Parenting and baby website Bounty has published its list of the most popular baby names in 2012 (click here for the full top 100 list). Amelia took the top spot for the girls, followed by Olivia, Emily, Jessica and Sophie. For boys, Harry was the most popular name last year with Jack, Charlie, Oliver and Alfie also featured in the top five.
Only one of my children’s names was in the top 100 (Cameron at number 65) so I hope that doesn’t mean that we have chosen really uncool names! It did get me thinking though of how we decide the names for our children and how hard it is to find one that both parents like. When I was expecting my first child almost ten (!!) years ago we found it really hard to agree on a boys name (we didn’t know the sex of the baby but for a girl we had agreed on Alice after my grandmother). I wanted Lucas for a boy but my husband refused, instead suggesting Roger (after Roger Moore – I think you can all guess my reaction to that one!). In the end we were deciding between Oscar and William right up until he was born when all of a sudden we decided he was a Cameron.
With number two the name decision was relatively painless. It was the only pregnancy where we found out the sex and we agreed on Casper fairly early on as it went well with Cameron and was a bit unusual (although I think it’s quite a common name in Sweden where I was born). By the time I was pregnant with number three I had quite a few friends with girls called Alice so we decided on Clementine for a girl (although her middle name is Alice). If she had been a boy I don’t think she would have had a name starting with a ‘c’ because we found it impossible to agree on one. In the end we had settled on Theodor (which is also Casper’s middle name) but it was very much a compromise.
Whether a name is ‘popular’ or not has not really had any influence on our choices although by the time I was pregnant with number three I probably would have steered clear of any names in the top five as I imagine it would be annoying to have two or more people with the same name in your class. However, the great irony is that having chosen quite an unusual girls name (in the eight years that I’ve had children at nursery and/or school I have never come across a Clementine), there is now another Clemmie in her playgroup! They will be in the same year at school so chances are that she will end up being called Clemmie A anyway!
And, of course, popular names change all the time. Bounty says that vintage style names like Elsie Frankie and Arthur are the baby names “to watch” for 2013 while online pareting organistaion Netmums predicts a surge in names inspired by films such as the Hobbit and The Hunger Games. So watch this space: there could be some baby Thorins or Katniss being born in the next 12 months.