5 Best Baby Name Books to Pick the Perfect Name

Updated October 3, 2021
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Best Baby Name Books

One of the most important first decisions you'll make as a new parent is what to name your baby. A person's name is a lifelong attribute, and in some cases a reflection of their personality and heritage. Parents put so much time and thought into choosing the perfect baby name, researching its origin and meaning to ensure they land on a moniker that's worthy of their child. The process can become daunting without the proper resources; so these baby name books provide thousands of great options to consider during your search for the magical baby name that clicks. From traditional titles to offbeat name choices, you're sure to find your little one's future name in these guides.

Our Top Pick for the Best Baby Name Book


Best Overall Baby Name Book:
100,000+ Baby Names

This is the mother lode of all baby name books.
Read more.
100,000+ Baby Names

100,000+ Baby Names

100,000+ Baby Names

With over 11.5 million copies sold, and counting, you'll pinpoint a baby name in this immensely popular guide that features over 100,000 options to consider. Recently updated in 2019, no stone is left unturned in this book's quest to help you unearth the ideal name. In addition to flipping through name ideas in an abundance of interesting categories ranging from J.R.R. Tolkien characters to Nobel Prize winners, you'll learn about impressions names make, names inspired by people, places and things, classic names around the world, popular names by state and country, gender neutral names, popular names for boys and girls in different eras, and so much more. Grab your highlighter for all of the lightbulb moments that are sure to ensue.

With over 11.5 million copies sold, and counting, you'll pinpoint a baby name in this immensely popular guide that features over 100,000 options to consider. Recently updated in 2019, no stone is left unturned in this book's quest to help you unearth the ideal name. In addition to flipping through name ideas in an abundance of interesting categories ranging from J.R.R. Tolkien characters to Nobel Prize winners, you'll learn about impressions names make, names inspired by people, places and things, classic names around the world, popular names by state and country, gender neutral names, popular names for boys and girls in different eras, and so much more. Grab your highlighter for all of the lightbulb moments that are sure to ensue.

5/5
Our rating
tested by lovetoknow
What We Like
This could be your one-stop shop for all baby name related questions.
What We Don't
If you can't find a baby name in here, you'll have to invent one.
Okay, you may not find some of the more extremely unique names here, but just pick up the other book on this list (Off-the-Grid Baby Names), and you're golden.
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The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby

The Baby Name Wizard

The Baby Name Wizard: A Magical Method for Finding the Perfect Name for Your Baby

If you're compelled to employ a bit of sorcery to conjure up the perfect baby name, many consider this the "wizard" of all baby name books; and it improves with each revised edition. This latest fourth edition was updated in 2019 and it's better than ever. Each baby name suggestion is paired with a breakdown of its popularity, styles, possible nicknames and variants. Also included is a fun and interesting description or fact that correlates with the name, as well as a list of significant people in the world who answer to each name.

If you're compelled to employ a bit of sorcery to conjure up the perfect baby name, many consider this the "wizard" of all baby name books; and it improves with each revised edition. This latest fourth edition was updated in 2019 and it's better than ever. Each baby name suggestion is paired with a breakdown of its popularity, styles, possible nicknames and variants. Also included is a fun and interesting description or fact that correlates with the name, as well as a list of significant people in the world who answer to each name.

4.5/5
Our rating
tested by lovetoknow
What We Like
Gives advice on making your child's name flow like poetry
Provides thoughtful information on middle names, sibling names and twin names
Each name is paired with a list of brother and sister names that complement it
What We Don't
The derivatives of names are not provided in every case, so this book may leave you wondering about the roots and origins of your baby's name.
The Nameberry Guide to Off-the-Grid Baby Names

The Nameberry Guide to Off-the-Grid Baby Names

The Nameberry Guide to Off-the-Grid Baby Names

If you skew more toward River than Robert when it comes to your taste in baby names, this is the read for you. Flip through these pages for ah-ha moments while learning rare ideas for names. Some are inspired by nature: Clove and Plum, and some are based on wonderful words like Sonnet and Verve. Each name is paired with a brief but meaningful definition and a word on its roots (English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, etc.). Your kid may never find their name on a personalized pencil or souvenir license plate, but they'll never have to go by their first name and last initial (Jennifer S.) in a classroom setting.

