Amanda Cassidy on one of the biggest decisions you'll ever have to make... making a choice about baby names.
Chances are that you've harboured your favourite names since childhood - performing naming ceremonies on dolls and avoiding any negative associations with your dream name. (Every one of my dolls had NANCY scrawled across their forehead in black marker.) You are finally pregnant, and then comes the day that you reveal the Chosen Name to your partner (drum roll, honey) ...only to have them grimace in disgust and shake their head slowly. No. Never. Eugh.
Naming your baby is a big responsibility. It is also a valuable lesson in collaboration with the human who helped you create the squirmy little cutie currently performing backflips under your ribs. My best doll's name was vetoed pretty rapidly when I fell pregnant with my daughter. The second time around, I knew better and convinced my lovely husband that I would humbly acquiesce to the name Bobby because he obviously really loved it. Cue a slow, puzzled nod (he'd never mentioned the name) and voilá, handsome Bobby (and my number one boy's name) became a reality. I was never going to risk losing the best boy's name in the world.
Then, of course, you have to contend with the fact that often couples fall in love with the same name. Couples who happen to be friends. The dilemma: do you go ahead with your name choice even though they might be 'put out' that you 'stole' their name? Or do you remember that hormones make people crazy and that you'll name your offspring whatever the hell you like? I have an Isabella and my sister has a Belle. Both my friends have sons called Max. There are four Sophies in Junior Infants. Everyone is still alive.
This year sees more of the sophisticated continental names that were popular back in 2018, like Elio, Elodie and Theodora, but short punchy choices are now front and centre.
Pretty Ada tops the girl's name list from Nameberry (Editors have been tracking the 2018 trends and birth cert registrations to predict which names parents will be picking in 2019). Whimsical Ariella and Astrid join adorable Wren and Elsie as some of the most popular girl's names. Little boys at the playground will now answer to staccato-sounding Otto, Jet and Atlas.
Nature-inspired colours seem to be topping the baby moniker lists for the year ahead too. Natural hues (think Fawn and Ivory) will be trending along with jewel-inspired names like Emerald and Topaz. Animal-themed names are also going to be huge in 2019, with Lynx and Hawk swooping in to take the top spots this year alongside old-grandma names like Mabel and Esther.
Here are the top 100 baby names for 2019 to kick off your wish list. Now's the time to start laying the groundwork for one of the most important collaborations you'll ever have to do with your significant other. (But hands off Bobby - that name is MINE).