One of the most fun pre-baby activities my husband and I enjoyed was choosing a baby name. Of course, since my husband and I were together for a really long time before getting married and having a baby, we had the conversation on baby names long before we were ready to have children.

Like most couples, we devised a method that worked for us to narrow down the selection: We eliminated the names of any exes and family members from our list (which was a surprisingly large number of names), and then focused on the names that would have a special meaning to us. We also tried hard to avoid "trendy" names from the past few years, so that our child would be uniquely named in the classroom.

Time magazine has revealed a really useful tool to help with that last part of the baby name search. The baby name predictor looks at the cyclical nature of children's names and predicts when a name has peaked and when it may become popular again. For example, the tool suggests that the current number one girl's name of Sophie is on its way out to be replaced by Emma. Of course, there are always outliers - a sudden surge due to national prominence of a name (think Khaleesi or Miley), - but overall, the tool gives you a good idea of where the name is in its normal cycle.


I've been playing with this tool for hours. I've learned that my son's name actually peaked a few years after he was born but is on a steady decline. I've learned that my name peaked in 1989 (my parents were ahead of the curve on that one). And I've learned that my husband's name probably won't peak again until 2023. I've even learned that Maude - the name of one of my favorite blogs (Modern Maude) last peaked in 1882. (She is one of a kind!)

Have fun playing with the tool and let me know when your name peaked and when it is destined for a comeback in the comments.

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Tags: baby, names, parenting, tools

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Comment by Lauren Markman on May 21, 2014 at 9:01pm

I spent way too long looking up the names of just about everyone I know on this thing. Good thing you can look up six names at a time!

Comment by Marcia Fowler on May 20, 2014 at 8:04pm

Great site.  I always used the SS website but find this one much more interesting. My name peaked in 1951. Why my parents chose my name I have no idea (don't think she does either:))

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