It's one of the biggest decisions for expectant parents: what to name the baby? You may find it interesting to know what the most popular names are right now.
Isabella and Aiden top the list of the 100 most popular baby names for 2009. That's according to BabyCenter.com, which based its list on submissions from parents. Rounding out the top five for girls are Sophia, Emma, Olivia and Ava. For the boys, Aiden is followed by Ethan, Jackson, Jayden and Jacob.
(Quick sidenote: BabyCenter.com is just one of several websites that sends you weekly updates on where you are in your pregnancy, including comparing your baby's weight to a fruit or vegetable. My baby is said to weigh the amount of a Chinese cabbage this week.)
Some speculate Isabella could remain popular for the next few years, thanks to the popularity of the Twilight series. One of my nieces is fortunate to have that gorgeous name. Emma has been near the top of the most popular list for years now. Remember the name of the baby Jennifer Aniston's character had on the TV show Friends? It was Emma.
Pop culture certainly has its influence on what parents name their babies. On the other hand, some people shy away from names that make the top baby name lists, or any baby name list, in order to find a unique name for their child. Some dear friends of mine liked the names Gabrielle and Gabriella but worried they were both too long for their last name. Their solution was Brielle, a beautiful choice they'd never heard of anywhere else.
Certainly, some parents name their children after themselves. Men have the option of adding a Junior to their name. For women, you have to be more creative if you want your baby to bear your name. A friend named Caroline also named her daughter Caroline, but everyone calls the child Charlie.
For Chris and me, we have names selected for both a boy and a girl, since we're not finding out the sex of our baby in advance. We are relying heavily, though not entirely, on family names in our selection of first and middle names.
How about you? Tell us about your baby's name and how you decided on it.