Menu
20 of the top baby names for 2020 (so far)

[Editor's note: We know that being pregnant can be, well, a lot. And understanding what you really need versus what's just a nice-to-have takes time . With your needs in mind, we've selected the best products for pregnancy in The Motherly Shop. We've got you, mama.]

For some people, it's the easiest part of the journey to parenthood, but for others, naming a child is super hard. There are so many factors to consider when picking a baby name, and popularity is a big one. Some parents are drawn to names that will keep their child as ungoogleable as possible, while others don't want their kiddo to share their name with, well, anyone.

But how do we know which names are going to be popular in our kids' cohort when most of their future classmates haven't been born yet? Well, the science of predicting the year's most popular baby names is actually pretty simple. You don't need a crystal ball—just previous years' data.

Names.org just released its predictions for the top U.S. baby names in 2020. Check the list to see if your baby name made the cut (or if you need to cut it).


According to Names.org, every name to crack the top 10 names in a given year since 1937 was in the top 25 the year before. Since the Social Security name data for 2019 won't be released for a few more months, this list is based on last year's trends (that is, the Social Security name data for 2018) and what internet users are currently looking up on Names.org.

But we should note that Names.org's predictions have been pretty accurate so far.

Names.org states: "In past years, our predictions have proven to be very close to the actual rankings. For 2018, 9 of our top 10 boy name predictions and 10 out of 10 girl name predictions were in the actual top 10 once official numbers were released."

Predictions for boys names

The folks at Names.org believe Noah and Liam are going to stay at the top of the chart for 2020, and predict Henry, Oliver and Lucas will climb the ranks while James will trend downward.

Here's the full list:

  1. Liam
  2. Noah
  3. William
  4. Oliver
  5. Lucas
  6. Benjamin
  7. Elijah
  8. James
  9. Henry
  10. Alexander

Predictions for girls names

Olivia, Emma and Ava (two of which were among the most viewed baby names on Nameberry.com in recent years) top the list which, like the boys', skews very traditional (some might even qualify as vintage).

Here's the full list:

  1. Emma
  2. Olivia
  3. Ava
  4. Isabella
  5. Charlotte
  6. Sophia
  7. Amelia
  8. Mia
  9. Mila
  10. Harper

Names.org also keeps track of so-called "wildcard" names—those that weren't in the top 10 list last year but could, potentially make it this year. A good example of this is Ashley, which wasn't in the top 10 list for girl's names in 1982, but jumped right to fourth place the next year. Contenders for this kind of meteoric rise in 2020 include Theadore, Ezra, Ivy, Willow and Jack.

The trend towards more gender-neutral baby names isn't reflected in Name.org's predictions, but it's important to remember that these are just predictions. Who knows? Maybe 2020 will be the year everyone names their kid Corona.

When I was expecting my first child, I wanted to know everything that could possibly be in store for his first year.

I quizzed my own mom and the friends who ventured into motherhood before I did. I absorbed parenting books and articles like a sponge. I signed up for classes on childbirth, breastfeeding and even baby-led weaning. My philosophy? The more I knew, the better.

Yet, despite my best efforts, I didn't know it all. Not by a long shot. Instead, my firstborn, my husband and I had to figure it out together—day by day, challenge by challenge, triumph by triumph.

FEATURED VIDEO

The funny thing is that although I wanted to know it all, the surprises—those moments that were unique to us—were what made that first year so beautiful.

Of course, my research provided a helpful outline as I graduated from never having changed a diaper to conquering the newborn haze, my return to work, the milestones and the challenges. But while I did need much of that tactical knowledge, I also learned the value of following my baby's lead and trusting my gut.

I realized the importance of advice from fellow mamas, too. I vividly remember a conversation with a friend who had her first child shortly before I welcomed mine. My friend, who had already returned to work after maternity leave, encouraged me to be patient when introducing a bottle and to help my son get comfortable with taking that bottle from someone else.

Yes, from a logistical standpoint, that's great advice for any working mama. But I also took an incredibly important point from this conversation: This was less about the act of bottle-feeding itself, and more about what it represented for my peace of mind when I was away from my son.

This fellow mama encouraged me to honor my emotions and give myself permission to do what was best for my family—and that really set the tone for my whole approach to parenting. Because honestly, that was just the first of many big transitions during that first year, and each of them came with their own set of mixed emotions.

I felt proud and also strangely nostalgic as my baby seamlessly graduated to a sippy bottle.

I felt my baby's teething pain along with him and also felt confident that we could get through it with the right tools.

I felt relieved as my baby learned to self-soothe by finding his own pacifier and also sad to realize how quickly he was becoming his own person.



As I look back on everything now, some four years and two more kids later, I can't remember the exact day my son crawled, the project I tackled on my first day back at work, or even what his first word was. (It's written somewhere in a baby book!)

But I do remember how I felt with each milestone: the joy, the overwhelming love, the anxiety, the exhaustion and the sense of wonder. That truly was the greatest gift of the first year… and nothing could have prepared me for all those feelings.

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

As a mom of three, I frequently get a question from moms and dads of two children: “Ok, so the jump to three...how bad is it?"

Personally, I found the transition to having even one kid to be the most jarring. Who is this little person who cries nonstop (mine had colic) and has no regard for when I feel like sitting/eating/resting/sleeping?

Keep reading Show less
Life