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Should You Avoid Popular Baby Names?

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Written by Leslie Kennedy for BabyPost.com

When you pick the names for your babies, do you care if the name made the most recent "most popular baby names" list? Is that a bonus? Is it a detriment? Do you go out of the way to avoid using a name that anyone you have ever known or ever could possibly know could have or sound like, or remind you of?

I am trying to decide how I feel about my daughter's name falling out of the top 10 this year. I feel like I should have a feeling about it. I don't really.

My daughter's name, which we picked when I was about six months pregnant, was in the Top Ten list the year she was born. My husband and I totally thought we were being original. We had no idea it was a popular name. Somehow, despite being #6 the year she was born, I only have ever encountered one other child with her name, and it's my friend's daughter who was born just weeks before mine. I still gave my daughter the name. CRAZY. Even crazier is that I wasn't mad at her for "stealing" the name and she wasn't mad at me for copying her.

Related: The 10 Trendiest Baby Names of 2013

Fast forward two and a half years. We give my son an Anglicized version of a family name, thinking it was rare. That year it was. Remarkably, it's in the Top 30 this year.

I have heard countless people complain of other people "stealing" their name or weighing whether to use a name because it sounds like a third cousin's daughter's name. I have never understood that. Maybe it's because my cousin and I share a middle name and I have a first cousin with the same first name as my brother. It's never even occurred to me to care.

Topping the list of boys names in 2012 was William, Jacob, Liam, Nathan and Noah. Personally I'd argue that Liam and William are the same name, but regardless, the top five boys names are classic names, none that I would consider trendy. And like years previous, the names in the top 10 did not change significantly from last year's list. They rarely do. Give or take a trend.

Then we have the girls' names. Maya/Mia/Mya, Sofia/Sophia, Olivia, Emma and Emile/Emily. Top girls names tend to change significantly every year. Trends seem to come and go far more quickly. Those names all sound classic (and are) but growing up, I never knew a Maya, a Sophia, an Olivia or an Emma.

People are trying to get more creative, to keep their child from being one-of in a classroom, and to give them an identity. Some of the uniqueness manifests in nothing more than changing up a spelling, using a "ph" instead of an "f," a "y" instead of an "i".

And then, there's Hashtag. Poor poor baby Hashtag.

Thankfully, that name didn't crack the top 100 and hopefully never will.

Whether you want to give your child a classic name or a trendy one, the choice is yours. Charlotte, Pearl, Sarah. All names. William, Connor, Xavier, also, all names.

Hashtag? Not a name.

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