Forget labor and delivery, choosing a proper name for your little one may just be the most difficult aspect of becoming a parent. First, you must scroll through endless lists of monikers to find the few that appeal to you. Then, with those in-hand, you and your partner actually have to agree on one name that your child will carry for the rest of his or her life. You want it to be unique, without sounding crazy. Traditional without being boring. Professional, without sounding stuffy. The responsibility is almost too much to bear, isn’t it?
If you’re in the throes of name-choosing with your partner, you may be interested in this year’s top trend: the gender-neutral baby name. While traditionally gendered names such as Sophia and Liam are the norm, this year’s parents are pushing the envelope, where their babies are concerned. Though we’re only halfway through the year, we’ve already seen a sharp uptick in names such as Quinn, Taylor, Reese and Logan – names that suit either a boy or girl. Want to follow along? We have a few tips for you to keep in mind while you choose the perfect gender-neutral name for your son or daughter:
1. Consider the middle name
Help keep confusion at bay by giving your child a more gender-specific middle name. This way, your child has the best of both worlds: Carrying a cool, unisex moniker and having a traditional name that clearly states his or her gender.
2. Play with nicknames
Think beyond the formal first name. For example, you may want to consider giving your little girl a classic name such as Francesca – but spicing things up by calling her Frankie for short. Going this route allows your child flexibility to use whichever name is most comfortable for him or her later on.
3. Keep the era in mind
When choosing a unisex name for your child, keep in mind that the gender specificity of some names have changed over time. Decades ago, Ashley was once considered a boy’s name. Now, of course it’s largely used for girls. While you can certainly choose any name you’d like, attempting to reclaim an old name after years of use by the opposite sex may cause your kid more trouble than it’s worth.
Now it’s your turn: What do you think of this year’s big baby-naming trend? Would you choose a gender-neutral name for your child? Weigh in with your opinions below!