A number of my friends have had babies recently and it very much appears to me that the traditional baby names are firm favourites this year and certainly this was true in 2011 as Harry topped the boys most popular list of baby names and Amelia the girls. Furthermore it seems that 2012 trends are largely influenced by the Royal family.  The Royals tend to use the same baby names from generation to generation, making them both timeless yet traditional.  In the girls charts both Elizabeth and Catherine are seeing significant increases in popularity.  William, George and Edward meanwhile are making their marks in the boys charts.

Other traditional names such as Arthur have seen a resurrgence in recent years.  Back in 1904 it was fourth in the popularity chart dropping to position 100+ between 1964 and 2007 and in 2011 had increased to position 64.

Other new parents are taking their inspiration for baby names from television and film with Jacob and Bella from the Twilight series making significant increases.  Other favourites in 2011 included Blake, Frankie, Elijah and Jackson for boys with Ava and Isabella for girls.

Whatever you choose there is no doubt that the baby name decision is a daunting yet exciting one! I remember I could not agree with my husband on a little girls name - lucky for us therefore that we had a little boy! Be prepared for friends and family reactions if you decide to share your precious name before the baby is born - we kept ours a firm secret for fear of people putting us off our chosen baby name!  There are lots of websites and books to give you inspiration when drawing up your short list of baby names, do you want a traditional or modern name, one that can be shortened, one with a special meaning or perhaps you have a name ready to be passed down the generations like the Royals! It's a great time choosing a name, have fun doing it and you will know when the right one comes along!