If you skew more toward River than Robert when it comes to your taste in baby names, this is the read for you. Flip through these pages for ah-ha moments while learning rare ideas for names. Some are inspired by nature: Clove and Plum, and some are based on wonderful words like Sonnet and Verve. Each name is paired with a brief but meaningful definition and a word on its roots (English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, etc.). Your kid may never find their name on a personalized pencil or souvenir license plate, but they'll never have to go by their first name and last initial (Jennifer S.) in a classroom setting.

4/5
Our rating
tested by lovetoknow
What We Like
These offbeat name suggestions will truly help you land on an original and unique baby name.
What We Don't
If you want to incorporate a mix of more traditional baby names in your search, you won't find them here.
Some name suggestions include more details and elaboration than others.
Best Baby Names 2021

Best Baby Names 2021

Best Baby Names 2021

Beyond the baby name, this book is also a helpful naming guide for parents, as it offers thorough advice in the areas of agreeing with your partner on a name, dealing with other people's opinions on the name you choose, understanding personal associations with names, useful factors to consider, like what your baby's initials will be, whether the name you like can be shortened to a nickname, and what makes a good name choice overall.

Names are divided into categories including gender-neutral names, television and movie actors, celebrity babies, reality TV stars, Star Wars and Marvel characters and more. This puts a really fun spin on choosing a baby name based on pop culture. But, if you're looking for a book that lists thousands of names from A-Z, this is organized in a different fashion.

Beyond the baby name, this book is also a helpful naming guide for parents, as it offers thorough advice in the areas of agreeing with your partner on a name, dealing with other people's opinions on the name you choose, understanding personal associations with names, useful factors to consider, like what your baby's initials will be, whether the name you like can be shortened to a nickname, and what makes a good name choice overall.

Names are divided into categories including gender-neutral names, television and movie actors, celebrity babies, reality TV stars, Star Wars and Marvel characters and more. This puts a really fun spin on choosing a baby name based on pop culture. But, if you're looking for a book that lists thousands of names from A-Z, this is organized in a different fashion.

4.5/5
Our rating
tested by lovetoknow
What We Like
Offers suggestions for totally random ways to let baby name inspiration strike: like watching television credits or reading the jerseys of the players on your favorite sports team
What We Don't
Name meanings, definitions and derivatives are not provided.
You need to pair this guide with another name guide for a comprehensive baby name search.
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Inspired Baby Names from Around the World

Inspired Baby Names from Around the World

Inspired Baby Names from Around the World

This tome will help you find the best name for your global citizen. It features over six thousand international names derived from every corner of the world, alongside a deeper look into their spiritual, historical and cultural significance. Names are also sorted by ethnicity, for parents looking to honor their ancestral roots.

This tome will help you find the best name for your global citizen. It features over six thousand international names derived from every corner of the world, alongside a deeper look into their spiritual, historical and cultural significance. Names are also sorted by ethnicity, for parents looking to honor their ancestral roots.

4/5
Our rating
tested by lovetoknow
What We Like
Expounds upon the naming customs of different cultures
Explains how to perceive your child's name via a variety of centered meditation techniques
Provides snippets detailing where each name is featured or derived from scripture or other notable texts
What We Don't
This book isn't as comprehensive as some other baby name books that boast many more thousands of names.

Whether you have a list of baby names in mind and want to learn more about them, or you're starting from scratch and searching for inspiration, these baby name books are sure to help you uncover every possibility from Abbott to Zander, so you can confidently decide what to call your child.

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5 Best Baby Name Books to Pick the Perfect Name