Baby Names Archives - Real Mom Recs


Baby Names

Top 100 Most Popular Baby Names of This Year

When I was choosing baby names for my kids, I tried hard to avoid giving them a name that is too popular. Many parents prefer unique names so the child won’t be one of several kids in their class with the same name. Jennifers of the 1980s know what I’m talking about!

Whether you are looking for common names to see what names are trending, or want to avoid names that are being used too much, you’ll be interested in the top 100 most popular baby names of this year.

Most popular baby names of this year

As usual, I recommend looking up any name you’re considering for your child on the social security website. It will show you how popular the name is and whether it’s on the decline or on the rise up the charts.

Some highlights of the lists include:

  • Liam taking the top spot on the boy charts for the second year in a row (it’s been in the top 3 since 2013)
  • Emma grabs the top spot for the girls for the FIFTH year in a row (and it’s been in the top 3 since 2003!)
  • Madison begins its decline, taking a seat outside the top 20 for the first time since 1996
  • Asher breaks into the top 50 for the first time ever

Now let’s start off with the girls name list!

Most popular girl names

Most popular girl names

  1. Emma
  2. Olivia
  3. Ava
  4. Isabella
  5. Sophia
  6. Charlotte
  7. Mia
  8. Amelia
  9. Harper
  10. Evelyn
  11. Abigail
  12. Emily
  13. Elizabeth
  14. Mila
  15. Ella
  16. Avery
  17. Sofia
  18. Camila
  19. Aria
  20. Scarlett
  21. Victoria
  22. Madison
  23. Luna
  24. Grace
  25. Chloe
  26. Penelope
  27. Layla
  28. Riley
  29. Zoey
  30. Nora
  31. Lily
  32. Eleanor
  33. Hannah
  34. Lillian
  35. Addison
  36. Aubrey
  37. Ellie
  38. Stella
  39. Natalie
  40. Zoe
  41. Leah
  42. Hazel
  43. Violet
  44. Aurora
  45. Savannah
  46. Audrey
  47. Brooklyn
  48. Bella
  49. Claire
  50. Skylar

If you prefer a less common name than what’s in the top 50, take a look at my beautiful girl names you don’t hear every day. Or for something very uncommon, I also have a list of pretty unique girl names.

Do you have a short list of favorite girl names? I’d love to hear them in the comments!

Now, on to the boys!

Most popular boy names

Most popular boy names

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. William
  4. James
  5. Oliver
  6. Benjamin
  7. Elijah
  8. Lucas
  9. Mason
  10. Logan
  11. Alexander
  12. Ethan
  13. Jacob
  14. Michael
  15. Daniel
  16. Henry
  17. Jackson
  18. Sebastian
  19. Aiden
  20. Matthew
  21. Samuel
  22. David
  23. Joseph
  24. Carter
  25. Owen
  26. Wyatt
  27. John
  28. Jack
  29. Luke
  30. Jayden
  31. Dylan
  32. Grayson
  33. Levi
  34. Isaac
  35. Gabriel
  36. Julian
  37. Mateo
  38. Anthony
  39. Jaxon
  40. Lincoln
  41. Joshua
  42. Christopher
  43. Andrew
  44. Theodore
  45. Caleb
  46. Ryan
  47. Asher
  48. Nathan
  49. Thomas
  50. Leo

Typically the most popular boy names are filled with lots of historical and traditional names, which this list certainly has. However trends are starting to change in the boy name department with some more modern boy names breaking into the charts.

And if you are prefer uncommon boy names, there is an inspiration list for those too!

Do you seek out the most popular names? Or do you avoid them?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

And if you’re pregnant, you’ll want to check out the Postpartum Handbook– it has everything new moms want to know that no one prepares you for. Tips for using the bathroom after giving birth, C-section recovery tips, how to speed healing, and much more!

The postpartum handbook

Beware: These Are The Most Misspelled Names

If you’re in the midst of choosing a baby name, you’ll want these easily misspelled names to be on your radar. Whether the spelling is inherently confusing to people, or there are just TOO MANY different spelling options, these names trip people up over and over.

