A new year means new trends — and that includes baby names! If you’re expecting a baby in 2019 (or perhaps just planning for the future), you’re probably already making a list of monikers that will be suitable for your little one.
Before you settle on the perfect name, check out our predictions for which ones will be the most popular in the upcoming year. Based on recent naming trends, you could soon hear a lot of these at baby showers or on the playground.
Names starting with the letter “o” — and specifically monikers that are oak-themed — have become trendy over the last few years. According to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the parenting site Baby Center, both Oaklyn and Oaklynn have seen a jump in popularity among girls, and that’s likely to continue in 2019.
Speaking of names starting with “o,” Olivia is a perennial top-10 favorite for girls, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. You can definitely expect to see this classic stick around in 2019. It’s already prevalent in Hollywood — Olivia Munn, Olivia Culpo (below) and Olivia Wilde are only three of the many stars with the name.
The baby naming site Nameberry reports a recent resurgence in parents using old-fashioned nicknames as complete full names, particularly among boys. One such example: Archie, instead of the traditional Archibald. And given the popularity of the character in the CW hit “Riverdale,” the name could jump in the ranks in 2019.
Grayson landed at No. 6 on Baby Center’s list of the top 100 boy baby names of 2018, while the SSA has shown the name continually rising in popularity as well (although it failed to crack the top 30 in rank).
In 2019, we can expect to see the name jump up a few spots, although it may be in a different variation. The alternative spelling, “Greyson,” has also picked up steam over the last two years.
Parents have been gravitating to “Game of Thrones”-inspired names in recent years, and with the final season about to hit the small screen, that will likely continue to be the case. Aria/Arya, in particular, has become a favored choice for girls in both spelling variations.
For girls, the name Dream has gained serious traction recently. So, do we have Blac Chyna and Rob Kardashian, whose little girl Dream was born in 2016, to thank for the inspiration? Likely, yes — and it wouldn’t be the first Kardashian or Jenner baby girl name to see a surge in popularity. Stormi (the name of Kylie Jenner’s baby) jumped over 3,000 spots from 2017 to 2018.
Nameberry points out that short and sweet names (no more than four letters long) have become trendy among both sexes, as have those seemingly inspired by the Wild West. Enter Cole, a name that hits both marks.
The moniker has seen a surge in popularity, and Baby Center predicts it will enter the top 50 baby names for boys in 2019. This one also has a “Riverdale” connection, as actor Cole Sprouse is one of the show’s stars.
When it comes to the short-and-sweet name trend, perhaps none fits the bill better than Ava. The favorite, three-letter girl’s name landed within the top 10 on both Baby Center and Nameberry’s rankings of the most popular names of 2018. Considering its popularity has remained fairly steady for years (which many credit to icon Ava Gardner), you can expect it to stay towards the top in 2019 — and maybe even rise a few spots.
Another big trend among parents is naming their kids after pastel or jewel tone colors. Violet saw a particular spike in popularity throughout 2018 and will likely continue to rise in the ranks in 2019.
And it’s not the only color-inspired name that’s gaining traction: Names like Sage, Lilac and Lavender have also seen a bit of a bump.
Here’s another name that proves “o” may soon be the trendiest first initial. Oliver has steadily risen through the ranks over the last few years. With “o” names being all the rage, we’ll likely see it bump up a few spots in 2019 — and maybe even crack the top five.
Some famous Olivers you may know: Oliver Hudson, director Oliver Stone and footballer Oliver Giroud.
On Baby Center’s list of the top 100 names of 2018, Jackson took the No. 1 slot for boys. It’s expected to stay pretty high on the ranking in 2019, although it’s likely we’ll see a rise in variant spellings of the name, such as Jaxon, Jaxson or Jaxxon. The alternates also fit in with another big naming trend for boys: names with an “x.”
The popularity of the name Harper could be partly pop-culture-inspired — Nicole Richie and Joel Madden have a daughter with the name, as do Victoria and David Beckham. Another well-known Harper? Harper Lee, the famed author of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
Another favored girl name that comes in at under five letters? Mila, which currently sits at No. 9 on Baby Center’s list of top baby girl names and will likely remain within the top 20 at the end of 2019. Plus, there’s the star factor: Mila Kunis is one of the most well-liked actresses in Hollywood.
Jayden failed to crack the top 10 list of biggest boy names of 2018, but it’s only on the rise and 2019 could be the year it enters the top five. Although Jayden (with a “y”) is the more prevalent spelling, its alternate, Jaden (as Will Smith’s son spells it), is also seeing a bump in popularity.
