Welcome to the wonderful world of baby names ?
Choosing a name that you, your partner and your little one will love (when they’re old enough) is no easy feat.
(Unless you’ve known what you’re naming your kids since you were born, of course ? )
There are a lot of different decisions to make and things to consider – all of which we’ll cover below – but then once you’ve decided on all that, there are still what feels like millions of options to trawl through.
So, in this article, we’ll try our best to help you on your way to landing the baby name pick of your dreams.
- how to approach choosing the name
- our top name picks for the year
- the latest inspiration
- trends to follow
- celebrity baby name meanings
– plus we’ll give you access to our comprehensive baby name finder…
Time to get started ?
There’s so much to think about when it comes to the name – so why not break it down?
Here are just some of the key questions to ask yourselves:
- Firstly, you should consider when you’re going to choose the name. Before or after your baby’s been born?
- Should you tell anyone if you pick it while baby’s still bump? After all, what if you’re met with a less-than-desirable response?
- Will your baby’s name be simple or unusual? i.e., a first and a last name, or will you have several middle names or multiple hyphens to contend with?
(Keeping it simple might be worth mulling over – as a study once suggested that people with these names are considered ‘more trustworthy’. That said, we’ve got 10 great ideas for how to pick an unusual baby name.)
- Is the name you want less well known, or something common? If so, will you spell it in the traditional way?
(That last one’s really something to think about – as a woman with a name that closely resembles a very popular one, but is spelt differently, recently wrote to mums asking them to reconsider picking something avant garde for their child, after her experience of finding it annoying.)
- How do you feel about girly names, boyish ones and names that don’t suggest gender at all?
- Do you like long names, or short ones?
(If you do choose a long name, does it invite any nicknames that you don’t like? And would you be prepared for people to shorten the name without your consent?)
- Is there anyone you know who shares the name you’ve landed on? A celebrity? Or is it a tribute to a family member, living or dead? If so, how do they feel about it? Do you even like the person?
(There are a few remorseful parents out there who admit they regret their baby name choice for some of these very reasons…)
- What does the name you like actually mean? Is it reflective of who you want them to be? And is the meaning, you know, sound? After all, it’s no good finding out 6 months down the line that your cute-sounding choice means something not so sweet in Spanish ?
- Are both parents on the same page with the options? It’s key you both actually agree on the name…
(The process of naming in general is bound to cause heated debate if you’ve both got different ideas – and science backs us up to say it’s actually the most common argument between parents. One to avoid, if you can!)
As you search through our inspirational articles below, keep all of the above in mind.
Now, time to grab a pad and a pen, or open the notes app on your phone, and get to viewing our extensive list of baby name inspo ✨
We’ve established already just how tricky it can be to narrow down your baby name preferences – but we reckon it always helps to have a look at some nice, long baby name lists ?
The best place to start is right here with the official MadeForMums top 160 baby names for 2017 ?
Chosen by our own MFM mums for their new babies between August 2016 – 2017, these 80 girls’ names and 80 boys’ names are what parents are loving right now…
The most popular names might surprise you, too – they certainly surprised us!
The UK’s top baby names 2009 – 2016
The key way to keep an eye on the most popular (or most common – depending on how you look at it) baby names in the country is to look out for the Office of National Statistics (ONS) and their official annual report.
The report tallies the most-used names chosen by parents living in England and Wales.
Here are the most recent top 10 lists:
- 2017: Europe’s top baby names for the year have been revealed, but we’ve not yet received the national statistics for 2017. (You can check out the 2017 names rated top by Nameberry users, though.)
- 2016: We’re yet to receive the full list of names for 2016, either, but we do have 2016’s official MadeForMums names list to check out.
- 2015: Top 10 baby names for boys and girls in England and Wales
- 2014: Top 10 baby names for boys and girls in England and Wales
- 2013: Top 10 baby names for boys and girls in England and Wales
- 2012: Top 10 baby names for boys and girls in England and Wales
- 2011: Top 10 baby names for boys and girls in England and Wales
- 2010: Top 10 baby names for boys and girls in England and Wales
There’s baby name inspiration everywhere you look – from the birds in the sky to the seasons.
If you’re into nature, you’ll definitely want to check out our 21 animal and bird-inspired handles.
Or, if you’re keen to have your child’s birth month acknowledged, why not look up our:
Our list of Irish baby name inspiration, Welsh-themed picks and Scottish-inspired monikers will also come in handy if you’re after something that reflects your heritage – or go global with one of these place names for your little one!
