What’s in a name? These days, the question should be “What isn’t?” according to a recent NY Times article. The once-intimate process of naming your child has morphed into an industry, complete with paid consultants, books, trend date websites and academic studies showing the likelihood of each name’s success.

It’s funny – I expected that after all the emphasis on “personal branding” in the youthful years, having children would mean a stage that went somewhat beyond this. Forget thinking of your future child, it’s all about you and what this child can do for your image!

And with all this emphasis on choosing the right name comes a ridiculously large amount of pressure. It has to be trendy, but not so much that everyone else has it too. Exotic, but maybe not as unique as celebrity choices like Apple, Tu Morrow or Ocean. Or maybe so classic that it’s fashionable, but as long as it’s not pretentious. Is it worth losing sleep over when you’ll be in need of that extra rest once the baby arrives?

Obviously when said like this it sounds rather silly, but we all fall into the trap. When baby names come up in conversation, we are quick to judge each other’s choices and also be swayed by their opinions. Sure it’s important to choose a great name, but more for the sake of the baby and their identity rather than to increase your personal reputation!

What do you think – is this trend taking things too far or is your baby’s name worth this kind of time and effort?

Tamara El-Rahi is an associate editor of MercatorNet. A Journalism graduate from the University of Technology Sydney, she lives in Australia with her husband and two daughters.