It seems like some parents are big fans of C.S. Lewis’ works (featuring Prince Caspian). According to the SSA, there was a notable surge in the use of the name Caspian for boys over the last couple of years. Caspian also fits in with the overall growing trend of names ending in “n” for boys (see also: Grayson, Jaxon, Jayden, etc.).
After a couple of years floating just below the top 100 names for girls, Isla landed at No. 74 on Baby Center’s list in 2018. With its international appeal and trendy-but-not-too-trendy vibe, it could continue to make an ascent in 2019. It seems like interest in the name is already growing — the name was the fourth most-searched name for girls on Nameberry in 2018.
No matter how you decide to spell it, Everly (or Everleigh or Everlee) is quickly becoming one of the most favored girl names around. In 2018, it landed within the top 50 names of the year for girls, and it’s popularity only continues to grow. Though the traditional spelling (with the “y” at the end) remains the most oft-used, the double-E variation is also rapidly gaining traction.
If you choose this name for your little one, you’ll have something in common with Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan, who decided on the whimsical-sounding name for their daughter.
Liam has been within the top five names for boys for several years running — and it looks like that won’t change in 2019.
Despite its longstanding popularity, the name hasn’t lost any of its trendiness. It’s short and sweet, has a special meaning (“strong-willed warrior and protector“) and even has Hollywood tie-ins for those who look to celebrities for naming inspiration.
Liam Hemsworth (below, aka Mr. Miley Cyrus), Liam Neeson and Liam Payne are just three of the many famous faces to proudly sport the name.
As Jaxon proved, parents are loving names with an x-factor lately, particularly for boys. Axel is no exception. In recent years, the name has bubbled slightly below the top 100 names for baby boys, but it could make a steady climb up the list in 2019. The alternate spelling, Axl, is also rising through the ranks.
We can probably thank Chrissy Teigen and John Legend for the stratospheric surge in popularity this name has seen in the last two years. Since the beloved Hollywood couple named their eldest child Luna, the celestial-sounding moniker has jumped into the top 40 most popular names for baby girls. That upward trajectory is likely to continue in 2019, and we may even see it burst the top 20.
Whether it’s Disney-inspired, solar-inspired or just something that sounds pretty, one thing’s for sure: Aurora is quickly becoming a new favorite for girls. Given how many searches it got on Nameberry last year, 2019 could be its biggest year yet.
Kingston also falls under the trend of boys’ names ending with “n,” which could partly explain why more and more parents are choosing the moniker. After jumping almost 75 spots in 2018, it currently hovers just below the top 30 most popular baby names for boys. Perhaps it will leap into the top 15 by the end of 2019.
For boys, the name Kai has seen a steady incline in popularity over the last five years or so. And with short monikers already becoming a larger trend in baby naming, it seems 2019 could be an even bigger year for this three-letter name.
Keeping with the trend of four-letter names, Yara is a serious contender for 2019. The name has seen a significant bump in popularity in recent years. That could be due to the short-and-sweet name fad or maybe it has to do with the rise of some notable stars with the name, like Yara Shahidi.
Though Atticus didn’t make it onto the list of Baby Center’s top 100 boy names in 2018, it was the most-viewed name for boys on Nameberry for the year. And you know what that means — interest in the name is clearly growing! Given how many people are looking into it, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Atticus become more commonly heard in 2019.
Another big trend among naming in 2018: gender-neutral names, like Elliot. Despite being traditionally associated with boys, the name (which can be spelled in different variants, like Elliott) has recently begun increasing in popularity among both genders. The name is on track to crack the top 100 names for boys in 2019 and may land around the top 300 for girls.
Another unisex name that has gradually become more common among both sexes: Aubrey. Though the name has been consistently within the top 50 names for girls for some time, it’s also seen a leap in use among baby boys over the last year.
Here’s another name that could work well for either gender. Briar has shown an increase in popularity over the last two years among both girls and boys, according to the SSA. With gender-neutral monikers becoming more common among babies, we could see it continue to surge in 2019.
The New Royal Baby’s Name
Of course, we can’t make a list of the most popular baby names for 2019, and not talk about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s pending bundle of joy. Though the royal couple has not revealed whether they’re having a boy or a girl — nor have they shared any potential names for the baby — you can bet that whatever name they settle on will suddenly become a new favored pick among parents. Among the possibilities: Alice, Victoria or Diana for a girl, and Arthur, Henry or Albert for a boy.