legal identity documents.
Names that may not be allowed include those that may be:
- offensive or obscene
- too long
- contain symbols
- reference public institutions
- are statements or phrases (for example, ‘Hello’)
- a name that might be misleading (for example, political or religious titles such as ‘King’ or ‘Saint’)
If your state or territory’s Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages has questions about your choice of name for your baby, they will contact you.
How do I register my baby's name?
Once your baby is born and you have decided on a name, you need to register the name with the relevant agency in your state or territory. You should receive forms to complete from the hospital or birth centre where your baby is born. If not, check the links below to access the relevant forms online.
The hospital does not register the birth for you — you need to register your baby yourself.
Most states and territories in Australia require you to register a birth within 60 days of the day of birth (except the ACT, which allows 6 months).
Links to the various births, deaths and marriages departments are below:
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Last reviewed: February 2023