Most misspelled names: baby names very likely to be spelled wrong

Any name can be misspelled

Before you chime in with “well any name can be misspelled!”, let me just say… I know.

My husband has one of the most common, easily recognized names in the English language. It’s John. People still find ways to misspell it.

Sure, there are Jonathans out there that go by Jon, so that is a forgivable mistake. But then there are people who are just easily confused and spell it “Jhon”. Can’t make this stuff up!

So yes, it is true that ANY name will occasionally get misspelled. That will be true as long as there are people in the world who just can’t spell.

That said, not all names are misspelled with the same frequency.

Some will be spelled wrong on occasion, while others will be spelled wrong more often than they’re spelled right.

Does it really matter if people misspell the name?

Yes and no.

It’s not the end of the world to have to correct your name every time people write it. You get used to it and you move on with your life.

But if you are naming a child, you might be interested in avoiding that inconvenience for them.

Or perhaps you are on the fence about a name, and knowing that it often gets misspelled may steer you in a different direction. That’s where this list may come in handy.

Tips to avoid having your child’s name misspelled

In some cases, it’s unavoidable. People can have your name right in front of them (think Facebook, or email) and STILL misspell it. See above re: some people just can’t spell.

But there are some things you can do when choosing a name that will make these errors less likely.

  1. Choose a name that is known and recognized. You can’t make up a name and then annoyed that people are unsure of how to spell it. If you want to get creative, having to spell it out every time is par for the course.
  2. If you go with a name that has several spellings, choose the most conventional. Sometimes this is up for debate but typically there is one spelling that is far more common than the rest. For example if you like the name Jordan and don’t want it misspelled, go with Jordan and not Jordyn.
  3. Avoid names with tons of spelling options. If a name has ten spelling variations, the chances of it being spelled wrong is going to hover around 90%. Read on to find out which names those are!
  4. Avoid names that don’t sound like they’re spelled. People get really confused by silent letters. Isla is an absolutely beautiful name, but when people hear it they won’t instinctively know to put an “s” in there.

baby looking confused and worried over his misspelled name

Now, on to the names!

This list of the most misspelled names can be broken into two groups. Names that are misspelled because they are different or difficult to spell, and names that are misspelled because there are many spelling variations.

Frequently Misspelled Names (Hard for people to spell):


Something about that double “a” just really messes with people. You’ll see a lot of “Issac”, which doesn’t actually make sense phonetically. 


Again, it’s the string of vowels that make it difficult. There isn’t a common misspelling for it, you just get a lot of “Is….” followed by a blank stare.


A stunningly beautiful girls name, the silent “s” can trip people up. You might see Aila, Iyla, or just get asked repeatedly how to spell it.


This is such a common name, but since its spelling doesn’t exactly reflect its pronunciation it tends to get butchered. Nickolas, Nicholis, and Nikolas may be some mistakes you’ll see. (Some of these are the correct spellings in other languages, which can further complicate the confusion.)


Elijah comes from Hebrew so it has sounds that are somewhat uncommon for English speakers. The spelling makes sense phonetically, but it won’t come naturally to everyone.


Malachi is another Hebrew name that’s a little different for most people because the “chi” is pronounced “kai”. It also has spellings Malachy and Malakai to add to the uncertainty.


This is a tricky one because some people pronounce the X while others say it “Zay-vee-er”. Either way you’re looking at lots of room for error when strangers try to write it.


A super cool uncommon boys name, Joaquin is sure to confuse people who aren’t Spanish speaking. For the record, you say it “wah-KEEN”.


Be honest: the first time you read this name in Harry Potter, you said it wrong.

In fact, I just had to Google how to spell it to make sure I didn’t misspell it in the most misspelled names article!


I get it, it doesn’t look like sheh-VHAN, but that’s what it is. Did you know it’s actually the Irish Gaelic female version of John?


It’s a French name and different than what we’re used to. If you choose Yvonne for your child, recognize that they will always need to spell it out for people.

Most Misspelled Names (Many spelling variations)

starbucks cup with frequently misspelled names


Yes, this is my name. And the misspellings I’ve been getting on my Starbucks cups are the inspiration for this post. (Caitland??? Really? Am I my own country now?)

