Naming Your Baby - How the Name You Pick Can Shape Your Baby's Future

What's in a name? If you believe the experts, the answer is everything from behavior, to success in the job market and more!


Baby name expert Laura Wattenburg says choosing your newborn baby's name is so important because of what people really hear when then hear someone's name. "We all read a lot of information into a name, it's not just the sound. It's age, religion, ethnicity and gender and a whole world of culture packed into those few letters."


Wattenberg wrote the book "The Baby Name Wizard" which is now in its fourth edition. She also started the website www.Namerology.com which is all about the art and science of baby naming.


Multiple studies have been done on the impact of names with a few interesting results:


Boys who have names that are typically associated with females, like Courtney or Ashley, are more likely to have behavioral problems in school.


Girls with names that have masculine associations - like Jordan - are more likely to study science.


"Today's name sound is very smooth and liquid.  Lots of vowels, lots of smooth sounds.  No hard edges to anything.  We are pushing that style to its limit.  We have drummed the hard sounds out of our names to an extent," says Wattenberg.


And what about the trendiness of unisex names?  Wattenberg says that's a bit of an illusion.  "What's happening is there is such a movement towards creativity, parents want names that sound fresh and interesting, so they're creating new names, inventing something new or turning a word or surname into a first name.  Those new names don't have any traditional gender association.  What's really happening is that we're no longer naming kids John and Mary so inevitably a lot of names are used for both boys and girls.  I don't see evidence that parents are more eager for unisex names than they were in the past."


So - what were the top names of 2019? 

For the girls, here are the names that topped BabyCenter.com's baby name report.


1. Sophia

2. Olivia

3. Emma

4. Ava

5. Aria

6. Isabella

7. Amelia

8. Mia

9. Riley

10. Aliyah


And for the boys...


1. Liam

2. Jackson

3. Noah

4. Aiden

5. Grayson

6. Caden

7. Lucas

8. Elijah

9. Oliver

10. Muhammad

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