Amelia, Theodore, Hudson and Lucas: Welcome to the top 10!

These names surged in popularity in 2018 in West Michigan. For the first time in at least five years, they made the top 10 names given to babies born at the Family Birthplace at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital.

Amelia, ranked No. 4, was the only newcomer to nab a spot on the girls’ list. Her popularity appears to be part of a nationwide trend. She was No. 8 in the U.S. in 2017, according to the Social Security Administration.

Both Theodore (No. 4) and Hudson (No. 9) appear to be especially popular in West Michigan. They ranked 62 and 64 in the U.S.

Lucas, No. 10 here, ranked No. 11 nationally.

Familiar names appear at the top of each list. For the girls, Olivia leads the way, followed by Ava and Emma.

William tops the boys’ list, with Oliver and James coming in second and third.

The Family Birthplace at Butterworth Hospital provides a good glimpse of naming trends in West Michigan. It delivers more babies than any hospital in the state, with 7,519 children born so far this year.

Here is a look at a few of the sweet babies— and their popular names—who arrived recently.

Family names

Olivia Robinson nestled in her mother’s right arm as her twin, Julian, snuggled in Mom’s left arm. The babies slept in the Gerber Foundation Neonatal Center at Spectrum Health Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, hands tucked under their chins. When they are close enough, they reach for each other.

“They try to latch onto each other’s eyes and ears,” said Brandi Robinson. She has seen them hold hands at times.


Top baby names

Girl names in 2018:

1. Olivia
2. Charlotte
3. Emma
4. Amelia
5. Evelyn
6. Ava
7. Harper
8. Sophia
9. Abigail
10. Natalie

Boy names in 2018:

1. William
2. Oliver
3. James
4. Theodore
5. Liam
6. Jackson
7. Henry
8. Owen
9. Lucas
10. Hudson

Girl names in 2017:

1. Olivia
2. Charlotte
3. Ava
4. Elizabeth
5. Emma
6. Sophia
7. Hazel
8. Abigail
9. Nora
10. Adeline

Boy names in 2017:

1. Liam
2. Levi
3. Elijah
4. James
5. Lincoln
6. Benjamin
7. Mason
8. Oliver
9. Jack
10. Charles

Although Olivia was the most popular girl’s name for 2018, that’s not why the parents chose it for their little girl.

Olivia is Brandi Robinson’s middle name. Olivia also has two middle names that reflect her family heritage: Irene, for a great aunt, and Grace, for a great grandmother.

The twins arrived nearly two months ago, born 10 weeks before their due date. As the babies grow steadily bigger, Robinson looks forward to the day they are ready to leave the hospital.

She and her husband, Isaac, have three older children: Ellie, 8, Isaac, 6, and Elias, 5. The older siblings are eager to welcome Olivia and Julian home.

“They draw stacks of pictures and make me bring them in,” Robinson said.

It has a nice sound

Owen Nevarez arrived on the fourth wedding anniversary of his parents, Elicia and Alex.

Just 6 days old, he gets daily visits from his 2-year-old brother, Jaxston, who shows books to him and sings songs.

Elicia Nevarez said she and her husband chose Owen’s name after a long search for a name that neither parent would veto.

“We were looking up baby names and we couldn’t agree on one,” she said. “We were trying to avoid—ironically—names that were super popular.”

They liked the sound of Owen as soon as they thought about it.

“We liked that it was unusual but simple,” Nevarez said. “It’s not as common as Bob, but it’s simple and easy to spell.”

When they learned that Owen’s name was 8th on the list, she said, “we had a very good chuckle over that.”

The traditional Welsh name means “young warrior,” “well born” or “noble.” Owen, at 3 pounds, already was an active little guy. In his isolette, he stretched and waved both feet in the air. He raised his hands.

With help from a nurse, Nevarez swaddled her son and held him in her arms.

“He’s a good snuggler,” she said. “I’m looking forward to him being able to go home and watching his brother play with him. They’ll be best friends.”

Wisdom and sass

Sophia Olson slept contentedly in her mother’s arms.

“When she sleeps, she sleeps,” Lisa Borre said.

She gently put a white bow in her daughter’s dark hair. Sophia didn’t flutter an eyelash.

“She says, ‘Come back at 1 in the morning and I’ll show you.’ She has her days and nights mixed up.”

Sophia, which means wisdom, ranked No. 8 on the girls’ list. Borre said she and her husband, Lars, just liked the sound of the name. An avid reader and movie watcher, she thinks she came across it in a book or film.

“I just always loved it,” she said. “It stuck with me. I think it’s kind of an older name, not one you hear about a lot.”

Living in Stephensville, in Southwest Michigan, she looked forward to exploring the outdoors with her daughter. She imagined summer days—going to the beach, teaching her to swim and sharing the fun activities she enjoyed as a child.

At home, Sophia has a 15-year-old sister and an 11-year-old brother.

Already, Borre sees her baby girl’s strong-willed personality emerging.

“They say she’s sassy, which I suppose she gets from her mom,” she said.