Whether it’s for your new baby or someone else’s, finding a baby name that feels right can be one of life’s biggest challenges.
When you name a child, they’re most likely stuck with that name for life – so you have to make sure that you pick wisely.
Where once parents and grandparents relied on books filled with baby names for inspiration, today websites are the main source for name-hunters. But with so many to choose from, where do you start?
Finding the right baby name on the web
Before you pick a name that’s right for a new baby, it’s a good idea to check out what other parents are naming their children too. In 2012, Harry and Amelia topped the list of popular names for boys and girls respectively – a repeat win from 2011. Before that, Oliver, Sophie, Joshua and Olivia were popular choices. Thanks to Babycentre.co.uk, you can see how trends in names have changed in the UK since 2000 to get your imagination flowing. They also have baby name ideas based on a range of different categories, including faith, nature and colours.
Another fantastic online resource is Mumsnet’s Baby Names section. Here, you’ll find more details on how to find names, their meanings and a few ideas about celebrity baby names too. Since Mumsnet is a site that’s run by parents for parents, there’s some valuable practical tips here too on how to choose names and middle names that go with your surname, as well as some handy dos and don’ts from mums and dads who’ve been through it all before.
Babynames.co.uk also has some great guidance on baby names. They also have a section on unisex names – like, for instance, Alex and Sidney – which is great for parents who don’t want to find out their baby’s gender before the birth but would still like to brainstorm names.
American inspiration for baby names
The beauty of the internet is that it’s possible to find baby name inspiration from anywhere in the world. So if you’re having trouble finding a name you like, American websites may be able to provide some encouragement when their UK counterparts have not.
Nameberry is a very popular US baby name site, and for good reason. Their detailed and regularly updated blog takes on a range of subjects, from trends in celebrity baby names to more philosophical topics like how a name can influence someone’s life. The website’s creators have even published their own guides for parents-to-be who would still prefer to look for names in book-form.
Perhaps the most popular US baby name website is Baby Name Wizard. This is an excellent website, with a handy range of tools that generate names according to your guidelines. Their advanced baby name finder tool, for example, lets you enter a range of parameters for your baby name. You can select over 10 different style preferences, ranging from “traditional” to “highly unusual”. You can even specify starting letters and minimum/maximum length and syllables, so it’s the ideal tool for very exacting mums and dads to be.
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