The middle name. It can cause war between families if not done right.

Even if six billion people aren’t waiting to hear what you’ve picked.

Kate and Wills got it right. Of course everyone loves the name Charlotte for the new princess, but the royal parents were spot on with the middle names too. Elizabeth honours Charlotte’s great-grandma, the Queen, and great-great-grandma, the Queen Mother, and it’s also the middle name of  Kate and her mum Carole Middleton. As for Diana, it’s lovely that Prince William got his mum’s name in there too. And it sounds great, doesn’t it? Charlotte Elizabeth Diana.

Jolly good. Approving nods all round.

Parents don’t always put a lot of time into choosing a middle name. But think of a middle name like underwear. If it’s right, it can make you feel good, even if hardly anyone else is going to see it. And you really should have something, just in case. Here are some things to think about when choosing.

1. It’s the best way to make your parents, Narelle and Bruce, feel special without burdening your child with their name.

“Mum, we named our baby after you: Ruby Narelle.” Done. Sorted. No begging that you name your second daughter after her.

Your own princess deserves the perfect middle name too.

2. It's a good backup name if the first name you choose is a bit out-there and you're thinking your child might want to switch to something more ordinary when they get older.

So, for example, if you called your child Rocket, you wouldn't give them something like Zot as a middle name. Unless you're Lara Bingle, of course. (And yes, she had a very good reason.)

3. It can make your child stand out, in a good way.

There may be three Lilies in the class, but if your daughter's middle name is Belle, she can call herself Lily Belle, and there won't be any confusion. So if you're choosing a popular first name, go for a middle name that flows well afterwards.

4. It can give you a story to tell your kid.

You met your partner while a Pink song was playing? Your child was conceived in India? Your baby was born during a storm? All cool middle name ideas. Kids love being told these kind of stories. (Though maybe not the details about their conception.)


5. It's a great way to pass on the surnames of both parents and make your child sound impressive at the same time.

Sophia Frankweiler Smith sounds like she's going to win a Nobel prize for something.

Here is the first time the world saw little Princess Charlotte... post continues after the video.

6. It should sound fantastic.

Why are Rose, Grace and Jade all popular middle names for girls, and James and John at the top of the list for boys? Because most first names have two syllables, so a one-syllable middle name sounds good afterwards.

Emma Grace Wilson beats Emma Ava Wilson. And why do Louise and Marie stick around in the top 10 middle names for girls? Because the accent is on the second syllable, instead of the first, which is more common for two-syllable names. Zoe Louise Fraser beats Zoe Lucy Fraser. Just say it out loud, and you'll know what's right.

7. Don't have bad initials.

Everyone tells you to make sure you don't call your child Phoebe Isabella Gray (PIG) or Harriet Olivia Gray (HOG) but think about all the new combinations you have to watch out for: LOL, NSFW, TMI, etc. Even ETC.

8. Have good initials.

My daughter's first name starts with J, so I gave her a middle name starting with J as well, just so I could nickname her JJ. I call her JJ a lot. It trips off the tongue more easily than JQ, or JW.

9. Give your child something.

Anything is better than nothing. There are some forms where you just have to put a middle name down, so make sure your child can. Or they'll start getting letters addressed to Oliver Blank Jones.

What were you thinking about when you chose your child's middle name?

CLICK through the gallery for all the photos from the baby announcement on the weekend:

Want more? Try:

The baby names even your nurses are judging you for.

The baby names that all of the popular kids are being called.