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These are the 20 most popular baby names in the U.S. and England

We can agree on Arlo, but not Alfie.

These are the 20 most popular baby names in the U.S. and England

There are so many lists expecting parents have to keep track of—things to buy, appointments to make—but no list is as much fun for a soon-to-be parent to peruse as an official list of popular baby names. Whether you want to make sure your baby is on trend, or you're trying to avoid anything too popular, government baby name lists provide parents with a ton of naming information and inspiration.

Stateside, the Social Security Administration announced its annual list of the most popular baby names back in May, but parents in England had to wait for their list.

In September the Office for National Statistics released its list of the most popular baby names in England and Wales for 2017—and while some popular British names (hello, Alfie) don't cross the ocean, many trendsetting names do.

Let's compare the Top 10 names in England and Wales with the most popular names in the USA.

Oliver, James, and Noah appear on both Top 10 lists for boys.

United States

Liam

Noah

William

James

Logan

Benjamin

Mason

Elijah

Oliver

Jacob

England and Wales

Oliver

Harry

George

Noah

Jack

Jacob

Leo

Oscar

Charlie

Muhammad

While Olivia, Ava, Mia, Amelia, and Isabella are favored by girl parents on both sides of the Atlantic.

United States

Emma

Olivia

Ava

Isabella

Sophia

Mia

Charlotte

Amelia

Evelyn

Abigail


England and Wales

Olivia

Amelia

Isla

Ava

Emily

Isabella

Mia

Poppy

Ella

Lily

Beyond the Top 10 lists

When we look beyond the governments' Top 10 lists and dig further into the statistics we find more names that are charting in both the USA and England.

Hunter

Made it's first appearance in the English top 100, coming out of nowhere to take spot 78. Stateside, Hunter has been pretty steady, moving around in the middle of the top 100 since 2000.

Aurora

Has hit the British top 100 for the first time, about two years after doing the same stateside, where it has gone from being ranked 488 in 2000 to sitting at 51 in the most recent statistics.

Luna

Chrissy Teigen's first born's name moved up 30 places to number 48 in the English charts. In the USA Luna's doing even better, ranked as the 37th most popular name for girls in America.

Iris

Has gone from the 400s to spot 149 in 17 years on the American chart, and is experiencing a similar climb in England and Wales.

Hallie

Although not as popular now as it was in 2000, this name is seeing a resurgence stateside, and is also becoming popular with parents in the UK.

Max

Is the 27th most popular name for boys in England and Wales, and while it doesn't make it into the top 100 in America, it has gone up 36 spots in the last 17 years.

Finley

This name is more popular for girls in the USA, but takes spot 31 on the English list for boys.

Arlo

This name wasn't even in America's top 1000 back in 2010, but has moved all the way to 316, meaning 1084 babies were named Arlo in the USA last year. In England and Wales, this name takes the 42nd spot, with 1,470 little Arlos welcomed in the latest stats.

Scarlett

This name has skyrocketed in the USA in the last two decades, going from 942 in 2000 all the way up to the 18th most popular name for girls last year. In England, Scarlett is ranked number 30 for most popular girls names.

Maisie

Sits at number 46 on the English chart, and while it's much less popular in the USA, it has moved up 129 spots since 2014, now sitting at no. 524.

Ruby

This name has seen a huge climb in America in recent years, going from the 200s in 2000 all the way up to 79 last year. In England and Wales, 1,688 girls took the name last year, making it the 29th most popular girls name.

Finn

This name just inched into the Top 100 in England and Wales, but isn't quite there yet in America. Finn is climbing tough, moving up 668 spots since 2000.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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Becoming a mother has been life-changing. It's been hard, tiring, gratifying, beautiful, challenging, scary and a thousand other things that only a parent would ever understand.

It is these life-changing experiences that have inspired me to draw my everyday life as a stay at home mom. Whether it's the mundane tasks like doing laundry or the exciting moments of James', my baby boy's, first steps, I want to put it down on paper so that I can better cherish these fleeting moments that are often overlooked.

Being a stay-at-home-mom can be incredibly lonely. I like to think that by drawing life's simple moments, I can connect with other mothers and help them feel less alone. By doing this, I feel less alone, too. It's a win-win situation and I have been able to connect with many lovely parents and fellow parent-illustrators through my Instagram account.

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