Popular Baby Names: Naming Tips

By: Julie Fletcher

When choosing a name for your new baby, think of it as a gift that will literally last a lifetime. Careful selection will give your child a name he or she can be proud of. Before giving your baby a name, think of how you picture your child as an adult. This sounds difficult, but it isn't, really. A little girl grows up to be a woman, just as your baby boy will grow up to be a man. A name that always sounds like a child's name would not be enjoyable for your little one as an adult. Any name with a 'y' or 'ie' will sound oddly childish for an adult. It is annoying for someone named Robbie or Billy to always have to show their identification to prove their name is not Robert or William.

Something else to avoid is unisex names. These names can lead to problems for others who are trying to determine the sex of a gift recipient or for a teacher who is choosing themes for children's cubby and desks. The issues will only become more difficult as the child ages. Also, consider the sound of the name you are choosing. Will the first name sound well with the middle and last? Usually a short first name will sound best with a long last name, as will a long first name with a short last name.

Lastly, don't choose names that make an obvious pun, joke, or tongue twister. Children can be cruel during school years, while even some adults have a tendency to poke fun at other's names. This goes for initials, too. Probably every child has played the game with their initials to see what they spell. Nearly everyone has also heard and laughed at the name 'Ima Hogg' or 'Ima Pigg'. Don't pick an odd name just to be different, as it is your child who will have to live with the name, not you.

In the United States, records of baby names began to be kept in 1880. Since then only seven girl's names have held the top spot. From 1880 to 1946 the name Mary held the top spot. 67 years in the top spot, that's quite a run! After Mary, Jennifer was the next most popular name for 6 years. Mary took back that spot for another 8 years. Girl names are more prevalent in online baby name searches due to the popular belief that there are more boys than boys born. This statistic has been changing over the years though, with boys actually beginning to edge out girls slightly.

Here are the seven most popular girl's names of all time (in the USA):

1. Mary

2. Jennifer

3. Emily

4. Jessica

5. Lisa

6. Linda

7. Ashley

If you're having a boy, here are a list of the most popular boy names of 2006. It's a bit early for the most popular names of 2007, but this will give you ten popular ones!

1. Aiden

2. Jacob

3. Ethan

4. Ryan

5. Matthew

6. Jack

7. Noah

8. Nicholas

9. Joshua

10. Logan

Don't forget to look up the meanings of the name you choose. Your child may not care about where his or her name comes from right now, but when they grow older it may be something interesting for them to know. A name can point to the feelings having you child gave to you or give a hint at their heritage. You may also want to give consideration to unique names. A name that is different commands attention and sometimes respect. Though an extremely different name can lead to trouble. Problems with spelling and pronunciation will give the same sort of teasing issues as the names that go oddly together or initials with silly words made from them.

It may seem like choosing the name for your baby is an overwhelming task, but the bottom line is to go with your heart and what sounds right to you. A wonderful place to find names for your children is within you or your partner's family. A name passed from grandfather to son to grandson is a loving legacy. There have been daughters named after their grandmothers or even mothers. Occasionally a couple will pass on a name to their daughter from their grandfather. Don't forget to research your own family history and lineage before giving your child his or her name. Don't worry if your child dislikes their name for a while, that is very common. Try not to take it as an insult, most children do no realize how hard it is for a parent to pick what they believe to be he best and most perfect name for their baby. In most all cases, the child comes to love their name. It is their most intimate identification they carry with them for life.

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