These are the most popular baby names of 2018 so far

Deciding on a name for your newborn baby is up there among the most important decisions we as humans have to make in life – you want, nay need, to get it right. And while that can be challenging for some, pregnancy and parenting website BabyCentre has revealed that a few select names have been reoccurring more than others this year.

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The site released an official list of the most popular boys and girls names in the UK so far in 2018, announcing that Olivia – which was hailed as a go-to baby name at the beginning of the year – remains the most popular option for girls. It is closely followed by Sophia, while Amelia, which has been a firm favourite for years, was ranked at number three. In fact, the only new addition to the top ten baby names for girls was Aria, which was the eighth most popular name. For the boys, Muhammad came out on top with the names Oliver and Noah right behind. However, unlike the girls list, the top ten saw two new entries with Freddie and Alfie placing ninth and tenth.

As well as identifying the top names, BabyCentre revealed some interesting findings about where parents are seeking inspiration. According to the site, people are naming their children after royalty – not to anyone’s surprise following this year’s royal wedding frenzy. Victoria, Charlotte and Zara are slowly climbing their way up – even the name Princess has broken into the top 100. More historic names such as Arthur and Henry have also soared in popularity in the past six months, entering the top 20 names of the year.

Meanwhile others have decided to pay homage to celebrity activists in the wake of 2018 campaigns such as the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, with names including Alyssa, Ashley, Rose and Gwyneth – all of which are the names of Hollywood trailblazers who have been at the forefront of feminist activism (Alyssa Milano, Ashley Judd, Rose McGowan and Gwyneth Paltrow) – spiking in popularity, according to the experts.

The most interesting finding of all, however, is the significant changes made to the way people are spelling traditional names. For example, the name Jackson has seen six different spellings on the BabyCentre register including Jackson, Jacson, Jakson, Jaxson, Jaxen and Jaxon. And things aren’t much different when it comes to the girl names, with many parents putting an edgy twist on names like Rose by replacing the ‘s’ with a ‘z’ (Roze). Other including Maizie (Maisie) and Madyson (Madison) have also made an appearance.

See the full lists of top ten baby names below:

Top 10 names for girls for the first half of 2018:

  1. Olivia
  2. Sophia
  3. Amelia
  4. Lily
  5. Emily
  6. Ava
  7. Isla
  8. Aria
  9. Mia
  10. Isabella

Top 10 names for boys for the first half of 2018:

  1. Muhammad
  2. Oliver
  3. Noah
  4. George
  5. Harry
  6. Leo
  7. Charlie
  8. Jack
  9. Freddie
  10. Alfie