Popular Baby Names We Narrowly Escaped

Beyond Ava & Aiden

For baby-naming advice, grab this book via Amazon or head over to nameberrry.com.

We’re back from vacation with — as is usually the case — mixed feelings. We missed our little house and garden, and it’s always nice to say hello again to New York, but life down in Charleston was pretty good. We spent long, sunny days at the beach and pool with the kids and it was relaxing and FUN to be focused solely on them. The pool in particular was great — Jasper can actually swim now, which is huge, and Magnolia is well on her way. Wearing floaties, she’s good to go.

And they loved it. LOVED it. Hours were spent happily bobbing around on kick boards and noodles. And while we were there — with lots of other happy families — I took some mental notes on who we were in the pool with. Just as we were frequently yelling out names followed by directives — insert Jasper or Magnolia with: no pushing! don’t run! watch where you’re jumping! move away from the stairs! please don’t splash mommy in the face, she doesn’t like it! — so were other parents.

I felt, over the days we were there, that we were being exposed to a little microcosm of the most popular baby names from all around the country. (The resort where we stayed really does draw people from all over.) I started keeping a loose mental list of the names I was hearing.

And, let me just say before I launch into the list, that I absolutely believe the right baby name for your baby is the one that makes you smile when you think about it. It’s the one you love, whether it’s popular or not. For us, we wanted names that were unusual but not unheard of. But some parents want classic and familiar.

Truth be told, the names I heard at the pool weren’t really ones we almost picked…. We shied away from the “most popular” lists in a pretty self-conscious way. And I didn’t mind at all that there were no other Jaspers or Magnolias frolicking in the water. But, still — it was fun to note the names we might have gone with if we’d had different baby-naming priorities.

So…. Here are a few of the kids that were in the pool with ours:

* Jackson (more than one)

* Ava (more than one)

* Eva

* Josh

* Grayson (This one we did actually consider as a middle name for Jasper — we went with Luc instead. This Grayson was a girl, though, not a boy.)

* Sofia

* Connor

* Aiden

* Nora

* Olivia

* Emily

* Jaden

* Mason (for a girl)

And a couple of renegade choices:

* Paige

* Drew

What was important to you in picking a baby name? Did you want unusual or familiar, strong or sweet, quirky or classic?

More on baby names:

Summer Baby Names

Top 50 Baby Names of Style-Conscious Parents

100 Stylish Baby Names You Won’t Find in the Top 1,000 via nameberry on HuffPo

Beyond Ava & Aiden: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby, on Amazon


5 Responses to “Popular Baby Names We Narrowly Escaped”

  1. 1 John Mark April 27, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Ahem, you guys only get partial credit for “Jackson.” 🙂

  2. 2 Melisa April 27, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    Right you are, John Mark — Jackson, our first (and canine) child! Did we ever tell you he was almost Buckley? (Buck)? I can’t even imagine that now…. 🙂

  3. 3 John Mark April 28, 2011 at 10:11 am

    I tried out Buckley this morning and just couldn’t wrap my head around it!

  4. 4 Paula/adhocmom April 28, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    Picking out names is so tricky. I was OBSESSED with the social security administration website. . they rank the names in order of popularity by year. I was OBSESSED.

  5. 5 Melisa April 29, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    yeah, we were obsessed with the SSA list of most popular baby names by year, too…. both times we were expecting. obsessed with baby names in general. i think if we had a third, we’d just call him or her Sam and leave it at that. who has time to be obsessed like that anymore?

    funny, john mark! i know — he’s a jackson through and through.

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