Top Baby Name Books


top-Best-Baby-Name-Books

KOKOPAX TOP PICK
We have spent hours talking to parents, read hundreds of reviews, and spent absolutely ages leafing through books of baby names. We can now say that The Baby Name Wizard is the baby name book to get. If you are looking for a book that will guide you through choosing your baby’s name, and provide plenty of information on the name you eventually choose, then this is the book for you.

Product DescriptionUser's ScoreOverall Score
Editor choice
The Baby Name Wizard

The Baby Name Wizard

The best baby name book we encountered, this book comes highly recommended by parents. They found that it really ...

User Rating: 3.95 (1 votes)
2 The Name Book

The Name Book

A solid baby name book, but lacking some of the features of the others that we reviewed. That said, there are ...

User Rating: 3.8 (1 votes)
3 The Complete Book of Baby Names

The Complete Book of Baby Names

If you are looking for the book with the most names, then this is it! The approach here is truly encyclopedic, ...

User Rating: 3.7 (1 votes)
4 100,000+ Baby Names

100,000+ Baby Names

  Bruce Lansky, the author of this book, has been writing similar books for quite a number of years now, ...

User Rating: 3.5 (1 votes)

 

What is a Baby Name Book?

One of the first, and perhaps the most important, present you give to your child is their name.

Yet many parents find that choosing a name can be a very difficult and stressful task. There is nothing worse than choosing what you think to be an unusual name, only to find that six months later all of the children you meet are called the same thing! In addition, many names have spiritual or religious meanings that are important to consider when choosing them for your child. If

The books we review here aim to take some of the stress out of this process. At its most basic, a baby name book contains a list of names, and explains the origins of each, helping you to decide on a name which is perfect for your little one.

Many of these books also contain analyses of which names are popular at the moment, so you can choose a truly original name!

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How we review

We review by listening to real parents. Nothing can beat their real-life experience of using these products, and when asked they are more than happy to divulge all the features and failings of their purchases!

For this review, we collected and read hundreds of product reviews, and talked to the parents who had written them. Sometimes, what a company sells as a feature can in reality become a major annoyance, something which new parents have enough of. And they tell us about these annoyances, at length.

And so all the reviews below, though written by us, are based on real experiences.

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Reviews

Of course, different parents prefer different styles of book, and your choice of baby name book will be down to these personal preferences. Through talking to parents, though, we have found that a few features really mark out the best baby name books from the rest of their competition.

The first thing to note is that many books make grand claims about the number of names that are included in them. This can be great if you want a really unusual name, but in reality any more than 10,000 names is unlikely to prove useful.

What is useful is having analyses of the most common names at the moment, or some kind of guide to help you in choosing a name. A huge list of names is not really that helpful, and can actually stress parents out even more, when they realize just how many options there are!

Instead, go for a book that will help you through this important process – a book that will talk you through your decision slowly and carefully, like an old friend!

And so, with this in mind, here are our favorites:


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Editor’s Pick: The Baby Name Wizard

The Baby Name Wizard Review

The best baby name book we encountered, this book comes highly recommended by parents. They found that it really guides them though the process of choosing a name for their child, and provides recommendations that they really agree with.

The approach taken in this book really makes it stand out from the crowd. It is based on extensive research, and uses computer-generated models to track a name’s popularity and usage over the past hundred years.

The author, Laura Wattenberg, first conceived of this this book when she was trying to choose a name for her own child. Frustrated by the baby name books then available, she compiled a huge database of names, which allowed her to write computer programs which helped parents choose the perfect name.

The Baby Name Wizard

The best baby name book we encountered, this book comes highly recommended by parents. They found that it really guides them though the process of choosing a name for their child, and provides recommendations that they really agree with.

Importantly, this book looks not only at the meanings and roots of names, but also at the worldwide popularity of them over the past hundred years. Like hairstyles and hemlines, baby names have fashions, and this book helps parents to understand these and choose a name which is truly unique.

Advantages

  • The approach taken in this book is unique. Rather than list a name’s “meanings”, which are often quite obscure and often false, the book tells parents what a name’s “style” is. These are categories which indicate what associations people have with the name you are considering, so you can see instantly if it has any unfortunate connotations that you had not heard of!
  • Each entry also lists names which pair well with the name you are looking at. This is great if your new baby already has an older brother or sister, or you are planning on having a few more children after this one!
  • The descriptions of the names are really well written, giving just the correct amount of relevant detail – often, baby name books will explain that a name has its roots in ancient Greek or Latin, which is nice to know but not really relevant to most parents!
  • The organization of the book is also great. Using the “style” category, parents can quickly find a list of names which have a similar “feel” to the one they are considering. This allows you to quickly come up with a list of preferred names, all of which have similar connotations, but all of which are unique!

Disadvantages

In comparison to some other books, some found that this book did not have a huge list of names. If you are considering a very obscure name, this can be a frustration, but for most parents the number of names included in this book will be more than sufficient.


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100,000+ Baby Names

100,000+ Baby Names Reviews

 

Bruce Lansky, the author of this book, has been writing similar books for quite a number of years now, and is regarded as an expert on baby names.