Caitlin arguably has the most spelling variations of any name in the English language. 

In fact, I bet I can rattle off 15 spellings without even having to pause: Katelin, Kaitlin, Kaitlyn, Kaitlynn, Katelyn, Katelynn, Kaytlin, Kaytlyn, Kaytelin, Caitlin, Caitlyn, Caitlynn, Catelin, Catelyn, Catelynn, Caytlin, Caytlyn. And that’s not even close to all of them.


Katie has similar issues to its sister name, Katelin (or is it Katelyn?)

It’s a very cute name but the number of possible spellings is a bit daunting. Katie would be the most common, but there’s also the accepted Katy and a host of other creative possibilities: Caitie, Catie, Caty, Kaitie, Kaitee, KT and more.


This one is a longer name with MANY places for people to make mistakes. There are also a host of possible spellings, includng McKenzie, Mackenzy, Mackynzie, McKenzey, Makenzie, etc.


Given the extreme popularity of this name in the early 2000s, you would think it’s one of the easiest names to spell. But all the variations have left people confused and prone to misspelling it. In addition to Aiden and Aidan, you will also find it spelled Aaden, Aden, Aidyn, and Ayden.

Note these variations will hold true for the other -ayden names like Jayden/Jaiden and Kayden/Caiden.


Another very cute name that simply has too many options. Whichever option you choose, people will still try to spell it one of the others ways. Kayleigh, Kailee, Kaley, Kaileigh, Caylee, and Cayley are just some of the possibilities.


When I was a kid, all the Ashleys were spelled “Ashley”, but now you will also see Ashlee, Ashlie, and Ashleigh.


There is definitely no agreement on this one. Carrie, Carey, Karrie, Kerry, and Kari are all popular spellings.


The Welsh girls name Megan has lead to tons of different spellings, making it often misspelled. There is really no way to know if someone is Megan, Meagan, Meghan, Meaghan, or Megann.


Just like its nickname Katie, Katherine is going to confuse people because we’ve all seen so many different versions. Catherine, Kathryn, and Cathryn to name a few.


This trending baby name is growing in popularity, but the spelling variations can be confusing. The most common spelling is Everly, but alternate spellings Everlee and Everleigh are popping up.


It seems like a straightforward boys name, but with three “normal” options, it’s easy to mix up Connor, Conor, and Conner.


A very pretty underused girl name, Michaela can also be found as Micaela, Mikayla, or even Makayla.


Gender neutral names are so in right now, but there is no consensus on whether it should be spelled Payton or Petyon (or even Peighton or Paityn!)


A lovely name that can easily be misspelled, Julianna is alternately spelled Juliana, or the Italian version Giuliana.


A nice soft, feminine name, Lila can also be spelled Lyla, Lylah or Lilah.

50/50 Names

50/50 names are names that have two known and accepted spellings of roughly equal popularity.

In the case of these names, the person has to make others aware of which spelling they use and hope the person remembers correctly. They will be mistaken with some frequency, but likely not enough to dissuade someone from choosing the name.

Examples include:

  • Sara/Sarah
  • Isabelle/Isabel
  • Sienna/Siena
  • Jackson/Jaxon
  • Savanna/Savannah
  • Allison/Alison
  • Layla/Laila
  • Collin/Colin
  • Sean/Shawn
  • Elliot/Elliott
  • Grayson/Greyson
  • Maya/Mya
  • Aubrey/Aubree
  • Sofia/Sophia
  • Sebastian/Sebastien
  • Julian/Julien

What to do if you’re unsure about a name spelling

If you are unsure about which spelling to go with (or just want to see how the average person will spell a name), try this trick. Say the name out loud to 5 or more friends and have them write down what they think the name is. If most or all come up with the same spelling, that’s the one to go with. If you get handed five different spellings, the name is going to be a problem for people to spell.

Moms tell their misspelled name stories

I love the old classic names, and I named my youngest daughter “Eleanor” which is the classic spelling. I’ve had multiple people spell it Ellanor even after I’ve corrected them multiple times. They’ve said it’s not a big deal, but I feel like it is! A person’s name is such a huge part of them that I feel like taking the time to learn to spell and pronounce it right is important.


