Parents turn to many things for baby name inspiration, from old family records to pop culture phenomena to beloved hobbies and interests.
Each year, the parenting and pregnancy resource The Bump compiles trend reports to pinpoint names that are rising in popularity in the U.S. and general themes that emerge among them. As we transition to 2022, experts at the site are sharing their latest observations and predictions for the new year.
“Year over year, we’ve been seeing increasing interest in gender-neutral baby names and unique baby names,” Nehal Aggarwal, associate editor of The Bump, told HuffPost. “With our baby name trends ― and the many lists on our website ― we’d love to help expectant parents find the name they feel best fits their child.”
Below, find baby name trends and specific names that The Bump predicts will be popular this year. And check out the full list of the top 1,000 names of 2022 here.
As social conceptions of gender continue to expand and evolve, many parents have been opting for more unisex names for their babies. The Bump identified some increasingly popular options, including Kai, Luca, Quinn, Jayden, Elliot, River, Alex, Andrea, Remi and Rowan.
Experts at The Bump echoed an observation from the baby naming site Nameberry: All that time cooped up during the pandemic has reignited an appreciation for nature and the great outdoors ― which seems to be influencing baby name choices. They highlighted nature-inspired names such as Wren, Ivy, Jasper, Parker, Sienna, Willow, Clayton, Hazel, Ashton and Laurel.
The Social Security Administration maintains baby naming data going back to the late 19th century. The Bump noticed that some popular names from the 1950s are getting a little more love again, including Nancy, Sharon, Kathleen, Pamela, Margaret, Dennis, Terry, Wayne, Eric and Martin.
Strong and Confident Names
“One thing every parent wants is to raise a self-assured child ― so it makes sense that expectant parents are looking for names with empowering and noble meanings,” Aggarwal said, adding that examples of strong and confident names include Aria, Alice, Sloane, Nora, Emmitt, Rami, Valencia, Emma, Xavier and Milo.
Just as the pandemic has upped our gratitude for nature, the past two years have also given many people a yearning for joy and positivity in the future. Thus, The Bump’s trends data includes “names that inspire cheerfulness and optimism,” such as Chloe, Claire, Finnley, Alvin, Elsie, Felix, Isaac, Mira, Winnifred and August.
Similar to the uplifting monikers above, names inspired by space and the sky tap into that urge to look upward and go beyond the stresses of our world. The Bump highlighted celestial names like Aurora, Leo, Atlas, Orion, Skye, Nova, Celeste, Luna, Apollo and Soleil.