Picking the Right Name for Your Baby

For some reason, my husband and I have a hard time choosing names for our children. We have a boy’s name all picked out and ready to go but we keep having girls so it will go unused because we’re not planning to do this again.

With our daughter, we were about two months out from her arrival when we settled on two name options. For the prior months, he shot down names that I loved like Sophia, Mia, Ava and Lillian. I would read off names alphabetically from baby name books and apps to a steady response of no, no and no. A few ‘maybe’ names became part of temporary passwords so I would have to hear them in my head for weeks at a time to help me determine if I really liked them. That ruled out a many a name too.

Her name wasn’t official until we looked at her in the delivery room and said, yup, she’s a Simone and not a Jillian, the other finalist. I think Simone is a pretty name – cute for a kid and sophisticated for an adult. It’s the female of Simon and means loud and my child definitely makes her presence known.

I’m glad we didn’t go with one of the names that I was initially drawn to. Not because anything is wrong with those names, they are all very pretty, but they are also extremely popular. As a child, there weren’t too many Serenas around but when I ended up in class with one, it became annoying having to determine who a teacher or a classmate was referring to when he or she said Serena. I don’t want my children to go through that if I can help it.

Round two and we’re back in the same boat. After going through about five baby name books, I think we’ve settled on two options – two months before my due date. We’ll make a final decision when we lay our eyes on her but you can safely bet it won’t be in the top 100 popular baby names from the Social Security Administration (SSA), which you can find below.

According to the SSA, the most popular baby names for 2013 are:

Rank Male Name Female Name
1 Noah Sophia
2 Liam Emma
3 Jacob Olivia
4 Mason Isabella
5 William Ava
6 Ethan Mia
7 Michael Emily
8 Alexander Abigail
9 Jayden Madison
10 Daniel Elizabeth

Source: Social Security Administration

Selecting a baby name is a very personal decision. Whether it’s popular or extremely rare, I say take your time and don’t let outside pressures force you to choose a name that you’re not in love with. It’s a decision you and your child have to live with for the rest of your lives.

To see how popular your child’s name is, click here to search the SSA Popularity of a Name database.


Serena SmithSerena Smith is a senior marketing communications specialist at ProMedica. She is responsible for facilitating media coverage of ProMedica and writes health articles for ProMedica HealthConnect. Her passion is health and wellness. She’s an avid runner and enjoys competing in half marathons. She loves to read, watch television and spend time with her husband and daughter.

Click here to read more posts from Serena’s weekly series, Working Mommyhood.