My son’s name is Jackson but we call him Jack. I am constantly asked if we spell his name as Jax instead of Jack. Or we always get is his name spelled Jaxon or even had it spelled at Jacksyn! Seems pretty straightforward but people also have a lot of ways they want to try and manipulate it.


My daughter’s name is Charlotte. People always spell it Charolette. I thought it was a pretty common name!


My daughter is named Zoe and people always spell it wrong. Usually Zoey or Zoi. It drives me nuts. I’ve even had people question me, “Are you sure that’s how you spell it?” Um, yes, I’m pretty sure I know how to spell my daughters name.


Isaiah is very often confused with Isaac. Also I’ve seen it spelled with all combination of vowels. We got a paper from school once where his name was written Isaiaiah.


My son Heath is always called Keith. I have had to repeat over and over that it is “Heath with an H.” That really confused someone and they said “well yea, Keith ends with an H. How else would you spell it? Do you mean Kh?”


I’d love to hear your name misspelling stories!

Leave me a comment!


Beautiful Girl Names You Don’t Hear Every Day

Many parents are looking to make their child stand out when they choose a baby name. Others just want a gorgeous name that fits their child and are ok with it being well-known. These beautiful girl names perfectly fit that description.

While not entirely unique (you’ve probably heard them all before), they also aren’t names you hear over and over.

If you’re looking for a beautiful girl name that isn’t super popular but also not unheard of, this is a great list for you. None of these names are ranked in the top 30 according to social security.

Beautiful girl names that are less popular


Alternately spelled Lilah, Lila is a lovely name that has never been in the top 100 most popular names.


This name has a similar feel to several super popular girl names: Ava, Maya, and Amelia. If you like the style of those, Amaya is a gorgeous underused choice.


Gwendolyn is a beautiful Welsh name meaning white ring, and comes with the cute, spunky nickname Gwen.


A pretty name with tons of pop culture associations (remember the Simon and Garfunkel song?) Cecilia is a well-known name that amazingly hasn’t hit the top of the charts.


The epitome of understated beauty! Caroline is a classic, feminine name that is a perfect if you want to avoid anything too trendy.


Beautiful girl names- Lorelei

If you don’t count characters from Gilmore Girls, chances are you haven’t met more than one or two people named Lorelei in your life. This beautiful name has a modern, exotic feel without being too complicated or “out there”.


Alternately spelled Hallie, Halle is a simple but lovely name of Norse origin. You may be surprised to know that at one point in history it was a masculine name (diminutive form of Harald), making this a former boy name turned over to the girls.


Fans aren’t only looking for Disney inspired boy names, they are taking the lead from female characters too! Aurora is the true name of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty, and it is the name of the Roman goddess of sunrise as well. Mythology says that her tears turned to the morning dew.


There is no shortage of beautiful famous Natalies out there between Natalie Cole, Natalie Wood, and Natalie Portman. Narrowly missing the top ten at its peak in 2008, Natalie has held steady in the thirties for the last several years.


An old-fashioned name with a modern feel, Cora is as pretty as it is simple. Use alone or as a nickname for Coralie, Cordelia, or Coraline.


If you like elegant girl names, Cynthia is a posh, classy choice.


Imani is a gorgeous name of Arabic origin that is easy to spell and pronounce in a wide variety of languages.


A less popular but just as nice choice as all the hot El- names right now, Eliana has a great soft flow.


Melodic and feminine Angelina is a sweet, beautiful girl name choice.


Camille is a sleek, glamorous French name that has held steady around the 200s in the popularity.


A Hebrew name meaning life, short and sweet 3 letter name Eva can be pronounced EE-va or AY-va.


Channel Audrey Hepburn with this Hollywood glam old fashioned name.


Milena- beautiful girl names

A top baby name in Poland, Milena is completely underused in the U.S., barely breaking the top 1000 girl names.


A French name meaning victorious, Nicolette balances class and sweetness.


Oriana is actually a medieval name, but sounds like a contemporary take on Ariana or Briana.


