How do you choose the right name for your child?
Did you have confirmation that it's a girl or a boy? Congratulations! Now, the question you're probably asking yourself is: How do I choose the right name?
Choosing a name for you baby is one of the many important decisions that you must make as expectant parents. It may be enjoyable for some, but the responsibility of naming another human puts it in perspective. After all, your child will continue to bear that name for the rest of their life.
You may already have a good idea of what you're searching for in a baby name. However, your partner, family, and friends might have their own ideas.
You uncle John might think he has found the perfect baby boy name for your little one while your favorite auntie thinks she has found the golden nugget for your baby girl.
As you can see, It can be really hard and stressful to get everyone on the same page.
Don't worry! Emma will help you find the perfect name for your child.
Choosing the perfect baby name
You may already have a long list of gender-girl, gender-boy, and gender-neutral names prepared before you learn you're expecting, but not everyone does. Some parents begin from the beginning with each child, while others wait until the kid is delivered to do so. Each parent gets inspiration in different ways.
Expectant parents typically start with one particular option in mind, and there are numerous options to consider.
Family names like juniors or III, cultural or ethnic, names from pop culture or even astrology based names are all popular categories you can use to name your child.
The process of finding your baby name
It might seem overwhelming, but it is possible to narrow it down. You may explore an alphabetical list of names in a book to check off the ones you enjoy, or you might pick a name you like and seek for others that are similar. We also created a list of baby names for you based on the social security administration as well as many other factors.
There is no right or wrong way to do it, so do what works for you and your partner. If one approach isn't working, try something different. For example, maybe going for a more traditional name for your boy is better than trying to go through the unique baby boy name route.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind in the process of finding the right name for your baby.
Don't be obsessed with unique baby names.
It goes without saying that your child will be the most special in the world and therefore deserves a distinctive name, but don't obsess with giving him or her the most unique baby boy or baby girl name possible. There are at least two good reasons for that:
First, it cannot be ruled out that the reason you have never heard the name you intend to give your child is because it might be less beautiful than you think. All tastes are in nature, of course, but if the majority of people find your child's name particularly ugly... don't impose this on your child simply because of the uniqueness of your choice.
Second, finding a beautiful name that is unique to your child at the time of birth is not a guarantee for the future: names disappear and come back into fashion constantly, which means that the fact that your child has a unique name in his or her cohort does not mean that it will not be widespread a few years later.
You can visit sites like BabyNameWizard.com and Nameberry.com to try to predict trends in baby names, but again, this is not an exact science. In other words, if you can think of a unique name you like, that's great. But don't spend too much time on that feature.
Don't worry too much about the opinions of your loved ones.
This recommendation is quite difficult to follow at first, especially if this is your first child.
If you choose to extend the Baby Name Search Committee to your family and friends, you can reasonably expect your choices to be criticized or outright ridiculed.
That being said, don't let yourself be too affected by the opinions of others: if you really like a name suggested by someone close to you, don't hesitate to consider it, but don't assume that people who really care about you will see or treat your child differently if you choose to give him or her a name they disapprove of: they will learn to like it.
Don't try to create a puzzle baby name
Just like the obsession with unique names, some people have a desire to make their child's first name an almost magical word that is both a combination of their ancestors' names, a reference to a significant event and an all-in-one pun.
This approach is rarely a good idea because even if it doesn't result in an absolutely grotesque name, you're likely to go to a lot of trouble so that in the end, no one remembers exactly what the name was supposed to mean... including you.
Choose a middle name
You don't have to give your child a middle name. Many families, on the other hand, like to choose one for their baby. The benefit of it is that many parents feel less tension when it comes to that name.
Middle names can be a wonderful place to hide the family name you're opting for out of obligation and not because you enjoy it. Choosing one can also be a place to have a little fun. If you go with a more formal name, the middle name might be more innovative or unique. Alternatively, if you pick a very odd initial name, the middle name can be more conventional.
A middle name is another excellent spot to include a safety word or a fallback name for your child to use later in life if they don't like their primary name. If you choose a gender-neutral name for your kid, you may add a gendered middle name such as Avery Duane or Sydney Elizabeth. It gives them options as they grow up. Having the option of using a traditional middle name can also help boost your child's self-esteem and self-confidence.
Think of potential nicknames
On this aspect, there are essentially 2 schools of thought: those who want their child's name to lend itself to beautiful possible nicknames/diminutives and those on the contrary who want to make sure that they give their child a first name that will be very difficult to manipulate, truncate or distort later on.
There's really no right or wrong answer. Simply choose your camp and select a name accordingly.
No matter what name you choose to give your cherub, don't worry too much about it: in the worst case, he will change it in due course!
Emma's talking to you about baby names
The choice of a name often leads to heated debates and discussions within the couple and the family. To keep our content accurate and educational for you, here are some references to help you choose the perfect name!
Baby boy names and baby girl names that are growing in popularity
The most popular boy names for baby boys in the United States right now are Liam, Noah, Oliver, Elijah, and William. Since 2017, Liam has held the top spot for baby boy names, while Noah and William have been among the top five for boy names since 2011.
