It’s that time of year again! Time for NHL and NBA playoffs? Yes, but no. Time to power-wash the deck now that pollen season is over? Maybe, but nope.

Drumroll please…… it’s time to announce the top 10 baby names for 2018!

Every May the Social Security Administration releases last years top baby names. It’s really kind of a cool web page with lots of information. You can see the national “winners” or search by state. You can even look up the popularity of a name by birth year dating back to 1880. Yup, it was John and Mary.

If you are interested to see how your name has stacked up over time you can do that too. “Michael” (hey that’s me!) has enjoyed a pretty good run. It was the #1 boy name each year running from 1961-1998. Enough with the Michaels already (#2 in the year of my birth, 1960).  

Here’s the National ranking from the Social Security Administration:

Rank

Male name

Female name

1

Liam

Emma

2

Noah

Olivia

3

William

Ava

4

James

Isabella

5

Oliver

Sophia

6

Benjamin

Charlotte

7

Elijah

Mia

8

Lucas

Amelia

9

Mason

Harper

10

Logan

Evelyn

Here's how North Carolina turned out, courtesy of the Social Security Administration:

Rank

Male name


Female name


1

Noah

615

Ava

629

2

William

603

Emma

580

3

Liam

576

Olivia

530

4

James

522

Charlotte

437

5

Elijah

458

Harper

428

6

Mason

455

Isabella

404

7

Jackson

436

Amelia

380

8

Carter

408

Abigail

351

9

Lucas

396

Sophia

344

10

Benjamin

385

Elizabeth

319

Many people struggle with what to name their baby. The permanence of such a decision is downright intimidating. Here is a list I have created to help you on your endeavor:

  • Consider a family name for the middle name.
  • The person having the baby gets two votes, and the partner gets one vote and veto power. The partner can only use one veto per pregnancy... so use judiciously.  
  • Try saying the name in anger.  It needs to have a little bite to it to get your child’s attention, not that your child will ever be bad, of course.
  • Apparently any key on the keyboard is fair game. I’m thinking of changing my name to Mich@el $mith.  
  • Once you pick the final name, see how Siri spells it. That will save you time with dictated cell phone messaging.

If you’re really stuck with writers block, try the aforementioned website that keeps track of baby names.  As they are responsible for doling out social security numbers, they track names.  You can even search by state or year.

It is a cute website that  has a “quiz” that selects a name for you if you are indecisive. It asks you a bunch of random stuff. In the end it told me I should name my baby “Michael”. Funny.  

Speaking of Social Security Numbers, these are doled out at birth while in the hospital, when the nice person comes to take information for the birth certificate. Should you decline at that time, you’ll have to do it on your own by going down to the Social Security office and show them your baby’s birth certificate (that sounds like fun). Make sure you say “yes”, when asked in the hospital. 

We probably overthink the naming process. Having been party to naming four humans (Justin, Zack, Emily and Mason), my experience suggests that after two days you bond with whatever name you have picked for your sweet baby and can’t imagine not having used it, so maybe it doesn’t really matter.  Just pick out something that is spellable and not too crazy. Good luck!

Dr. Smith