Choosing a baby name can be overwhelming and stressful. Based on the #1 baby expert’s experience and expertise, our top pick for the best baby name book this year is 100,000+ Baby Names.
Best Baby Name Books
The Baby Names 2021 book is the most updated book compared to the others. With that being said, The Complete Book of Baby Names and 100,000+ Baby Names books contain the most baby names (100,000+ each).
100,000+ Baby Names
The 100,000+ Baby Names is updated yearly to include the most popular naming trends and advice. Author Bruce Lansky is the #1 author of baby-name books in North America, selling over 11.5 million copies of baby name books, he is by far a knowledgeable expert.
This book not only offers 100,000+ name ideas, but it breaks it down into convenient categories. Some categories include newly popular names and variations, top 100 names for boys and girls, latest naming trends, rapidly rising and falling names, newly famous people, fictional characters, popular gender-neutral names, and new (and classic) celebrity baby names.
This book offers names from around the world. You’ll find names from over 25 different ethnic groups and major linguistic groups. Unique spellings of popular names and different variations are offered in ways that you will not find on other popular websites and books.
- Updated in 2019, and generally updated annually to include most popular naming trends and advice
- 100,000 name ideas are one of the largest collections we’ve found in one book
- Names are broken down into many useful categories that can help focus your search
- 100,000 names can feel overwhelming, like finding a needle in a haystack
The 2019 Baby Names Almanac
The 2019 Baby Names Almanac can help you find both current trending names as well as something a little more unique. This book contains information on trends and names to watch, popularity by state, names on the rise, new twists on classic names, the origin and meaning behind names, and much more.
Broken down by easy-to-navigate lists that are fully comprehensive. As a bonus, there are lined pages at the back of the book for you to keep track of names that catch your attention so you don’t have to keep flipping back.
If you’re interested in trends and what’s popular, this book offers insight into what’s driving popularity, not just a list of names. Whether you’re hoping to stay on-trend or steer away from more popular names, this book will offer you insight into why some names gain popularity. If you’re a visual learner, the stats and charts will be right up your alley.
- Easy to navigate lists categorize names into themes to help narrow your search
- Offers stats and charts to help understand why names are popular and what current trends are showing us
- Published in 2019, has fairly recent up to date information on names
- Does not list how many name ideas are included
The Complete Book of Baby Names
The Complete Book of Baby Names is a one-stop shop for your baby naming needs. The 100,000+ names are divided into 600 different lists of names as well as common do’s and don’ts of baby naming. Advice includes ideas like how to pair sibling names, guidance for middle names, gender-neutral name ideas, and attributes of a good name.
Some of the 600 creative lists include names from American Literature, Sports Stars, Political leaders, Eccentric names, and names that fly under the radar. Other themes are specific to location, culture, and spirituality. If you’re looking to focus your attention on one idea or theme, this book does a great job of honing in on different categories.
In addition to the various themed lists of baby names, you will find advice, tips, and suggestions for navigating the baby naming process. While it can feel overwhelming to decide, this book does a good job of guiding you through the process. Keep your mind open, and try out many different names until you find something that feels right.
- A good range of name ideas and advice
- Breaks name ideas down by themed lists to help narrow your search
- 100,000 name ideas can feel overwhelming and will include many repeats
- Updated in 2013 some of the most recent trends and popular names will have changed
The Baby Name Wizard
The Baby Name Wizard is a fourth edition that has been updated in 2019 with current trends, facts, and ideas. This book is more than just a list of name ideas, instead, it offers a visual image for each name. It categorizes names into similar styles and feelings rather than just alphabetically.
In addition to names grouped by style and feeling, you’ll find nickname ideas, pronunciations, various spellings, and usage and popularity over the last 100 years. This book does not boast providing a certain number of name ideas, because they feel that can be overwhelming. Instead, it guides you through the process of choosing a name, seeing what names have in common, and narrowing down a small set of names that really speak to you.
- Updated in 2019 this book offers current trends, facts, and ideas for names
- Unique because it offers sets of names based on common styles and feelings, a great resource if you’re looking to name a sibling
- Does not list a certain number of names offered, the theory is they don’t want you to be overwhelmed with choices, but it may not offer the number of options you are looking for
Beyond Ava & Aidan: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby
Beyond Ava & Aidan: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby is a categorized baby name book that offers unique options. Some of the categories include Hipster Names, Vintage Chic, Names that Work, Baby Gods and Goddesses, and Green Names.
A unique and well-rounded book that offers less popular names for families who want their child to stand out. While it boasts the very latest trends and up-to-the-minute edition, this was actually published in 2005 and is not as current. However, the list of names is still well-rounded and a great option for families who are looking to avoid just going with the latest trends and current top names.
- Categorizes name ideas into unique themes such as Hipster Names, Vintage Chic, Baby Gods and Goddesses, and more
- Offers more unique and underused names rather than just the most popular or currently trending names
- Published in 2005, we love the categories and ideas but is not actually as current with current trends
The Name Book
The Name Book is a great resource for families that value spiritual significance and meaning. Each of the 10,000 name ideas includes cultural origins, literal meanings, and supporting scriptures. The 10,000 name ideas range between classic, contemporary and biblical.