Two-syllable names are the most popular names for baby boys: Lucas and Henry are just a few examples in the top 10. The remainder of the list is sprinkled with familiar and emerging names alike, all providing inspiration for parents looking for the ideal baby boy name for their future child.
However, while the most popular boy name for baby boys have remained consistent for several years, other boy names are gaining popularity. For example, Oliver rose from 88 in 2010 to 9th place in 2020. Elijah's position has also improved since 2010, when it was ranked 18th.
Unique baby boy names, on the other hand, are gaining favor. From 2019 through 2020, the most popular baby boy names were all quite unique, perhaps implying that they will be even more popular in 2022. Boy names like Zyair shot up 590 places; Kylo rose 483 spots; and Ocean increased 288 places.
The most popular baby girl names have remained the same since 2010: Emma, Olivia, Ava, Isabella, and Sophia were always in the top five, with minor changes in rankings.
Names that end with the letter "A" are a popular choice for many parents in 2022. Other popular baby girl names include Mia, Camila and Gianna. The rest of the list is filled with classic and modern baby girl names alike, from Elizabeth to Nova.
Unique baby girl names, like ones that are uncommon, continue to be popular. From 2019 through 2020, the names that increased in popularity most were all quite unique, perhaps indicating that not-so-common baby girl names will continue to be fashionable in 2022. Capri went up 608 places, Haisley jumped 382 spots, and Wrenley climbed 310 spots. Avayah, Denisse, Jianna, Rosalia and Zhuri, are amongst the most popular baby names for girls to include.
Know more about baby names
Now that you know the most popular names for girls and for boys, we thought it would be good idea to share some facts to help improve your knowledge as you go through the process of naming your child.
Did you know that Emma was the most popular female name in the most recent study by Retraite Québec (2018)? The popularity of the name is spreading overseas: Emma ranked second in France and was equally popular in the United States.
American and French influence can also be found in male names such as William, Logan and Liam, the three most popular male names in Quebec in 2018.
Since 1980, the law has allowed women to give their surnames to children. In 1992, 22% of children inherited double names, a trend that is now running out of steam.
If you are considering this option, ask yourself whether the combination of first and last name is harmonious or creates a particular sound and connotation.
Charlotte with one "t"
Anne Laure Sellier, professor and researcher in cognitive sciences at HEC Paris reminds parents looking for originality that changing the spelling of a classic first name could be harmful to the child. "This little extra thing that we think is extraordinary is going to become one less thing for the person," she says. (La presse, 2018)
If you have any doubts, try it! Ask different people around you to spell the first name in question.
If, for example, 10 of your relatives write "Aiden" with an "i" instead of a "y" for "Ayden", tell yourself that your child would have had to correct and spell his name to those 10 people!
Emily becomes Emilia
Baby names ending in A are on a meteoric rise, mainly due to Latin influence and immigration.
Another explanation for this increase in popularity may be due to the paradigm shift in the pronunciation of the vowel A at the end of the word, a fear for parents that the sound of the child's name would be altered.
Indeed, in some regions, a is pronounced as an open o [Ɔ], which is sometimes perceived as a "lesser sound".
Influence of the world
English first names that used to generate some disapproval are now less of a problem.
The same goes for surnames with Mexican, Latin, Czech or even Aboriginal influence such as Savannah, Caleb or Elijah.
Again, immigration would play a role in this trend.
Popular culture greatly influences trends in first name choice. For example, we saw the popularity of the name William explode after the Little Prince of England was named after him.
The cultural impact of the Game of Thrones series is also reflected in the name Aria/Arya, which has risen from 942nd place to 119th between 2010 and 2018 among our neighbours to the south.
Boy's first names tend to be chosen as a tribute to a family member or in memory of a loved one. For girls, the choice would be based more on sound and aesthetics.
There is a well-known legacy left by a women named Maria Ann Smith, who inspired the name of the famous Granny Smith apple.
Visit our directory for inspiration!
In order to enhance your baby name's search, Emma's team had a lot of fun designing a repertoire of inspirations to help you in your search.
Check out our top 100 most popular baby names for girls and boys, you can also choose the popularity from the first letter to the last!
- (Bussière, Ian. 2018. Prénoms : «Influences américaines et françaises au Québec», Le Soleil, https://www.lesoleil.com/actualite/prenoms--influences-americaine-et-francaise-au-quebec-67a944aa0d86656469398fa79a418502)
- Snapp, Lauryn. 2019. «Fun Facts About Names Day: What Does Your Name Mean?» https://www.iheart.com/content/2019-03-04-fun-facts-about-names-day-what-does-your-name-mean/
- Rocha, Roberto. «Comment Guillaume est devenu William, l’évolution des prénoms au Québec depuis 1980.» Radio-Canada. https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelles/special/2017/05/prenoms-populaires-quebec-tendance/
- Lévi, Olivia. 2018. «Notre prénom influence-il notre vie?» La presse. https://www.lapresse.ca/vivre/societe/201809/21/01-5197506-notre-prenom-influence-t-il-notre-vie.php
- Miller, Solveig. 2016. «Les noms de famille composés en voie de disparition.» Radio-Canada. https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/784666/noms-famille-double-feminisme-genealogie-histoire