The methodologies for selecting a suitable Chinese baby vary between the different schools of thoughts but most of them are based on the principles of Yin and Yang as well as the Five Elements.
Chinese characters are made up of strokes. The odd number strokes are Yang while the even number strokes are Yin. For example a character composed on two strokes is Yin while another character composed on 3 or 5 stokes are Yang. The total number of strokes used in the name matters. Depending on the school, a certain range of strokes are auspicious while certain other ranges are not.
In most schools the date of time of the baby's birth is also required to compute the Ba Zi or Eight Characters. From the eight characters, the astrologer can determine the useful element. This is usually but not necessary the element is that most lacking in the chart.
Let say that the element that is most lacking in the chart is water. In this case the astrologer will find a name that is associated with water. Obvious names would include water or ocean. Less obvious is winter which is also associated with water. For someone lacking in the wood element, suitable names include wood, forest, spring (a season of wood) or a name of a plant.
Another technique is to find a Chinese name that comes with the required element. Most Chinese characters are composed of basic characters. For example the character for the word 'stove' a made up of the character fire and earth. Therefore if you lack fire or earth you can call yourself stove! Not the best of example but I hope you understand the principle!
These are by no means the only methods. Let me give you an example. In the old days, where infant mortality rate is quite high, parent resort to giving their child very lowly names like Cow or Pig hoping the evil spirits will miss them hence allowing them to live to a ripe old age!
Now you now why someone not so good looking is called 'Spring Beauty' while an obvious beauty is called a 'Pig'!
Feng Shui Consultant