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Naming Your Baby

Naming Your Baby
Written by the Metroplex Baby Editorial Team

  Where to start?

There are a few parents who know what they want to name their children years before the children are born. For most though, naming a child seems overwhelming. Do you choose a family name? Do you stay mainstream? Have you thought of all the nicknames that could result from the name you choose?

A family name: We asked parents who named their children after mom, dad, a grandparent or other family member the pros and cons of choosing a family name. The biggest pros are: it is an easy and quick decision, versus spending hours studying hundreds of baby names; it is for many a sign of respect; and the child can share keepsakes (some even said airline miles...) with their namesake. The cons are: your child may be mistaken for his or her namesake (try Googling the namesake to see what is already out there), it may cause confusion when people call out the name when both your child and the namesake are present, and it may be more difficult for the child to form his or her own identity.

Traditional versus trendy names: There's something said for choosing a traditional name - your child's name will be easy to pronounce and will not be misspelled too often. Ah, but your child may also be one of several Jakes or Marys in the class. Your decision: do you want your child to have a unique name (or a unique spelling to a popular name), or are you confident that your child will stand out as one of many Mikes or Isabellas? If you choose to alter the spelling of a traditional name, keep in mind that your child will have a lifetime of correcting people who will misspell that name.

The name divide: In many instances, spouses may not agree on a name. Here's a trick - each expectant parent write down their 10 favorite names (10 girls and 10 boys if you do not know the gender) and exchange papers. You each may have written the same name. If not, then it may at least spark some new ideas. 

Test, test and test again: So you've found that perfect name? Say it out loud over and over again. Make sure you like the sound of the entire name and that you are comfortable with the great number of nicknames that could result. Also, make sure the initials do not spell out something like "MAD," "ASS," "FAT" and so on. Remember, kids can be cruel.

Do you tell?

If you choose the name of your baby before (s)he is born, do you tell family and friends? Some expectant parents can't wait to share their wonderful news. Keep in mind that if you tell you will undoubtedly get some unfavorable responses. Whether you hear an ambiguous "Oh," or an "I knew a Travis and he was....," most people will have some opinion on the name you choose. You can shrug off those unsolicited opinions or choose to keep the name private - it is up to you but make sure that both spouses agree on the game plan.

Popular names

What are the most popular baby names in the US? Here's the top 100 names for girls and boys.

Top 100 Baby Names of 2008 Source: Social Security
Rank Male name Female name
1 Jacob Emma
2 Michael Isabella
3 Ethan Emily
4 Joshua Madison
5 Daniel Ava
6 Alexander Olivia
7 Anthony Sophia
8 William Abigail
9 Christopher Elizabeth
10 Matthew Chloe
11 Jayden Samantha
12 Andrew Addison
13 Joseph Natalie
14 David Mia
15 Noah Alexis
16 Aiden Alyssa
17 James Hannah
18 Ryan Ashley
19 Logan Ella
20 John Sarah
21 Nathan Grace
22 Elijah Taylor
23 Christian Brianna
24 Gabriel Lily
25 Benjamin Hailey
26 Jonathan Anna
27 Tyler Victoria
28 Samuel Kayla
29 Nicholas Lillian
30 Gavin Lauren
31 Dylan Kaylee
32 Jackson Allison
33 Brandon Savannah
34 Caleb Nevaeh
35 Mason Gabriella
36 Angel Sofia
37 Isaac Makayla
38 Evan Avery
39 Jack Riley
40 Kevin Julia
41 Jose Leah
42 Isaiah Aubrey
43 Luke Jasmine
44 Landon Audrey
45 Justin Katherine
46 Lucas Morgan
47 Zachary Brooklyn
48 Jordan Destiny
49 Robert Sydney
50 Aaron Alexa
51 Brayden Kylie
52 Thomas Brooke
53 Cameron Kaitlyn
54 Hunter Evelyn
55 Austin Layla
56 Adrian Madeline
57 Connor Kimberly
58 Owen Zoe
59 Aidan Jessica
60 Jason Peyton
61 Julian Alexandra
62 Wyatt Claire
63 Charles Madelyn
64 Luis Maria
65 Carter Mackenzie
66 Juan Arianna
67 Chase Jocelyn
68 Diego Amelia
69 Jeremiah Angelina
70 Brody Trinity
71 Xavier Andrea
72 Adam Maya
73 Carlos Valeria
74 Sebastian Sophie
75 Liam Rachel
76 Hayden Vanessa
77 Nathaniel Aaliyah
78 Henry Mariah
79 Jesus Gabrielle
80 Ian Katelyn
81 Tristan Ariana
82 Bryan Bailey
83 Sean Camila
84 Cole Jennifer
85 Alex Melanie
86 Eric Gianna
87 Brian Charlotte
88 Jaden Paige
89 Carson Autumn
90 Blake Payton
91 Ayden Faith
92 Cooper Sara
93 Dominic Isabelle
94 Brady Caroline
95 Caden Genesis
96 Josiah Isabel
97 Kyle Mary
98 Colton Zoey
99 Kaden Gracie
100 Eli Megan
Note: Rank 1 is the most popular, rank 2 is the next most popular, and so forth.



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