What’s in a name? Baby Name Trends of 2011 & 2012


As the year comes to a close, I thought this would be the perfect time to talk baby names. The top baby names of 2011, the hottest trends for the coming year, and advice on where to search for your perfect name.  

An overall trend in 2011 was a shift from what we’ve seen in the past.  Parents tended to name their babies with an edge towards what other people will see their child as, not with the names having a personal significance; sorry grandpa Ralph and uncle Bob.

As reported by BabyCenter, the top 3 names for girls in 2011 were Sophia, Emma, & Isabella. The top 3 for boys were Aiden, Jackson, & Mason. These were compiled from 1000’s of parents reporting their baby’s names, and they take into consideration the different variations in spelling, for example, Sophia & Sofia.


The Hottest Trends report showed  that names like Anderson & Cooper were running up the charts alongside William, Kate & Catherine. Not surprising to me all of the Kardashian names have dropped, except for Mason, Kimberly, & Kendall.  Politician’s kids names have risen such as Malia, Chelsea, Bristol, Willow & Piper. And “going green” names, like Summer (which for the 1st time made it into the top 100), June, May, August, Clover, Robin, Violet, Brooks, Forrest & River are all moving up.

BabyCenter also has some great tools for you to use for free. They have an extensive baby name finder, and a great Baby Name Poll tool so you can poll your friends & family on your top choices. They also had a Birthday Time Machine, which lists the birth stone, horoscope sign, famous birthdays, notable events, and fun facts for any day of the year you put in, try your birthday or your due date.

BabyNameWizard.com comes up with a name of the year which isn’t based on polls or popularity, but is a name they feel encompasses what the year was about.

 2011 was a tech-centric year; and with that clue it’s no surprise their name of the year was Siri. The runner up was Pippa.

I recently read a great article about name stealing.  I won’t be listing my fave names here because of that article!   How many of you have told a girlfriend or sister your favorite name & suddenly they’re pregnant & claim it was their first choice, too? Is there really a “right” to names or a “claim” on a certain name? On the flip side, it is really un-cool if you have voiced your favorite name since the 6th grade and your best friend steals it.  Don’t sweat these situations because it’s really not going to matter in the long run if two children end up with the same name.

nameberryNameberry.com came up with a trendy list of the most notable names of 2011. I am loving them. They have an edge towards the new & modern with some leaning towards the past. Here’s the list: Pippa, Asa, Harper, Viola, Siri, Mitt, Rooney, Hadley, Rory, Gabrielle, & Elvis. A really fun part of the NameBerry site is the live ticker at the top of the page that shows what names people are currently searching the site for.

The book, “The Baby Name Almanac 2012” had some really fun stats & trends. Like, in 2010Baby Names Almanac 2012 the top names for babies born in NY State were Isabella (with 1,513 births) & Michael (with 1,506 births). A fun fact was that the names Maci and Bentley shot up the charts. Maci rocketed 423 spaces to number 232, and Bentley jumped up 414 slots to number 101. Thanks MTV’s Teen Mom! They also reported to be on the lookout for a rise in the name Adele. I think it’s a great choice; old fashioned but still modern.

Some great resources for baby names can be found online:

And a ton of great books are out there. Here’s some of my faves:


Ilissa Goman is the baby guru behind Binx, a local baby planning company in Upstate New York. You can find more info on her services at www.BinxBaby.com & make sure to attend the Saratoga Baby Expo to meet her in person!


What are some of your favorite names? Did you claim a name & someone stole it? Do you lean towards trendy & modern or did you names your kids more traditionally? Share your stories here!


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