A gorgeous and versatile Italian name, Sienna can also be spelled Siena like the city in Tuscany.


This beautiful feminine name is uncommon but feels familiar because of its popular components, Emma and -lyn.


A cross-cultural gem, Mira has roots in Spanish, Arabic, and Slavic languages.


Whether you spell it Janiyah, Janaya, or Janiah, this pretty name is widely known but not overused.


A lovely choice for any music lover, Melody is a Greek name meaning song. (Similarly, Harmony makes another beautiful girl name!)


Beautiful girl names you don't hear every day

Don’t be scared by the spelling! This Irish beauty is pronounced “Ro-sheen” and it means rose. I think we have our answer to “would a rose by any other name smell as sweet?”


This fun, spunky name means “happy”. What greater wish could you have for your daughter?


It peaked in popularity in the 1990s, but Alyssa is an uncommon choice for today’s baby girls.


The cute Briella easily lends itself to the nickname Brie or Ella. Take your pick, or leave it long.


Esme rose up the charts quickly thanks to the character from the popular Twilight saga, but it remains an underused choice hovering around number 500 on the charts.


A sweet choice among the country girl names, Callie works as a nickname or on its own.


Sophisticated Isla (pronounced eye-la) is a gentle-sounding name meaning island.


A Hindu name meaning night, Nisha has crossed over into the English speaking world and makes a beautiful name for any female.

Do you have a favorite of these beautiful girl names?

When it comes to girls names, there is no shortage of gorgeous choices. I’d love to hear any you’d like to add, whether popular or uncommon. Leave me a comment!

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Oh Baby Pregnancy Planner Banner

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Unique Gender Neutral Baby Names To Keep Them Guessing

Gender-neutral parenting is HUGE right now, and of course that includes baby names. More and more parents are seeing the advantage of choosing a name that beautifully fits a son or a daughter. Some couples even choose the name without knowing the sex of the baby (what an amazingly fun surprise!) If you are looking for unique gender neutral baby names beyond the mundane and overused, this list is for you.

Unique Gender Neutral Baby Names

Traditional gender neutral names like Robin, Taylor and Jessie may sound dated to today’s ears, and many parents are looking to help their child stand out. That is why this list is focused not just on unisex names, but ones that are uncommon or surprising.

(Note that this list is distinct from another baby naming trend, using boys names for girls.)

Some of these names are also included in my popular post Unique Baby Names You’ll Fall In Love With, which includes boy, girl, and gender neutral names.

If you’re planning on taking it a step further and practicing gender neutral parenting, here is an interesting article on “letting kids choose“. Whether you are going down that path or not, I think we can all agree that not putting limits on your child based on gender can only make them a happier, more well-rounded person.

unique unisex names baby in gray

But anyway, onto the names!






















baby feet gender neutral colors
































Weigh in! What do you think of these unusual gender neutral baby names?

Personally, I love unisex names but would be more inclined to use one of the more popular ones. Something like London, Lincoln, Finley, Sawyer, or Sailor would be more my style. That’s not to say I don’t love some of the more unique ones though!

Do you think unisex names are a temporary fad? Or is this the direction names are going in?

Do you agree or disagree with the idea that gender neutral names make girls appear stronger and boys more sensitive?

Leave me a comment and let me know!

Don’t miss these other top baby name posts:

Hindu Baby Boy Names From Traditional To Modern

Stunning Baby Names You Have Not Thought Of

Elegant Girl Names That Will Suit Your Little Lady

Preppy Boy Names For Your Uptown Guy


Hindu Baby Boy Names From Traditional to Modern

If you are looking for beautiful Hindu baby boy names, whether you like traditional or more modern baby names, this list (including meanings!) is a great place to start.

Hindu baby boy names from traditional to modern with saffron header

Choosing a name for your child is one of the most fundamental samskars, or Hindu scripture-based rites. The meaning of Hindu names is incredibly important, because it is believed to inspire the child to live according to their name’s meaning. Righteousness and divine qualities are generally the themes Hindu names take.

