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Getting Started with Baby Naming

Getting Started with Baby Naming

Baby Names. Deciding on them is stressful, but…it’s also fun! It’s an important decision that will follow our children for the rest of their lives. 

Most expectant parents begin the process by compiling lists for options in names. Some choose them based on sound alone; on family history; on Biblical characters or figures from other faith traditions; or on the meanings behind the names.

There are almost as many methods and philosophies about naming as there are newborn infants! This is a very personal experience for a new mother and father. None are right, none are wrong. Well…ALMOST none. We probably don’t want to name our kids “Jeffrey Dahmer” or “Adolf Hitler,” or anything like that. But you get the drift…

If you’re just now starting the process, one of the best ways to see which names are least likely to cause taunting on the school playground is to see which names are currently popular and select from there. Some parents prefer to do the opposite, and aim for total originality. Whichever side you lean to, checking out these “popular” name lists is usually a good starting point.

The baby name website, Nameberry, compiled a list of the most popular baby names for 2019, based on web searches. Here’s their results:

Top Girl Names for 2019

1– Sophia

2–Olivia

3–Amelia

4–Emma

5–Ava

6–Isabella

7–Aria

8–Charlotte

9–Mia

10–Adeline

Top Boy Names for 2019

1–Jackson

2–Liam

3–Noah

4–Aiden

5–Lucas

6–Elijah

7–Oliver

8–Grayson

9–William

10–James

Some parents believe in the idea of “luck,” and that a “lucky” name will serve a child well. The British company Compare.net took the popular naming list at Nameberry a step further, and examined which names are the most popular AND have a cultural history of being considered “lucky.” Here’s what they found:

— The most popular “lucky” girl name is Iris. It means “rainbow” in Greek, which is symbolic of luck.

— The most popular “lucky” boy name is Asher, which holds the Hebrew meaning of “happy.”

— Of parents who are intrigued by “good fortune” names, 94-percent think that using a “lucky” name will help a child later in life.

— Of parents who oppose “good fortune” names, 38-percent say it is because these names are too “mainstream.”

Whatever a new parent decides, there certainly are many baby-naming books to peruse, and a bunch of baby name websites to consult. Here’s just a brief list of a few resources to get you started:

Nameberry.com

Babynames.com

Ssa.gov/oact/babynames (Database of popular names from the Social Security Administration)

Thebump.com/baby-names 

Kara Bachman is an author, editor, and mom to two almost-grown kids.

About The Author

Kara Bachman

Kara Bachman is a Managing Editor for Parents & Kids. She's also a book editor, former newspaper reporter, and is author of the humor essay collection, "Kissing the Crisis," which deals with the zanier aspects of parenting, relationships and turning 40. She's read her work on NPR radio and over 1,500 items have appeared in dozens of literary and commercial publications, including The Writer, The Erma Bombeck Writers' Workshop, the New Orleans Times-Picayune and Nola.com, Dogster, Mississippi Magazine, American Fitness and many more. She's a New Orleans native, but lived for over a dozen years on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, including during 2005 when her house was flooded by Hurricane Katrina. She's a mom to two teenagers.

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