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The biggest baby name trends of the last decade

From celebrity names to superlatives, this list has all the hottest names from the past ten years. ?

The biggest baby name trends of the last decade

If you want to give your baby a name that transcends this decade, make sure it doesn’t start with Ad–, end with –ley, contain the letter x or honor a dead celebrity.


That's what Nameberry found when we analyzed the Social Security baby names data of 2016 versus 2006 to identify which names have exploded in use over the past ten years. Then we looked at patterns among these hotter-than-hot names that indicate the major baby name trends right now.

Juniper and Jayceon, according to our research, may well prove as emblematic of our times as Jennifer and Jason are of the 1970s. Here, our statistical analysis of the dominant baby name trends of the decade and the hot baby names that influenced them.

Ad– names for girls

Adalynn is 31 times as popular now as it was in 2006, followed by Adaline which is 26 times as popular, Addilyn at 21 times and Adley at 19 times. Add (hmmmm) to this the status of Adeline and sisters as the sixth most popular girls’ name of 2016 when all spellings are combined and you have the major baby name trend for girls of the decade.

And this trend will undoubtedly burn brighter before it dims, given that it’s still largely invisible. The most popular form of the name, Adeline, is all the way down at Number 63 on the new list of Top 1000 Baby Names, which means that many parents have no idea how widespread the name is.

‘Lee’ names for both genders

Names that end in the –lee sound are booming for both girls and boys. Paislee is the third hottest girls’ name, 31 times as popular now as it was a decade ago, along with Blakely, 19 times more popular; Henley, 16 times; and Paisley, 15 times.

More surprising is the companion boom in boys’ names that end with the formerly-feminine lee sound. Brantley is the second hottest name for boys, 27 times more popular than it was in 2006, along with Bentley, now 24 times more popular than in 2006; Finnley, 17 times; and Kingsley, 12 times.

Shooting star names

Hot young celebrities who manage to stay in the spotlight for more than a reality TV season or two can propel their names into major trends, the way Shirley Temple did in the 1930s or Debbie Reynolds did in the 1950s.

The hottest celebrity baby names of this decade are Isla, as in Fisher, with a 27 times increase in popularity; Leighton, as in Gossip Girl star Meester, up 20 times; Bristol, as in Palin, up 19 times; and Mila, as in Kunis, up 13 times.

On the boys’ side, the very hottest name Jayceon, with 31 times as many babies named it in 2016 as in 2006, is inspired by rapper The Game, who pronounces his name jay-cee-on, though others pronounce the name as jay-son or jay-shawn, making it the perfect heir to former hottie Jason, with new nature name Juniper on the hot list for girls.

Superlative names

Baby, your name is Legend....literally. Names that tell the world how extraordinary your child is rule today. The name Legend is 18 times more popular for boys now than it was a decade ago, while Major and King are each up 12 times.

Girls are great too, with Royalty, the hottest girls' name of 2016, up 58 times over its 2006 numbers and Reign up 13 times.

Tragic celebrity surnames

The names of hallowed stars of the past are enjoying a new turn in the limelight as their tragic ends fade from memory.

Two celebrity surnames, Lennon and Monroe, are among the decade’s hottest names for girls, up 19 times and 13 times. The boys’ name that fits this category is Hendrix, as in rocker Jimi, 18 times more popular now than it was in 2006..

For the full list of the hottest names of the decade along with more trends, visit Nameberry.

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This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades, "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4-year-old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year:

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keep an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Follow children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

This article was sponsored by Highlights. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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12 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$189

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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30 hilarious + eye-opening truths about the 4th trimester 😳

19. Babies grunt a lot! And loudly. They make lots of tiny noises. And they are really adorable.

We kind of know what we're getting into when we find out we're pregnant. We know we're going to have to pee a lot, we figure our hormones will have us riding a roller coaster of highs (OMG the baby kicked!) and lows (*sobbing* WHY DID YOU THROW OUT THE COOKIE DOUGH????).

We get the fact that we'll be gaining weight and we've heard about some of the trimester-specific unpleasantries (morning sickness, migraines, hemorrhoids, to name a few.) Those three trimesters of pregnancy are transformative, enlightening and eye-opening.

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