The Most Popular Baby Names of 2011

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“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet.”

While Shakespeare might not have placed a lot of importance on the label by which we are called, most modern parents would probably disagree with his sentiment. 

Picking out a name for your little bundle of joy is one of the first and hardest decisions that any new mom or dad has to make – and there can be a lot of pressure!

Do you name your baby after you grandfather or grandmother? Do you choose something totally unique? Do you draw inspiration from cultural references, works of fiction, favorite movie characters? The options are seemingly endless.

So if you need a little help narrowing down your short list, or if you’re just curious about the latest naming trends, here are some of the most popular baby names of 2011 (compiled by Babycenter.com):

Sophia

For the second year in a row, “Sophia” grabbed the top spot on the list of girls’ names. No real surprises here, it’s been in the top five since 2007.

Aiden

Kindergarten is certainly going to be full of little Aidens for the next few years. This has been the most popular boy name for the past SEVEN years. Seriously people, it’s time to broaden our horizons. Why is no one naming their son “Mr. Big?”

Isabella

Thanks to all the Twi-hards out there, Isabella was stays near the top of the list, coming in third place this year. Who wouldn’t want to name their child after Twilight heroine, Bella Swan? 

Mason

A new appearance in the top five is the name Mason (in third place), perhaps inspired by Kourtney Kardashian’s first born. 

Jacob

Perfect, another Twilight reference. Jacob comes in at number five, while Edward doesn’t even make it on the list! Guess we know what team most of the moms are on (Team Jacob).

Ryan

Could the Ryan Gosling obsession be catching up to newborns as well? He’s stopped fights in the middle of New York City streets, has Tumblrs dedicated to him, and we’re pretty sure that when it comes to who’s cuter: Ryan Gosling or a puppy… it’s usually Ryan.

Looking at last year’s list, some names like Jacob, Ethan, Jayden, Noah, and Aiden were back on the Top Ten list again this year. But surprisingly, nine of the top ten girls’ names for 2010 were all the same, except for the addition of Lily this year. Why the sudden popularity? (Harry Potter, we so much hope it’s because of Harry Potter!)

While these are the most popular names, some parents want to find un-common or unique monikers for their newborns. If you fall into this category, get some inspiration with our list of reader submitted “Best of the Weird” baby names.

What are your favorite baby names? What’s the most unique name you’ve heard?

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