It’s so hard choosing baby names. We spent hours and hours pouring over the top baby names and ticking off the names we liked and the ones we couldn’t stand. It’s one of those things that you think will be fun before you have children but is actually a nightmare. You have to choose something which both parents like, which matches your surname, which sounds good as a baby, child and adult and which isn’t the same as anyone you know too closely. It’s a minefield to discuss baby names when you’re expecting. You’ve finally found the perfect name which you both love. You have a conversation with your parents or your friends and they spend ten minutes laughing hysterically at the couple down the road who called their poor child the name you had been secretly treasuring.

I decided it was best to keep our favourite names close to our chest so no one spoilt it for us, names are after all a very personal thing. I love all our girls’ names but I know they won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I also try to be careful when other people are discussing what name to choose their child. The only time I forgot was when I was telling some I ends that Hannah was our top choice of name until everyone had put us off by going on and on about Hannah Montana. I didn’t think that one of my friends was also pregnant. Of course Hannah was their first choice as well.

I like to look at the top 100 baby girl names from 2011 and see where my girls’ names are. They are still in the top100, but not the top 20 which is probably a good place to be. It’s also interesting to look at the top baby boy names. We never reached an agreement on boy names and never found any we both loved. Perhaps that shows we were fated to have all girls.

Anyway here are the top baby boy and girl names from 2011. Hopefully I won’t need to look at this list again for real. This list has been compiled by Bounty based on a survey of 434,756 babies born to members of its parenting club in 2011. The survey shows that Harry and Olivia are the top names last year. Tommy and Eliza were the biggest climbers of the year. Three names from the twilight films were all popular, Jacob, Bella and Esme.  Lisa Penney, spokesmum for Bounty said: ”Our records show that parents are continuing to be influenced by popular culture and celebrity fads.

TOP 100 BABY GIRL NAMES 2011
1 OLIVIA
2 LILY
3 SOPHIE
4 AMELIA
5 EMILY
6 JESSICA
7 GRACE
8 AVA
9 RUBY
10 MIA
11 CHLOE
12 EVIE
13 ISABELLA
14 SOPHIA
15 POPPY
16 ISLA
17 ELLA
18 LUCY
19 FREYA
20 DAISY
21 MAISIE
22 LILLY
23 ISABELLE
24 CHARLOTTE
25 ELLIE
26 SUMMER
27 MEGAN
28 HOLLY
29 LAYLA
30 EVA
31 ERIN
32 MILLIE
33 LOLA
34 PHOEBE
35 LEXI
36 LACEY
37 IMOGEN
38 SCARLETT
39 SIENNA
40 EMMA
41 MOLLY
42 HANNAH
43 ALICE
44 AMY
45 BROOKE
46 KATIE
47 ABIGAIL
48 LEAH
49 JASMINE
50 GRACIE
51 AMBER
52 ROSIE
53 SOFIA
54 MATILDA
55 FLORENCE
56 ELIZABETH
57 FAITH
58 AMELIE
59 GEORGIA
60 ANNA
61 MAYA
62 MADISON
63 JULIA
64 REBECCA
65 BETHANY
66 PAIGE
67 MADDISON
68 NIAMH
69 KAYLA
70 ISABEL
71 BELLA
72 ESME
73 ISOBEL
74 LEXIE
75 LAUREN
76 CAITLIN
77 WILLOW
78 ZOE
79 SKYE
80 ROSE
81 ZARA
82 KEIRA
83 ELEANOR
84 ELIZA
85 EMILIA
86 MARTHA
87 HOLLIE
88 EVELYN
89 HEIDI
90 TILLY
91 DARCY
92 EVE
93 NICOLE
94 ELSIE
95 SARAH
96 LIBBY
97 HARRIET
98 ABBIE
99 MAISY
100 MYA

TOP 100 BABY BOY NAMES 2011
1 HARRY
2 JACK
3 OLIVER
4 CHARLIE
5 ALFIE
6 JACOB
7 THOMAS
8 JAMES
9 RILEY
10 ETHAN
11 JOSHUA
12 WILLIAM
13 GEORGE
14 MAX
15 DANIEL
16 NOAH
17 OSCAR
18 LOGAN
19 ARCHIE
20 DYLAN
21 LUCAS
22 JAKE
23 SAMUEL
24 JOSEPH
25 TYLER
26 JAYDEN
27 LEO
28 LEWIS
29 RYAN
30 MASON
31 FINLEY
32 HENRY
33 ALEXANDER
34 ADAM
35 HARRISON
36 FREDDIE
37 BENJAMIN
38 CALLUM
39 LIAM
40 LUKE
41 ISAAC
42 MATTHEW
43 JAMIE
44 CONNOR
45 ALEX
46 THEO
47 NATHAN
48 KAI
49 EDWARD
50 TOBY
51 HARVEY
52 HARLEY
53 AIDEN
54 BEN
55 FINLAY
56 MICHAEL
57 AARON
58 OLLIE
59 CAMERON
60 SAM
61 DAVID
62 ZACHARY
63 LEON
64 OWEN
65 SEBASTIAN
66 TOMMY
67 RHYS
68 BOBBY
69 JENSON
70 KYLE
71 LOUIS
72 KAYDEN
73 LUCA
74 EVAN
75 JACKSON
76 BLAKE
77 KIAN
78 CALEB
79 DEXTER
80 LOUIE
81 JUDE
82 ZAC
83 TAYLOR
84 REECE
85 RORY
86 ASHTON
87 HAYDEN
88 FRANKIE
89 ARTHUR
90 BAILEY
91 GABRIEL
92 STANLEY
93 CODY
94 ELLIOT
95 JAY
96 BILLY
97 JOHN
98 AIDAN
99 COREY
100 JOEL

I wonder what names will be top in 2012? Celebrities seem to inspire the fashions so it’s worth keeping an eye out for what they choose. The first celebrity baby name of the year is Ethel Mary, Although, the baby girl was born to Lily Allen in November the name has only just been announced as the family have been keeping a low profile. So perhaps this shows a continuing trend for old fashioned names.