Have you chosen your baby’s name yet? If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some of the hottest baby names for 2016, plus some pitfalls to avoid before you commit to registering your little one’s birth
Though there are some baby names that have barely shifted in popularity over the past decade – Oliver, Jack and Olivia anyone? – each year brings its own trends and baby names in 2016 are no different.
Official figures for this year based on birth registrations won’t be released by the Office for National Statistics until August 2017, but we can make a good guess at some of the names that will see a surge in interest compared with 2015 baby names.
Popular culture has a huge affect on name choices – it’s no coincidence that the name ‘Florence’ started to appear in baby charts around the time that Florence and the Machine were topping the music charts. In 2016 we predict ‘Aidan’ will continue to do well thanks to the recent turn by Aidan Turner in the popular TV series Poldark, while both ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘William’ may benefit from publicity for this year’s big anniversaries for HM The Queen and Shakespeare.
And if our Facebook feed is anything to go by, we could see a rise in the registration of babies with the names ‘Bowie’, ‘David’ or ‘Ziggy’ to mark the passing of one of British music’s biggest icons, while we wouldn’t be surprised to see the name ‘Prince’ popping up on a birth certificate or two.
For more accurate predictions, baby name resource Nameberry has highlighted some of the trends it has recognised in visitors to its site over the past year, including the continued dominance of names beginning with vowels, plus a leaning towards unisex names or names with an international flavour.
Here are Nameberry’s hottest baby names for 2016, based on which names attracted the most unique views to its name pages in January 2016, and which of those had increased by 50 per cent or more over the same period for 2015.
Top 10 boys names
Top 10 girls names
Tips for choosing your baby’s name
Write the name out and say it out loud. Do the initials stand for anything that could attract unwarranted attention? What can the name be shortened to?
Is there a family link/any special meaning to you? Remember, you’re going to be asked why you chose the name A LOT so be sure you’ve got a good story or can at least make one up.
Make sure you’re happy with a name before letting family and friends in on it. Remember, while old-fashioned names such as Alfie and Elsie may seem really sweet to us, to an older generation who grew up with them the first time round, they may seem very dated.
If you and your partner are not married then you both need to attend on the day you register your baby’s birth, otherwise you will need to either have a court order or a statutory declaration of parentage form to add their name to the certificate – both of which are as complicated as they sound.
What if I change my mind about the name?
Name remorse is an actual thing. If, after a while, your baby’s name doesn’t sit right or your baby grows out of it then you can change it; in fact, you can make changes to your baby’s birth certificate up to a year after the birth. Just be prepared for some raised eyebrows from friends and family…