Naming a child after a Hindu deity is also believed to bring that child closer to enlightenment as hearing the name is a constant reminder of the Lord. For this reason, it is very common for traditional Hindu boy names to be used as they honor saints and deities.

However, times are changing, and today’s young couples may be looking to incorporate their Hindu culture into their baby’s name, but in a less traditional way. For these couples there are plenty of more modern Hindu baby names to choose from.

(This is only a selection of favorites- there are thousands upon thousands of Hindi names to choose from, many with several different spellings and variations. For a very broad list, check out Behind the Name.)

Traditional Hindu Names For Boys

Aarush        first ray of sun

Aja        goat

Amrit        immortal

Arjun        lord krishna’s cousin

Aseem        eternity

Badri        lord vishnu

Bharat        lord rama’s brother

Chanda    god’s compassion

Darshan        perceptive one

Devak        divine

Devesh     king of gods

Eha        lord Vishnu

Gunina      lord of all virtues

Harish         lord Shiva

Hemraj       king of gold

Heramba      mother’s beloved son

Ishaan        the sun

Jayesh     victory

Jaithra      lord Vishnu

Keshav      lord Krishna

Kiran        ray of light

Krishna        human incarnation of the god Vishnu

Kumar        boy, son

Lakshmi        wealth

Manish         genius; the god the of the mind

Mahadev        lord shiva

Mohan      lord Krishna

Mukund      Vishnu

Naagesh        god of mountains

Namish      lord Vishnu

Narun        leader of men

Nitin        master of the right path

Nila        blue

Padmesh     husband of goddess Lakshmi

Pavan       god of wind

Prakash        light, bright, shining

Pratik        shadow

Raja       princely ruler

Rajiv       striped

Ramesh        preserver, the god Vishnu

Sachin        essence

Sandeep        lighting the way

Sanjit        complete victory

Satisha        Hindu god Shiva

Siddhartha        accomplished goal

Surya        sun god

Talish        lord of earth

Vihaan        dawn

Vijay        conquering

Vikram        valorous

Vishnu        protector; the god Vishnu

Modern Hindu Boy Names

While tradition is huge in Hindu culture, many of today’s parents to be are looking for a name that’s a little more fresh and unique. Many of these are updated versions of ancient names, but some are new modern names all their own. Many of these uncommon, which can be another plus when choosing a name.

modern Hindu baby boy Indian on motorcycle

Aamir     prosperous

Aarav        peaceful

Ayaan       good fortune

Ajay       unconquered

Anant        joyful

Arnesh       lord of the sea

Arun        reddish brown

Ashwin        a star

Baldev        strong

Basant       spring   

Biren        lord of warriors

Charaka        wanderer, vagabond

Deepak       god of love

Dinesh        the sun

Ettan       breath

Ganesh        god of wisdom

Gaurav        prestige, pride

Hari      the son and moon

Indra        god of the sky and rain

Jai        conquerer

Jaidev        god of victory

Jovan     nice; youth

Kamal        lotus; perfection

Kirin      poet

Kunal      lotus

Mahesh        great lord

Nand        meritorious

Naveen      beautiful, new

Neel     champion; blue in color

Nihal        happy, content

Pankaj        mud born; lotus flower

Pramod        happy

Prem        love

Rahi      traveler

Rahul        efficient; conquerer

Rajesh     king

Ram     one who pleases

Raman      beloved

Reyansh       ray of light

Ravi       conferring; sun

Rishi        love

Rohit        first rays of sun; red

Rupin        handsome

Sagar        sea

Sahil       guide

Sai      flower

Samir       jovial

Sanjay        triumphant

Shaan       pride

Tarun       young boy

Vinod       happy, contented

Vittal      fortune giver

Zayn      bright

As you can see, there are so many beautiful Hindu names to choose from for your son, regardless of your naming style.

If you are focusing on a name with meaning, you’ll see there are many with beautiful, strong backgrounds. You can tell by the number of names after Hindu gods that religion is a hugely important part of the culture. However, if you prefer not to go that route there are plenty of names with nature, virtue, and beauty meanings too.

If you have any Hindu boy names to add to this list, I’d love to hear them!

Let me know in the comments.

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