Most Popular Baby Names in 2012

Naming your baby is a monumental decision, which many parents find challenging. Some parents consult lists of popular baby names for ideas, while others consult them in order to find an original name that’s not commonly used.

Whichever category you’re in, chances are you could use some help and inspiration. Browsing baby blogs and websites will give you some great ideas, but it may be as easy as picking up a literary classic or the Bible. Literature, the Bible and tradition have inspired many of the most common names.

According to some of the top baby name websites we’ve looked at, these are the most popular baby names in North America so far this year:

Top Boys Names

Biblical names rank above any others for boys. Ethan, Jacob, Noah, Lucas and Benjamin are all derived from the Bible. Names from other cultures are always popular, and for 2012, the traditional Irish name Liam is a rising star. Distinguished, traditional names like William and Alexander still consistently fall into the top fifteen. Some names are reminiscent of art, literature and popular culture; Jackson brings to mind the guru of abstract painting, Jackson Pollock, and Oliver is a classic icon portrayed by Charles Dickens. While it didn’t make the top fifteen, Atticus, made famous in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird,” also appeared as a popular name on some websites.

1. Ethan
2. Jacob
3. Liam
4. Noah
5. Grayson
6. Oliver
7. Mason
8. Jackson
9. Aiden
10. Logan
11. Lucas
12. William
13. Alexander
14. Owen
15. Benjamin

Top Girls Names

The most popular girls’ names in 2012 are largely historical. Emma, Charlotte and Sophia could work as literary characters in a novel set more than a hundred years ago. This romantic longing for days gone by seems to form the basis for several other popular girls’ names. The name Scarlett was made famous in the novel and movie “Gone With the Wind,” and Audrey, as in Hepburn, was one of the most popular actresses of all time. However, unlike the boys’ list, the only biblically-inspired name appearing in the top fifteen is Abigail. Trendsetting names for girls also include Amelia, Chloe, Lily, Ella and Mia among others.

1. Emma
2. Olivia
3. Charlotte
4. Sophia
5. Amelia
6. Isabella
7. Scarlett
8. Chloe
9. Ava
10. Ella
11. Mia
12. Lily
13. Audrey
14. Abigail
15. Madison

Creative Tips for Baby Shower Invitations and Thank You Cards

The arrival of a new baby is a blessed and exciting event. If you are hosting a baby shower, you naturally want to reflect that special excitement and anticipation. A creative invitation will capture the attention of the guests and hopefully spark their interest in attending the shower. Let us discuss the basic elements and explore some fun ideas for creating attractive baby shower invitations and corresponding thank you cards.

The Basics

The invitation cards will need to include all the pertinent information about the location and time of the shower, the name of the mother-to-be, anything the guests are expected to bring, and the hostess’ contact information so they can respond to the invitation. It is considered proper etiquette to invite friends and relatives who may not be able to attend as a gesture of inclusion as it affords them the opportunity to express their support and feelings to the mother-to-be.

There are a few things to consider when you begin planning a baby shower that will affect the choices you make when you create the invitation, such as answers to the following questions:

  • Will there be a theme for the shower?
  • What types of favorite things does the mother-to-be enjoy?
  • Is the baby’s gender known or name chosen?
  • Have you created a baby registry and plan on sending a list of suggested shower gifts to guide your guests?

The Themes

Using a theme for the party makes the planning easier. A theme ties everything together nicely and can feature the favorite colors of the mother-to-be or reflect her style. Baby animals, bubbles, or polka dots are some examples of popular ideas for baby shower themes. Traditional baby items such as blocks, bibs, or bottles are fun to incorporate along with the chosen colors and style. If you know the gender or name of the baby, include specific corresponding elements in the invitations, decorations, party favors, games or activities, and thank you cards.

Help Available

For help with your invitations and thank you cards, Elephoto is here! In fact, using Elephoto you can create fabulous personalized baby shower invitation cards and thank you cards easily and quickly online. You can upload a photo of the mother-to-be, or of the baby, that will add a special personal touch. Then choose from classy layouts and cute clipart to make unique photo invitations and thank you cards that are sure to make your guests smile.

One idea you can try is to ask each guest to write a note or bit of advice to the mother-to-be on their invitation and ask them to bring it with them to the shower where the invitations can be gathered together and fashioned into a little keepsake book of remembrance that will be treasured by the mother and the baby for years to come.

Unique Gift Ideas for Baby Showers

There is no denying that shopping for a baby shower gift is difficult. There is a lot of stress involved in making sure you have chosen a stellar gift. Here are some tips that will help you pick the ideal present…

Keep It Personal

Soon-to-be parents love having personalized items for their little ones. Custom gifts show that you have put considerable thought and effort into choosing the perfect gift.

With Elephoto, you can make a hardcover photobook full of photos that can tell the story of the baby’s arrival. In a world where digital photos reign it is always nice to have a tangible reminder. This gives you the opportunity to share photos from both mom and dad’s past. Including a few photos from the pregnancy with some cute captions is a nice touch. In addition, you can have other baby shower attendees submit their own pictures ahead of time and make it a group effort.

There are other ways to give a personalized gift that will make the new parents swoon. Any nursery needs soothing wall art. A personalized poster with baby’s initials is a great way to help parents decorate. If you have a personal connection with one of the parents, perhaps an inside joke, consider getting something related to it for the baby.

Handmade Goodies

Nothing beats a gift made with tender loving care. If you have the skill you might consider making a cute hat to keep the baby’s head warm in the upcoming winter months or a diaper cover to go under a summer dress.

Even if you cannot sew, knit or crochet you can still contribute something with handmade love. Buy a simple onesie, shirt or dress and an iron-on appliqué. You can find easy instructions for applying the iron-on and it will look fantastic.

Other Thoughtful Treasures

New parents love the opportunity to make memories with their new little one. A birth year box is a lovely way to allow parents to store prized memorabilia from the baby’s first year without losing them. A journal where family can document the baby’s first year is another great gift that can involve everybody.

baby sling can be incredibly useful for a new parent. A sling allows a baby up to 25 pounds to be at mom’s side while she is shopping, working or even resting at home.

If you are still unsure what to get the parents-to-be then you might consider a themed gift basket. They are cute and contain a wide variety of items new parents will adore.