Top Baby Names of 2018

Between planning nursery décor, comparing bottle styles, and checking crib reviews, naming your baby is the biggest decision that you will make during your pregnancy. Cultures around the world attach fateful meanings to names and celebrate sacred naming ceremonies to welcome each new life into the world.

Traditionally, names have been chosen to honor an ancestor or plucked from religious stories, and many of these classic names continue to top annual popularity lists. Thousands of boys are named Jacob, James, and Matthew every year while Sophia, Isabella, and Emily are among the top choices for girls. Noah has held the top spot for four years running, and Emma has been in the top three since 2003.

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In an effort to help their child stand out from the crowd, parents are increasingly leaning towards creative names. Some want a bold name that is entertaining or artsy, while others want to give their child a name that sounds strong, intelligent, and attractive. Regional, cultural, and family names can prove to be a rich source of inspiration. Celebrities and current events also influence name choices, so we are seeing more names like Chance, Lebron, Kyrie, Kendrick, Theodore, and Jasper. For obvious reasons, appreciation for the names Kylo for a boy and Kehlani for a girl has spiked during the past two years.

Challenges of Naming a Child

Picking the perfect name for your child is a big deal. Right now, you are likely discarding names because of embarrassing initials, playing rhyming games to identify mean nicknames, and avoiding combinations that produce an eye-rolling pun. Some cultures believe that your name determines your personality and dictates your destiny. Alternatively, extensive studies in psychology have found that your name influences others’ assumptions and perceptions. Since there is so much pressure to get it right, parents often agonize over potential pitfalls that they failed to see.

Some parents select a name to honor a member of their family while others feel it is important for their child to have their own identity. You can research your family tree or pass on a maiden name for a middle name. You might experiment with alternate spellings of traditional names, such as Mikael for Michael or Conor instead of Conner. You can even reinvent a baby name by switching or adding letters, such as Emmie instead of Emma, or Jeramias over Jeramiah.

From your grandmother to your coworkers to your best friends, there will never be a shortage of opinions about your baby’s name. Parental agreements are difficult enough, so you have to live with not pleasing everyone. When someone voices their thoughts, simply thank them for the suggestion. If you really want to give your circle a chance for input, then have them vote on your top choices.

Ultimately, you want a name that is unique but pronounceable and gives your child a distinct place among their peers. The following names have yet to gain mainstream popularity but are quickly rising up the ranks:

Up and Coming Baby Boy Names

  • Abdiel
  • Alistair
  • Alvaro
  • Anakin
  • Apollo
  • Arlo
  • Asher
  • Baylor
  • Beckett
  • Benicio
  • Bodhi
  • Brayson
  • Brixton
  • Brysen
  • Cairo
  • Canaan
  • Colton
  • Creed
  • Damari
  • Dangelo
  • Elias
  • Ezra
  • Everett
  • Finnley
  • Franco
  • Graysen
  • Hakeem
  • Hayes
  • Hudson
  • Karim
  • Khalid
  • Kingsley
  • Koda
  • Kohen
  • Kylo
  • Leandro
  • Levi
  • Lincoln
  • Lyle
  • Mateo
  • Nolan
  • Oliver
  • Roman
  • Rhett
  • Sage
  • Sawyer
  • Tadeo
  • Westley
  • Wyatt
  • Zayn

Up and Coming Baby Girl Names

  • Ailani
  • Alessia
  • Amara
  • Amelia
  • Ariah
  • Aurora
  • Aviana
  • Blaire
  • Calliope
  • Charlotte
  • Clara
  • Cora
  • Davina
  • Elora
  • Emmie
  • Harper
  • Hazel
  • Gemma
  • Joelle
  • Jolene
  • Kehlani
  • Kinsley
  • Lucy
  • Luna
  • Mavis
  • Mila
  • Nala
  • Nalani
  • Nora
  • Novalee
  • Ophelia
  • Paisley
  • Penelope
  • Piper
  • Poppy
  • Reign
  • Remington
  • Riya
  • Ruby
  • Samara
  • Saylor
  • Scarlett
  • Sienna
  • Stella
  • Sylvie
  • Thea
  • Tinley
  • Violet
  • Willow
  • Zaylee