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20 surprising baby names that are becoming more popular

Even after having kiddos, we still can't get enough of baby name talk—it's downright addictive. So, after discussing Nameberry's predictions for 2020's trendiest names earlier this month, we decided to look at another indicator for more clues on which names will be most popular next year.

We all know that the Social Security Administration gives us its annual rankings of baby name popularity, based on parents' applications for kids Social Security cards. But the SSA also has a bit of fun crunching the numbers on those names and calculates a list of the biggest changes in name popularity from year to year. So while we won't have the numbers on 2019 until next May, we can at least see what the trends are in baby naming, based on the changes from 2017-2018.

This isn't a perfect system, though. Some bumps during those years may have been responding to temporary influences that won't last. If you're using this list to make sure that your child won't have the most common name when they grow up, we can't guarantee the results. What we can say is that you can rest assured your little Oaklynn and Jaxtyn won't be the first of their name.

Here are the 10 baby girl names that made the biggest jumps from 2017-2018:

  1. Meghan
  2. Dior
  3. Adalee
  4. Palmer
  5. Oaklynn
  6. Haisley
  7. Keily
  8. Novah
  9. Yara
  10. Ensley

We wouldn't exactly call any of these "popular" names yet. The highest ranked among these baby names is Oaklynn, at #542. But what this list shows is the influences at work in baby naming. Meghan Markle's wedding in 2018 certainly had an impact (kicking that name up from 1404 in 2017 to 703 the next year).

Adalee (1225-855) is most likely a variation on the "Ad" name trend, while Oaklynn and Palmer are a continuation of people gravitating to more earthy tree names, like Willow and Ash.

Yara may be inspired by Youngish actress Yara Shahidi. All sorts of "ly" and "ley" names are doing well of late, so Haisley, Keily, and Ensley seem quite reasonable. And, well, some people are such devotees to fashion houses that Dior is a logical choice, like Chanel has been.

The top baby boy names that increased the most are:

  1. Genesis
  2. Saint
  3. Baker
  4. Kairo
  5. Watson
  6. Kenzo
  7. Jaxtyn
  8. Kylo
  9. Dakari
  10. Karsyn

We can see some pop culture influences in Saint (after Kim and Kanye's son), Kylo (after Han and Leia's son). Even Dakari sounds vaguely like something out of Game of Thrones.

The growth of Genesis (from 1592 to 984), which is usually considered a girl's name, may be the result of parents searching for less obvious Biblical choices. Kairo, the highest-ranked of the bunch at #482, is a twist on the city name incorporating the K that people seem to like more these days.

Speaking of K names, the Japanese name Kenzo may have risen thanks to that fashion brand, but we have fewer clues about Karsyn's rise. So, parents of Karsyns, please come forward and explain yourselves. Bring along Jaxtyn's parents while you're at it.

Welcoming a new little one of your own? Here are some of our favorite new baby (and mama!) must-haves.

Mary Meyer fox lovey

Mary Meyer fox lovey

Snuggly soft and easy for little hands to hold, the Mary Meyer loveys are classic for a reason. They can also be machine-washed for a lifetime of snuggles.

$19

Lulujo hello world milestone blanket

Lulujo hello world milestone blanket

Capture the incredible growth of baby's first year with the swaddle blanket and milestone cards from Lulujo. Add their favorite toys or flowers and your monthly photo opp is in the bag.

$25

Belly and Bag pre-packed hospital bag

Belly and Bag pre-packed hospital bag

Speaking of bags, getting yours packed and ready for the big day can be pretty stressful. Leave it to the pros from Belly and Bag who have thought of everything and will get it directly to your doorstep.

$170

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Nuna

New mama life is often fraught with decision fatigue. From choosing a pediatrician to choosing a baby monitor, it can be difficult to know which solutions are made to last. Fortunately, Nuna just made one very important decision a lot easier. That's because their new MIXX Next Stroller has everything a new parent needs to get out, get around and get everything done.

An upgraded version of their popular MIXX stroller, the MIXX Next features a more compact fold (shaving 6.5 inches off the folded size, down to 27.5 inches long and 23.6 inches wide) thanks to a compact fold-away axle where the rear wheels tuck under the frame when it folds. Plus, the new model also stays standing when folded—meaning no more back-straining as you bend to pick up your folded stroller and heave it into the trunk. Instead, the MIXX Next can be tucked more easily into storage whenever your ride comes to an end.


Nuna Mixx Next Stroller


Speaking of the ride, your little one will love the new rear-wheel Free Flex suspension™ and front-wheel progression suspension technology that absorbs more shock as you roll over uneven terrain. The wheels have also been updated to tough, rubber foam-filled tires for a smoother, more durable ride and the no re-thread harness makes it easy to clip your baby in securely and quickly. And when all those gentle bumps lull your baby to sleep? The seat features a five-position recline that adjusts quickly with one-hand—all the way down to a true-flat sleeper recline—just don't forget to move them to their crib when you arrive home. (Don't forget to extend the water repellent, UPF 50+ canopy to keep those sleepy eyes shaded.) Even better, the all-season seat keeps baby cozy in winter and unsnaps to mesh for a cooler ride in the summer.

Perhaps most importantly, though, this stroller is made to last. (After all, what's the point of solving a mama dilemma if it creates another one a few months down the road?) The MIXX Next pairs perfectly with all Nuna PIPA™ series infant car seats using the included car seat ring adapter, and then adapts to a child seat that can face toward you (for a little face time) or forward for when your little one is ready to take on the world. All in all, this stroller gets you where you need to go with a child up to 50 pounds, meaning it's the only one you'll ever need.

The MIXX Next is available in three colors and retails for $749.95.

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

Our Partners

14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

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

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

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.

$179

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

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

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

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

Shop

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Happiest Baby: Baby sleep solutions designed by the experts

Created by renowned pediatrician, baby sleep expert and (as some might say) lifesaver Dr. Harvey Karp, Happiest Baby has been helping new parents understand and nurture their infants for close to two decades. Building on the success of his celebrated books and video The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block he's developed groundbreaking, science-based product solutions that conquer a new parent's top stressor—exhaustion.

WSEL Bags: Dad-designed diaper bags that think of everything

WSEL stands for work smart, enjoy life—an ethos we couldn't agree with more. Founded by a stay at home dad who struggled to find a diaper bag that he not only wanted to use, but one that would last far beyond the baby years, these premium, adventure-ready backpacks are ideal for everything from errands to week-long getaways.

Codex Beauty: Exceptionally effective sustainable skin care

Codex Beauty's line of sustainable plant-based skin care blends the science of plant biology with biotech innovations, to create clinically proven, state-of-the-art products for all skin types. They're all vegan, EWG and Leaping Bunny verified and created in collaboration with Herbal Scientist Tracy Ryan who uses concepts dating back to the 8th century leveraging plants like sea buckthorn and calendula flower. Not only are we totally crushing on the innovative formulas that are in the packaging but we're in love with the sustainable sugarcane-derived tubes as well.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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