Intriguing, impressive, imaginative? What do you want your baby’s name to say about them? We love I names, of which there aren’t as many as some of the other letters (like M, S, B, and so on…). For boys, names that start with “I” don’t show up too frequently at the top of the charts but some, like Isaiah, are gaining popularity. 

For girls, a few of these are in the top 100 or so, and Isla (which turned up in our Scottish baby names list) is now ranked #44 for US baby girls, with the promise of going even higher this year. If you’re interested in trying out I for size, check out our roundup of the best and cutest baby names that start with I.

Boy Baby Names That Start With I

Iago: The Welsh version of James or Jacob, “the supplanter,” has a dark past as a villain of Shakespeare but could welcome some new life breathed into it in the form of your sweet baby boy.

Ian: One of the more popular I names on our list, Ian is the Scottish answer to John, meaning “the Lord is gracious.”

Ibrahim: The Arabic version of Abraham, meaning “father of multitudes,” is quite popular in the Middle East and with Muslim American parents around the world.

Idris: A rarely heard baby name with two meanings—“lord, studious”—it has mixed Arabic and Welsh origins and rests currently in the mid-800’s for popularity. 

Iker: The Basque baby name pronounced EE-kuhr means “visitation” and despite centuries-old popularity in Spain, it’s only just starting to rank in the States and is currently in the top 400.

Isaac: Meaning “laughter” in Hebrew, it’s a biblical name that has belonged to many famous men from Newton to Hanson. Isaiah, an adjacent name meaning “salvation of the Lord” is also nice.

Isambard: This rare and quirky English baby name meaning “bright iron” is a very cool choice for a son. It’s easy to spell and pronounce, yet especially unique. 

Ishmael: Another Hebrew baby boy name, with the hopeful meaning, “God will hear.” This spelling is very rarely seen, but the Spanish/Arabic version Ismael ranks much higher. 

Issa: It’s one of those cool baby names that seems like a nickname but is actually its own stand-alone moniker, this one meaning “strong-willed” from the German. 

Ivan: Don’t be deterred by the mid-1500’s czar Ivan the Terrible; this beautiful baby boy name has a meaning that’s much more promising—“God is gracious.” Vanny or Vanya are adorable nicknames, and your little guy will also share his name with Ivan the Great, the tennis player Ivan Lendl, and others. 

Girl Baby Names That Start With I

Iliana: The Greek place name, “from Ilium or Troy,” might not be as heard as Ariana and others, but the rare quality makes it a special one. 

Imani: Arabic for “faith,” it’s a warm and inviting name to love. 

Imogen: We love the Celtic girls name meaning “maiden” or more aptly, “daughter,” not only for its adjacency to the word “imagine” but also the fact that it’s quite popular in the UK and only starting to emerge Stateside. 

Ines: The sweet baby girl name meaning “pure, holy, chaste” is of mixed Spanish/French/Greek origins and has an alternate spelling with a z in place of the s.  

Ingrid: The antique-y Norse name meaning “fair” or “beautiful” might not rank as high as it once did, but with vintage baby names coming back into favor you wouldn’t be too far off with this cute pick. 

Iona: The Scottish island place name is just as pretty as it is unique. 

Irina: Meaning “peace” with mixed Russian and Greek origins, it’s a beautiful baby girl name with promise. 

Isabel: There are so many spellings of this lovely Spanish take on Elizabeth—“pledged to God.” This one is widely popular with lots of cute nicknames like Izzy, Isa, Bella, and so on. 

Ivy: Nature names are a hit with modern parents, and the green vine is no exception. Ivy plants signify faithfulness for lovely symbolism to impart. 

Izumi: The cute Japanese baby girl's name means “fountain” or “spring.” 

Gender-Neutral Baby Names That Start With I 

Ida: The German name meaning “industrious one” was traditionally given to females but is now considered gender-neutral. 

India: A place name is a gorgeous way to name a child after your heritage or your most beloved travels. Israel and Italy are other I-named counties to consider.  

Indigo: A bold color name that’s equally beautiful for a boy or girl baby. In addition to belonging to the inky shade between blue and purple, it also has layers of symbolism tied to the indigo chakra in the body — the color represents vision and wisdom.  

Infinity: This energetic word name stands for an uncountable number or an entity that goes on forever, like your love for your child. 

Iris: The name of a vibrant purple flower and a name also meaning “rainbow” from the Greek, Iris has been rising steadily since the late 90’s and shows no signs of slowing down soon. 

More Incredible Baby Name Inspiration:

I also stands for innovation, and when it comes to baby sleep there’s no greater innovation than SNOO, which adds 1-2 hours of sleep per night for babies...and their parents! Learn more about SNOO

About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

View more posts tagged, baby names

Have questions about a Happiest Baby product? Our consultants would be happy to help! Submit your questions here.

Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.