Pulling heavily from names in the bible, this book is a wonderful resource for religious families who would like to pass on a spiritual name to their children. As your children get older, it is a lovely way to share the meaning of their names and why you chose them for them.
- The most prevalent spelling is listed first, other versions are also listed for variations
- Unique in that it offers supporting scriptures and spiritual meanings of each name
- Names are not divided by gender, so you cannot just flip to a section of male, female, or gender-neutral, you need to flip through all
- Does not include current trends for 2021, but a large selection of names all the same
The Best Baby Name Book in the Whole Wide World
The Best Baby Name Book in the Whole Wide World is an oldie, but a goodie. Published in 1984, this book holds over 13,000 name ideas for boys and girls. While it might not include the latest trends, there are more name ideas than you will find in most baby name books.
Author Bruce Lansky is the #1 author of baby-name books in North America. His ideas are exhaustive and he includes fascinating facts, origins, meanings, famous namesakes, and more. If you are interested in the meanings behind names, this book is a wonderful resource to take you through the naming journey.
- 13,000 name ideas is a large number to find within one resource
- Fascinating facts, origins, meanings, and more are included
- Published in 1984, will not include the most current trends and popular name suggestions
The BIG Book of Baby Names 2021
The BIG Book of Baby Names 2021 is a great resource especially if you are looking for updated gender-neutral names. With 310 pages and over 5,000 name ideas, there’s likely something for everyone inside. Based on current trends this book includes more gender-neutral name ideas for non-binary babies. In addition, there are also typical name ideas for boys and girls.
If you’re looking to stay on-trend, this book is current for 2021 and likely to follow the most popular current name choices. Stay in the know with today’s most popular names with the guidance of this book.
- Provides current data on popular names for 2021
- Unique in that it offers more gender-neutral name ideas for non-binary babies
- 5,000 name ideas are on the low end for baby name books
Baby Names 2021
Baby Names 2021 is newly updated for the year 2021 and now includes over 8,000 names. Author Eleanor Turner has written 19 best-selling baby name books, so it’s clear she knows her stuff. Considered a “baby name expert” Eleanor offers 2021 trends, most popular names by state, nicknames, tips, and more in this 10th edition of her popular Baby Names book.
Enjoy 336 pages full of baby name ideas to get your journey started. If you want to be on-trend, particularly with your state and location, this book is a great resource. Not only will you read about current trends, but you’ll also be able to see a peek into Eleanor’s forecast for what’s to come. Eleanor has 4 children of her own, so in addition to being a “baby name expert”, she has first-hand experience as well.
- Revised each year, has current trends for 2021
- Unique in that it provides favorite names by each State
- Wide variety of different cultural names
- 8,000 name ideas is an average number, other books offer many more
The Best Baby Name Books Compared
The table below compares only the recommended products on this page. A low or high Price means it is low or high compared to the other products listed. The Popularity Score reflects how often readers click on and buy the product. The Quality Score is our assessment of the overall performance and satisfaction with the product compared to others in the table.
|Beyond Ava & Aidan: The Enlightened Guide to Naming Your Baby||$$$$||7.4||7.2|
|The Baby Name Wizard||$$$$||9.9||8.6|
|100,000+ Baby Names||$$$||9.9||8.8|
|The BIG Book of Baby Names 2021||$$$||3.9||5.0|
|The Name Book||$$$||9.9||8.6|
|Baby Names 2021||$$||8.6||8.0|
|The Complete Book of Baby Names||$$||9.9||8.6|
|The Best Baby Name Book in the Whole Wide World||$$||9.8||8.4|
How We Selected Baby Name Books
Offering more than just a list of names
Finding more than just a list of names is an important feature when looking for the best baby name book. Most common additions include meanings, origins, nicknames, various spellings, and spiritual meanings. We looked for books that offered features like this, as well as popularity charts, current trends, and naming advice. If you already have a child/children pairing a sibling name can be an even bigger challenge. Some of these books offer lists of names that have common styles, sounds, and pair well together. Depending on your needs, we offered these suggestions as well.
Up-to-date naming information
Today, there are more names to choose from than ever before. Whether you want to follow the current trends or steer clear of #1 names, having an idea of what the current trends and popular names will help you head in the right direction. Some names are timeless, while others seem to be a passing phase. We looked for books that offered names updated within the last few years to provide you with the most up-to-date information. We did keep a few “classic” books on our list as we feel they offer information that is still relevant today.
While you’re looking, consider buying a baby memory book to start jotting down all the details of your pregnancy!
FAQs – Baby Name Books
Why a baby name book versus a Google search?
Having all of your information in one place that can be shared between partners or family members is an ideal resource. While you can find similar information through various Google searches, we like the idea of having a tangible resource in your hands. Feel free to mark up the pages, highlight your favorites, and share with your loved ones. If you are a partner are having trouble deciding on a name, working from the same book with help focus your search and help you come to an agreement faster.
Should baby name books be updated every year?
Baby name books do not need to be updated every single year to be current. You can expect trends and popularity charts to change at least every 5 years. Baby name books that focus on classic names, names from literature, spiritual names, etc., are more timeless and do not need to be updated as frequently. If you’re looking for unique name ideas, the publication date is less important. If you’re looking to stay on-trend and up to date with what is current and popular, or what is likely to be up and coming, then we recommend choosing a book published within the last 5 years.