Need to talk? Call 1800 882 436.
It's a free call with a maternal child health nurse. *call charges may apply from your mobile

Is it an emergency? Dial 000
If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately.

beginning of content

Baby names

5-minute read

Key facts

  • It’s a good idea to think about possible baby names while you are still pregnant.
  • When looking fora name for your baby, you might like to think about your family tradition, culture and the meaning of any names you are considering.
  • There are some restrictions on what you can name your baby in Australia, to ensure that your baby’s name can be easily used in society and legal identity documents.
  • To register your baby, visit the website of your state or territory’s Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages.
  • In most states and territories, you have 60 days after birth to register your baby’s name.

What should I think about when choosing a name for my baby?

Picking your baby's name might seem to be a difficult task, but there are plenty of places you can look for inspiration.

It’s a good idea to think about names before your baby is born. In most Australian states and territories, you have 60 days after birth to register your baby's name.

You may already have a list of potential names ready to go, or maybe you haven't thought about baby names yet. Either way, here are a few things to consider before you make your final decision.

If you are just starting out or are undecided, start a list so you don't forget any potential options.

Family tradition

Many people think about their relatives or close friends when looking for a baby name. You might follow a family or cultural tradition that can help you choose. You can also consider naming your child’s middle name after someone, if the name is not your preferred choice for a first name.

Meaning

You might like to consider the meaning of a name before you make your decision. There are many sites on the internet that can help you find the meaning of particular names.

Think ahead

It's helpful to anticipate any potential nicknames, initials or first / last name combinations that may arise from your choice. Try saying the full name aloud a few times, and see how it sounds to you and your partner. Remember that your child will have this name for life, so consider any issues this may cause in the future. You should also keep this in mind if you are considering choosing a name that is unusual or has an unusual spelling.

Where can I find ideas for baby names?

There are many commercial websites with lists of baby names for you to consider. The NSW Government has a list of popular baby names that you might find helpful.

You can also check your state or territory’s Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages website for a list of popular baby names in your state or territory by year.

Can I choose any name for my baby?

In Australia, there are some restrictions on what you can name your baby. This is to ensure that your baby’s name can be reasonably used by the community and in legal identity documents.

Names that may not be allowed include those that may be:

  • offensive or obscene
  • too long
  • contain symbols
  • reference public institutions
  • are statements or phrases (for example, ‘Hello’)
  • a name that might be misleading (for example, political or religious titles such as ‘King’ or ‘Saint’)

If your state or territory’s Department of Births, Deaths and Marriages has questions about your choice of name for your baby, they will contact you.

How do I register my baby's name?

Once your baby is born and you have decided on a name, you need to register the name with the relevant agency in your state or territory. You should receive forms to complete from the hospital or birth centre where your baby is born. If not, check the links below to access the relevant forms online.

The hospital does not register the birth for you — you need to register your baby yourself.

Most states and territories in Australia require you to register a birth within 60 days of the day of birth (except the ACT, which allows 6 months).

Links to the various births, deaths and marriages departments are below:

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: February 2023


Back To Top

Need more information?

What to expect when you bring your baby home - podcast

Listen to Dianne Zalitis, midwife and Clinical Lead at Pregnancy, Birth and Baby, talk to Feed Play Love with Shevonne Hunt about what to expect when you bring your baby home.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Infant health record

Your baby's infant health record is a book that notes details of their health, growth and development. Bring it to all your baby's appointments.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Your baby and the first few weeks

The first few weeks at home with your newborn can be an exciting but daunting time, particularly if you are new parents. Find out what care and support are available to you after you leave hospital.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Enrolling your baby in Medicare - Medicare - Services Australia

You can enrol your baby when you claim some family payments or by using a form.

Read more on Medicare website

Records and paperwork for maternal health care and babies - Better Health Channel

When you are having a baby in Victoria, there are various records and other documents that need to be accessed, created or completed.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Adding your new baby to Medicare

Learn how to add your newborn to your Medicare card so they can start to receive free or lower cost healthcare and prescriptions.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

What is a stillbirth?

The cause of a stillbirth is often unknown, but you can help to lower the risk. Learn about prevention, warning signs and giving birth to a stillborn baby here.

Read more on Pregnancy, Birth & Baby website

Call us and speak to a Maternal Child Health Nurse for personal advice and guidance.

Need further advice or guidance from our maternal child health nurses?

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.

This information is for your general information and use only and is not intended to be used as medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition, nor should it be used for therapeutic purposes.

The information is not a substitute for independent professional advice and should not be used as an alternative to professional health care. If you have a particular medical problem, please consult a healthcare professional.

Except as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, this publication or any part of it may not be reproduced, altered, adapted, stored and/or distributed in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of Healthdirect Australia.