You announce that you're having a baby, or your partner is expecting, and the questions start. After the obligatory congratulations you will hear things like, "when are you due?" "are you hoping for a boy or a girl?"  "do you know what you're having?" and "do you have any names picked out?"

If you really think about it, naming a child is a pretty big deal, they will have to live with that moniker their entire life. There are a lot of people out there who choose to honor relatives and good friends by incorporating their names with their baby's names, usually as a middle name. Some people take this too far, I'm looking at you George Foreman, who named all of his sons George, and used George as part of one of his daughter's names.

If you're looking for name ideas for your little bundle of joy, a great place to check is the Social Security Administration, you can see the most popular names of the prior year. You can also see the popularity of names in different decades and past years. It's a pretty neat site, you can research the popularity of different names, and if you're like me, avoid the top 10 when picking a name. I wanted relatively common, but not so common that there would be several children in my daughter's classes with the same name.

The top names for 2018 are:

  •  Boys:             1) Liam                                   Girls:   1) Emma
  •                        2) Noah                                               2) Olivia
  •                         3) William                                          3) Ava
  •                         4) James                                            4) Isabella
  •                         5) Oliver                                             5) Sophia
  •                         6) Benjamin                                        6) Charlotte
  •                         7) Elijah                                              7) Mia
  •                         8) Lucas                                              8) Amelia
  •                         9) Mason                                             9) Harper
  •                         10) Logan                                           10) Evelyn

Chances are if you know someone who had a baby last year, one of those names came up as a choice, if not the final name. Liam and Emma are once again America’s most popular baby names in 2018. This is the second time Liam is atop the boy's list and the fifth year in a row for Emma.  Two long timers on the list, Jacob and Abigail, fell out of the top 10 for the first time since 1992 and 2000.  There are two new names in this year’s top 10—Lucas for the first time ever, and Harper makes her way back on the list.

Social Security began compiling the baby name list in 1997, with names dating back to 1880.  At the time of a child’s birth, parents supply the name to the agency when applying for a child’s Social Security card, thus making Social Security America’s source for the most popular baby names.

Source: Social Security Administration