Choosing a baby name for a tiny human is a big responsibility. While some parents opt for traditional family monikers passed down through generations, others are taking inspiration from alternative sources.
To help parents-to-be strike a balance between unusual and on-trend, the experts at BabyCentre UK have pulled together their prediction of the baby naming trends which look set to shape the pre-school registers in 2022 and beyond.
From favourite characters starring in binge-worthy box sets, to seeking inspo from the royals, football stars and the return of Glastonbury, it seems mums and dads-to-be will be thinking outside the baby naming box this year.
Baby name trends 2022
Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
While royal baby names are perennial picks for parents-to-be, this year could see a particular spike in the popularity of regal monikers, thanks to the celebrations surrounding the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.
"As the Queen plans to celebrate her 70th year on the throne, we believe some royal names will see a resurgence this year," explains Sarah Redshaw, managing editor for BabyCentre UK.
The names the baby bods predict will be particularly popular include Elizabeth, Betty, Eliza, Elsbeth and possibly a few Lilibets.
Mini Marcus, et al
Having already seen a trend for names inspired by England’s men’s football team in the 2021 chart following their Euro success in 2021, Redshaw predicts this craze could continue when the World Cup kicks off in November 2022.
The name Marcus (Rashford) witnessed a rise in popularity and experts believe new players joining the squad since the Euros could be further sources of inspiration to parents.
"New to the England fold at the end of last year, Connor (Gallagher) and Aaron (Ramsdale) are both up outside the top 100," she explains.
Return of Glastonbury
After two years of cancellations because of COVID restrictions, the hugely popular Glastonbury festival is set to return this year and it could provide some name-spo to mums and dads-to-be.
"Billie (Eilish) has been announced as a headliner, so parents may be inspired by the feel-good festival," Redshaw explains.
Encanto and co
As well as fuelling a whole swathe of kids continually busting out the lyrics from the soundtrack, Encanto, which was the most-viewed title on the Disney+ streaming service in the first two weeks after its December release online, is also predicted to have an impact on baby names this year.
"Could we see a rise for Mirabel, the name of the main character?" Redshaw asks.
Last year there was an uptick in babies named after characters in Disney, Marvel and DC Comics and Redshaw says the popular flicks could well provide naming inspiration for 2022.
Babycentre said parents were particularly influenced by binge-worthy content watched during lockdown, with superhero names sent flying up the registrations in 2021 as the Marvel and DC franchises dominated film and TV.
Even Marvel itself made its mark as the number of baby boys named after the franchise quadrupled. Loki doubled in registrations outside the top 100 while Loki TV series character Sylvie climbed in the girls’ rankings.
Watch: Daisy, Sage among nature-inspired baby names new parents adore
Old-fashioned baby names have been having quite the moment of late, with many parents opting to give their babies monikers which nod to eras gone by.
And according to the experts, this trend looks set to continue into 2022 and beyond.
"We’ve seen a huge rise in traffic on our old-fashioned names article, it’s increased 115% in 2021 compared to 2020," explains Redshaw.
As well as revealing their predictions hottest up-and-coming baby name trends, Babycentre also studied the registrations to reveal their predicted picks of 2022.
Top 10 predicted girls names 2022
Top 10 predicted boys names 2022