Is­abella, Noah are top baby names over past year in the Land of En­chant­ment

Once-pop­u­lar Michael falls off top 10 list while girls names re­main con­sis­tent

The Taos News - - VALLE VISTA - By Olivia Har­low ohar­[email protected]­i­

The top baby names for boys are no longer Ron­ald, Don­ald or Robert – all pop­u­lar in the 1940s. Even Michael got bumped in 2018.

Betty, Bar­bara and Nancy don’t make the cut for girls. Emily, a more re­cent fa­vorite is out, too, but Emma is all the rage.

Other names on the top 10 list for New Mex­ico babies in 2018 are Ma­teo, Liam, Mia and Sophia – also spelled Sofia – ac­cord­ing to a list pro­duced by the state Depart­ment of

Health us­ing birth record data. Is­abella was the No. 1 choice for girls in New Mex­ico this year, and Noah was the fa­vorite for boys.

Round­ing out the list for boys: Eli­jah, Lo­gan, Daniel, Ma­son, Sebastian, Ben­jamin and Ju­lian. And for girls: Olivia, Ava, Amelia, Camila and Mila.

These two- and three-syl­la­ble names might be sim­ple to pro­nounce and easy on the ear, but the process of se­lect­ing a baby name is any­thing but ef­fort­less.

“As a fa­ther of four my­self,” said Paul Rhien, a Health Depart­ment spokesman, “we searched books with baby names and web­sites with baby names. We went through hun­dreds be­fore we found one that stuck.”

For some par­ents in the United States, the per­fect name for a new­born comes with a hefty fee.

With prices for ser­vices rang­ing from hun­dreds of dol­lars (New York-based My Name for Life) to more than $30,000 (Swiss com­pany Er­fol­gswelle), baby name con­sult­ing firms have ap­peared on the mar­ket, of­fer­ing to care­fully vet pos­si­ble names – re­search­ing their his­tory and mean­ing, and eval­u­at­ing the pros and cons of pop­u­lar ver­sus off­beat op­tions – or even to gen­er­ate a one-of-a-kind moniker for an in­fant.

But most par­ents, like Rhien, turn to more af­ford­able re­sources, such as baby name blogs, books and mag­a­zines.

Rhien pointed out some sim­i­lar­i­ties in New Mex­ico’s top baby names: Nearly ev­ery girl name from this past year’s list ends with an “uh” sound, while half of the boy names end with an N.

Since the Health Depart­ment be­gan pro­duc­ing the list in 2014, Rhein said, he has seen some last­ing trends as well as sur­pris­ing shifts.

For ex­am­ple, he said, Michael has been a top boy name in the state for at least the past five years. Rhien was sur­prised to see it drop from the list.

Mean­while, Mia and Noah have been in the top two spots since at least 2014. Sophia has re­mained among the top three names for girls.

Statewide trends of­ten­times over­lap with na­tional baby nam­ing trends.

Ac­cord­ing to a list pro­duced by Par­ents mag­a­zine, Sophia was the top name for girls across the coun­try in 2018. Olivia came in sec­ond, Is­abella fifth and Mia ninth.

For boys, Par­ents noted, Noah came in third na­tion­ally, while Liam was sec­ond, Ma­son eighth and Eli­jah 10th.

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