We've all browsed though baby name books, searching every one of those pages for one of those names to jump out at us. But since the internet has become dominant, the information superhighway has become clogged with baby-name suggesting websites that it's almost impossible to decipher which ones are any good, and which ones aren't.

For instance, can we trust them? One website may tell say the origins for a name is one thing, only the very next website you visit may say something completely different about the same baby name.

The internet is a great resource to check baby names, but above all, remember to choose a name from the heart. 

In reality, the only real way to make sure what prospective baby names may mean is to do your own old-fashioned research which means checking multiple websites and referring to those books until you're completely satisfied with the outcome. Essential Baby has a couple of excellent and free cyber tips for those hunting baby names, and not only are they free but many other parents may easily overlook them...

Once you're down to a handful of baby names, the NSW Government actually has a really handy and fun tool on their site that tracks the last 100 years of baby names. The chart is the result of baby name data that has been collated since with the NSW Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages since 1788. It allows you to browse through around 1200 baby names and it will give you an excellent indication of how popular (or unpopular!)  each name is, and when that popularity was at its peak.

The site, which can be found at here, simply asks you to enter a baby name and it will almost instantly produce a chart that illustrates the baby name's popularity. For instance 'Robert' spiked in popularity in the 1940s with around 2,200 name registrations. In the last few years however, fewer than 200 Roberts have been registered. This is an excellent tool to help you decide if you've chosen a unique baby name or one that is quite common.

A similar tool is available at here. This baby name tool tracks names by the year so searches can be carried out by choosing the year and whether you'd like the Top 10, Top 50 or Top 100 baby names for that year. Did you know that in 2007, there were 531 Isabellas registered in NSW? Or that Joshua was the most popular boy's name in 1995?

Wikipedia has also emerged as an interesting website to cross-match girl's names and boy's names. Many, but not all, baby names can be found on the encyclopaedia and it regularly offers other interesting tidbits of information that most of the other Baby Name websites do not. The internet is a great resource to check baby names, but above all, remember to choose a name from the heart!

Discuss baby names with Essential Baby members. They'll give you their honest opinion!