Baby Names - Choosing Trendy or Traditional
Lists of baby names are always fun to look at, whether
you're seeking a name for your soon-to-be-born baby boy or
baby girl, wondering about the popularity of your own first
name, or just curious about what baby names are currently
What I find particularly interesting is tracking the popularity
of baby names over the decades. In looking through U.S.
government baby name lists from 1880 to the present,
some amusing patterns emerge, particularly in regards to
baby names for girls.
For example, in Victorian times Biblical names, such as
Mary, Sarah and Ruth were very popular for baby girls. There
were also many baby names that sounded very
old-fashioned to me, as a kid growing up in the 1960s,
including names like Martha, Alice, Bertha and Minnie.
From the 1920s to the 1950s certain baby names rose in
popularity. For example, I went to school with many Susans,
Debbies, Patricias, and Lindas. All of these baby names
have since waned, to be replaced, by the 1980s, with fancier
names such as Jennifer, Jessica and Nicole. When I was a
children's librarian in the 1980s my preschool storyhours
were populated with little girls named Lauren and Jenny,
and little boys named Alex and Matthew.
More recently there's been a lot of renewed interest in
more "old-fashioned" baby names like Hannah, Abigail and
Ethan, plus many Biblical names such as Sarah, Rachel,
Joshua, Jacob, and Samuel. There's also been a surge in
nontraditional baby names including Madison, Ashley and
Brianna for baby girls, and Brandon and Logan for baby
It's interesting to consider the whys and wherefores of
such developments. Sometimes, I suspect, the popularity of
a specific actor or fictional character might result in many
babies with a particular name. For example, were some of
the Lauras born in the 1970s and 1980s given a name
suggested by older brothers and sisters who were growing
up watching "Little House on the Prairie ?" Were some
attributable to the super popular Laura of "General Hospital"
Today Madison is a very highly ranked baby name for girls
(ranking number 3 in 2003) but, when the film "Splash"
came out in 1984, Tom Hanks' character told Daryl
Hannah's character that Madison was not a bona fide first
While baby girls' names seem quite subject to the whims
of fashion and the top ten lists can change radically over
time, I've noticed that, in general, the top baby names for
boys remain far more stable. Names like John, William and
James are perennials, perhaps because baby boys are
often named for their fathers, perpetuating the popularity of
certain baby names from generation to generation. The
"Junior" factor aside, baby boys are also less apt to be given
A comparison of the changing fortunes of my own first
name, Barbara, with those of my husband's name, Robert,
gives a good illustration of the difference in stability between
baby girl names and baby boy names over time.
My name grew in popularity in the 1930s, '40s and '50s,
peaking at the number 2 position in baby name popularity,
which it tenaciously held from 1937 to 1944. When I
attended grad school, of a class of approximately forty
students, there were no less than three baby boomers
named Barbara. Should I thank the actress Barbara
Stanwyck for this ? Alas, my first name later suffered a slow,
steady decline and placed at a pitiful number 628 position
on the baby names popularity list for the U.S. in 2003.
Robert, on the other hand, has survived the vicissitudes of
baby name popularity. It held a coveted spot on the top ten
most popular baby names list every year from 1896 to the
late 1980s, often peaking at number 1 between the 1920s
and the 1950s. It has gradually slipped since the 1990s, but
still managed to hold the respectable slot of number 35 in
When naming a baby there are, of course, many other
points to consider besides how popular or unique a name
is. Here are some helpful tips that you can use with your
other children to get them involved in choosing a name for
the new baby and to make the process fun:
1. Baby names need to go nicely with the sound of your last
name. Also, pick a first name and a middle name that go
together well. (So maybe not something like Erasmus
Beelzebub Smith !)
2. When your family finds a name you all like, look at the
initials to be sure that you don't give the new baby a name
with initials that will make people laugh. (So maybe not
Pamela Iris Green, which equals P.I.G. !)
3. You might not want a baby name that is so unusual that
the other kids will make fun of your little brother or sister as
he or she grows up. (So maybe not Rosebud or Molasses !)
4. You also might not want a baby name that is so trendy
that it will sound funny by the time the baby is ten years old.
(So maybe not Sunshine !)
5. You probably shouldn't pick a name that's really cute for
an adorable little baby but will sound silly when the baby
grows up. (So maybe not Dimples !)
6. Avoid baby names that might produce insulting
nicknames when people shorten them. (So maybe not
Smellonius, or Smelly for short !)
7. You and your family might not want a name that is so hard
to spell or to pronounce that people will always get it wrong
and your poor little brother or sister will have to go through
life correcting people. (So maybe not something like
Incandescence, or is it Incandessints ? )
8. You and your family might want to pick baby names in
honor of favorite relatives or ancestors, or special names
that show your family's ethnic roots. You might even find a
special name from a book or movie that you love. (Like Harry
9. You might want to look through books of baby names and
pick one that has a special meaning that you like - maybe
something that means "sweet" or "kind" or "brave." (So
maybe not wimp !)
10. You might want to think about names that will go nicely
with your name and your other brothers' and sisters' names,
so that if mom or dad are calling you all for dinner or signing
a birthday card to grandma it won't sound too crazy.
(So maybe not "Happy Birthday, Grandma ! Love, Joey,
Cindy and Dweevo !")