These suggestions are well and good, but what if you’re thinking about something with a twist?
2017’s been a big year for baby name trends – ideal if you’re looking for something en vogue.
Some of the general ones have seen us loving gender-neutral names (that work for boys and girls), ludicrously posh monikers and too-cool-for-school choices.
We also recently discovered the resurgence of old-fashioned, vintage baby names, flashing back to the ‘20s, ‘30s and ‘40s with names like Evelyn and Audrey.
But other trends have been waaay more event-focused. In 2016, the death of music icon David Bowie spurred on the naming of baby Bowies (among other related names) this year, while the Rio Olympics inspired sports fans to give their kids these names of champions.
The MadeForMums baby name finder is a tool you can use to scan through thousands of unique names and their meanings.
We reckon it works pretty well if you know which letter you want your child’s name to start with, or if you’re the kind of parent-to-be who likes endlessly scrolling in search of the perfect name.
Above is just a sample of some of the names you can explore…
But if you still feel like scrolling, we also love this very unusual baby name generator, created by one clever student at Stanford University.
A look at the most recent celebrity baby names – and the stories, meanings and reasons behind them:
- Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt matched her newborn’s name with her eldest’s, and kept within an autumnal, natural theme.
- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo chose 2 surnames for his little one’s first and middle names.
- Hollyoaks actress Jennifer Metcalfe names her baby boy something she invented herself.
- Binky Felstead and JP’s little one was Born In Chelsea – but which place inspired their baby daughter’s name?
- Beyonce and Jay-Z trademarked their uber-cool and very ‘slebby twin name choices.
- Whereas Hollyoaks actor Kieron Richardson and his hubby went for casual, American-inspired names for their twins.
- It’s twinmania in celeb land at the mo – see what Emmerdale’s Lucy Pargeter called her long-awaited baby girls.
- Keeping with the trends, former TOWIE star Amy Childs opted for a vintage name with a special meaning for her daughter.
- Meanwhile, TOWIE colleague Billie Faiers had no choice to but to choose a vintage boys’ name – all thanks to her partner, and daughter Nelly!
- Cheryl and Liam Payne’s baby boy’s name caused a rumpus – especially when Liam admitted it wasn’t his first choice.
- But US star Nick Cannon managed to out-do all of the latest celeb baby name picks with this powerful moniker.
- Alex Jones asked One Show viewers for some help – after taking her time picking the baby name Teddy for her 1st child.
- But Spice Girl Geri Horner (nee Halliwell) was dead set on a tribute to her late pal, George Michael ?
- Same for popstar Pink – she admitted she’d always known she’d call her 2nd baby, a boy, THIS name, for several very specific reasons.
- Peter and Emily Andre deliberated over what to call their 2nd child together, a baby bro for daughter Amelia (nicknamed Mills), before landing on a very popular option.
- But EastEnders’ star Kellie Bright thought outside the box when choosing an Old Hollywood name with a special meaning to her…
- 3 stars dropped their baby name choices all at once, starting with Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher’s Russian boys name
- Soap stars Sophie Austin and Shayne Ward went for a nature theme for their little girl.
- And Supernatural star Jensen Ackles and wife Danneel were clearly inspired by a certain TV show and a ‘70s rock band when naming their twins…
- Alanis Morrisette chose something that wouldn’t be out of place in the wild…
- And actress Liv Tyler chose something sugary sweet and rather floral for her baby girl.
- TV presenter Anna Williamson revealed her son’s name – and then revealed why she’d be calling him something else.
- Kelvin Fletcher, best known for his time on Emmerdale, drew from the ocean for inspiration.
- Taking the vintage trend to new heights was Russell Brand, when his new daughter’s name was revealed to be a favourite… in the 1920s.
- And firmly aboard the ‘female movie heroes’ bandwagon was Sir Ben Ainslie and wife Georgie, who took their name from the Harry Potter series…
- Another Russian name – this time for a girl – from Strictly couple Kristina Rihanoff and Ben Cohen.
- Finally, Cat Deeley announced her son’s cool name in a low key, fashion-forward way.
- And The Girl On The Train’s Emily Blunt went for something decidedly non-slebby and didn’t dare shout about it…
Share your baby name ideas…
Want to discuss your baby name thoughts and plans – no matter where you are in decided? There are loads of places to connect on our MadeForMums Baby Names forum.
We especially love this thread looking at names our mums like the best, and this one discussing names for future baby boys.
And as always, we’d love for you to get in touch and tell us the names you like on Facebook ?