This expertise really shines through with this book. It features a nice compromise between the encyclopedic approach of some other books, which try to list every single possible name, and recommendations on choosing a name which is nicely unique without being weird!

100,000+ Baby Names

This expertise really shines through with this book. It features a nice compromise between the encyclopedic approach of some other books, which try to list every single possible name, and recommendations on choosing a name which is nicely unique without being weird!

It also contains a lot of information on the most commonly used names over the past few years, and highlights names that are becoming popular right now. If you want your child to have a fashionable name, this is great. Equally, if you want to choose a name which is nicely old-fashioned, or likely to be unique amongst the children at your child’s nursery, then these lists are really useful.

In addition, the book has several other features to recommend it:

Advantages

  • The way in which this book analysis trends amongst baby names is really handy. Parents can easily see the top 100 most popular names at the moment, as well as names that are rapidly rising or falling in popularity.
  • The book also groups names by linguistic or cultural origin, so you can easily see a list of Hispanic names, for instance. The book is really encyclopedic here, and contains lists for dozens of different languages.
  • The list of the most popular gender-neutral names is also great. This list breaks down the usage of these names, also, so you can easily see if they are more often used for boys or girls.
  • And lastly, the book has a list of infamous celebrity baby names! Whilst we would not recommend following some of the more silly examples in this list, it is really fun to read, and provides a welcome relief from poring over lists of likely names!

Disadvantages

  • Though the book does indeed contain 100,000+ names, this statistic is a little misleading, because it counts all the different possible spellings of each name. For most parents, this is not really an issue, because they will focus on quite a short list of names, but some found this frustrating.

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The Complete Book of Baby Names

The Complete Book of Baby Names Review

If you are looking for the book with the most names, then this is it!

The approach here is truly encyclopedic, containing every single name you have ever heard of, and thousands you haven’t!

Whilst this book is not the most helpful in helping you to choose a name, it can be great if used in conjunction with another book. Once you have narrowed down your list of possible names, a quick look at this book will give you all the possible spellings and varieties of each name.

The Complete Book of Baby Names

The approach here is truly encyclopedic, containing every single name you have ever heard of, and thousands you haven’t!

Advantages

  • Alongside its huge list of names, the book also includes a huge number of themed lists to help you choose the perfect name. These are intuitively themed, so that if you want to give your child an intellectual, creative name, or a name which evokes a strong leader, then you can find one!
  • Like most baby name books, this book includes a list of the most popular names. This is great if you want to find a name which is truly unique, or at least nicely unusual!
  • The variations and nicknames list is also really handy – you can instantly see which nicknames are associated with your chosen name, which can help in avoiding unfortunate ones!
  • Lastly, there is a great section on what not to name your baby. Whilst the parents we talked to were definitely not considering any of the names on this list, it is an entertaining read, and helps to break the tedium of poring over your preferred options!

Disadvantages

  • The sheer size of this book meant some parents found it frustrating to use. It is useful, of course, to have every single variation of a name listed, but the sheer number of entries here make finding the one you want a little time-consuming. This book is best used in conjunction with another.

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The Name Book

The Name Book Review

A solid baby name book, but lacking some of the features of the others that we reviewed.

That said, there are some great things about this book. It skips the long introductions that are contained in other books, and gets straight into a numbered list of names.

If you are looking for a more traditional (Christian) name, then this book is a good choice. It has a focus on the spiritual meaning of names, and links each name’s meaning to the bible. It even indicates names that are used in the bible by using a small book symbol.

The Name Book

That said, there are some great things about this book. It skips the long introductions that are contained in other books, and gets straight into a numbered list of names.

Advantages

  • The spiritual (Christian) focus of this book appealed to some of the parents we spoke to. For those who wanted a traditional name for their child, and wanted to link this to the bible, this is the only book that offered this kind of information.
  • The simplicity of the approach taken here is really great, also. Having a smaller list of names can help overcome the confusion that many parents feel when it comes to choosing a name for their child.
  • This book is a great companion to other baby name books which offer more direct advice on choosing a name. The focus on spirituality means there is more information here about this aspect of names, something which is sometimes lacking in other books.

Disadvantages

  • It goes without saying, perhaps, but the focus of this book is on Christian spirituality. If you have different beliefs, then this is not the book for you!
  • One further bugbear that the parents we spoke to noted was that this book does not separate names by gender, which can make looking them up a little annoying.

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Our Final Thoughts

So which to choose?

Well, obviously, the choice is yours. Some parents find that a book which offers a lot of advice is best for them, and some find that having a list of every possible name is really useful. Most of the parents we spoke to, however, preferred a compromise between the two.

This can, of course, be achieved by buying several books – one with advice, and another with a directory of names.

For most parents, though, we would recommend The Baby Name Wizard. This book offers a great compromise between extensive lists and practical advice, and the statistical approach taken means that it really stands out from the crowd.

All the information you need is easily accessible, and the number of names included is just right. If you are looking for a book that will really guide you through the stressful process of choosing a name, then this is the one for you!

For more information about baby books check out our top baby books.