There are hundreds of names waiting for you out there, so
good luck on your search for the perfect name !
Barbara Freedman-De Vito, professional storyteller, teacher
and artist, has a website with baby clothes, children's
clothing and gift items decorated with her colorful and
amusing artwork for kids.
Everything You Need To Know About Your Baby?s Teething Process
The teething process can be a difficult period for both the baby and the parents. The process starts at different ages depending on each baby but usually by age of 3 most infants have their primary teeth in place. If by one year your baby still has not got his first tooth it would be wise to see your doctor and dentist.
How to Buy Infants? Best Educational Toys?
Buying educational toys for infants can be difficult, because infants seem to do so little that educating them right after birth might strike you as a bit rushed. However, the fact is that your baby is learning at a great speed, taking in everything that is around, and picking up habits, information and words.
New Parents Rely on Other Moms & Dads to Prepare for Baby
When most new parents are preparing for the arrival of baby this Spring, more often than not, they will not be sure what they will need as the dizzying array of options can be overwhelming. Rather than relying on recommendations by corporate America, many new parents and their loved ones are turning to products invented by other moms and dads that were created to solved real-world parenting challenges. Inventive Parent (www.inventiveparent.com), a premiere online parenting resource and a provider of solutions invented by real moms and dads, is pleased to announce their top 10 list of parent-invented, safe baby essentials.
Moses Baby Baskets
Moses Baby Baskets are a traditional, convenient place for babies especially for one who cannot sit up or cannot push itself up on its hands and knees. Modern moses baby baskets are distinct improvements over conventional ones. The fabric is made of 100 percent cotton, designed for the perfect safety and comfort of the baby. Ideally the mattress is designed in such a way that it is convenient to remove it before giving it to the laundry. The same goes for the moses basket bumper inserts also. The mattress and bumper inserts could be made of polyesters. Wash the moses basket mattress by hand in mild detergent and warm water.
Guide to Easy, Affordable Baby Shower Decorations
Great baby shower decorations are more about using your imagination than your pocketbook! You can create a wonderful party mood with simple, high-impact arrangements. This article details some of the best ideas for baby shower decorations.
Prepare Your Child For Potty Training
When your child shows a majority of the signs of potty training readiness, you can start introducing him to the idea of using the potty.
To Invite or not to Invite the Dad to the Shower?
Do you invite dad to the baby shower? As per the old tradition, the baby showers are "ladies only" celebrations and generally the dad did not attend them. However, he would arrive at the end of the baby shower to greet and thank all the baby shower guests and the hostess.
Facts You Should Know About Baby Shower Etiquette
Whether you're hosting a baby shower for the first time or not, chances are you've got some questions regarding the right baby shower etiquette. You want to create a truly special time for the guest of honor without any unintended faux pas. This guide was specially created to help you do exactly that.
Where Will You Give Birth To Your Baby?
Where To Give Birth..
Baby Massage: A Cure for Colic
Colic hurts. Any parent who has an affected child will know that there is almost no pain like it ? the physical and vocal response to the problem can be highly tiring and its very difficult to stand by and cope as a parent. It's often tough to ask ? what the hell is going on inside my baby?! When the problem arises, as it's so common and many health visitors expect parents to be aware of the nature of the affliction and how to deal with it.
7 Stages of Potty Training
There are seven stages of potty training. They begin with showing signs of potty training readiness and conclude with being able to use the toilet away from home.
What to Look For When Choosing Baby Furniture
If you're a new parent, be aware that you baby will probably spend more time in the nursery than anywhere else. So you do need to make it absolutely safe and comfortable. Make it attractive and well organized too.
Should Your Baby Sleep In Your Bed?
Breastfeeding is easier, you don't have to get out of bed to feed baby.
Many mothers say baby sleeps better - if she wakes she is
more likely to be comforted by your presence and heartbeat and go back to sleep.
You will probably get more sleep.
Potty Training Boys - How To Potty Train Boys - Do You Teach Them to Sit or Stand?
I am asked this question by many parents - they all want to know whether to start potty training boys to urinate standing up or sitting down.
Baby Shower Checklist-Hostess
Using baby shower checklist-hostess are the best way to stay organized if you are planning a baby shower. The more organized you are the better the shower will be. You also want to make things as stress free for yourself as possible so that you don't come across as the frazzled hostess.
3 Simple Steps In Searching For A Baby Name
Potty Training Doll - How Do You Use A Potty Training Doll To Potty Train You Child?
Your heard about using a potty training doll that drinks and wets to assist in the process of potty training. Okay - that sounds good. So how do you use a potty training doll?
Should You Get Baby Shower Game Ideas for Free?
There are quite a few baby shower game ideas for free online. Low priced games on pre-printed forms are also available and make it easier for your guests to understand the rules of the game and what is expected of each player. You no longer have to tear pieces of paper out of a spiral notebook at the last minute and spend fifteen minutes and two "trial game runs" explaining what your guests are supposed to write.
Should I Call The Doctor If My Baby Has A Fever
Sooner or later, your new baby will develop a fever. It would be a rare child who does not come down with some kind of illness that elevates their temperature. Babies can get fevers for a variety of reasons, and understanding the whys, can help you determine if you should call your doctor.
Breastfeeding A Baby
Breastfeeding Your Baby..