We can all agree there are few things as exciting as welcoming a new baby into your nest. And along with the flurry of picking out registry items and thinking about your birth plan comes one big decision that parents agonize over: choosing the perfect baby name.
And we get it: it’s a big decision. You want to pick a name that they’ll be proud of, but one that’s one-of-a-kind, too. The truth is, the options are endless, but when you’re looking for a gender neutral baby name, the options can seem narrower.
The good news is, gender neutral names are more popular today than ever, and that translates to parents having more choices when it comes to naming their baby with a unique gender neutral baby name that is also beautiful and full of meaning for the family.
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Whether you choose the name because you like it, you’re choosing to not know the baby’s biological sex in advance, or you prefer to avoid the stereotypes that come with typical boy and girl names, choosing a gender neutral baby name can be a great, and not so daunting, choice thanks to the many names that fit this convention.
What is a gender neutral name?
What makes a name gender neutral? A gender-neutral baby name, also sometimes referred to as a unisex baby name or a gender fluid name, is a name that can be given to a child born either a biological male or biological female at birth. Names like Charlie, Billie, Jamie, and Dylan are just a few of the most common examples.
Why are gender neutral baby names on the rise?
Gender neutral baby names are definitely more popular today than ever. Today’s parents don’t feel the pressure to conform to strict gender-specific naming conventions. According to NetCredit, there has been an 88% increase in the rise in gender-neutral names since 1985.
“[Parents] choose to give their children a genderless name that comes free of any stereotypical baggage,” NetCredit writes.
Related: Popular boy names & their meanings
Along with a desire to give them freedom from conventional gender roles, parents also cite an increase in openness about gender fluidity and nonbinary identity as reasons to choose gender-neutral names. Cultural identity and popular culture have also contributed to the rise, with celebrities choosing baby names that buck conventions. For example, naming their children after their favorite place (Brooklyn), a significant event or time (August) or a writer, artist, or historic hero.
Why would you want a gender neutral name?
Having a gender neutral baby name can have advantages. NetCredit explains that for many parents, a gender neutral baby name can help kids break out of the expectations like “boys climb trees and girls play with dolls.” In addition, Net Credit explains, many parents believe, “a gender-neutral name can benefit a person later in life by helping to offset some of the conscious and unconscious bias that still exists in the academic and business worlds.”
Names that are gender fluid and nonbinary, allow children to avoid being labled by their gender regardless of their biological sex at birth. “Avoiding traditional boy and girl names opens up a whole new world of options and gives your kid a unique start as they begin to develop their sense of identity,” the study continues.
And we couldn’t agree more!
Gender neutral name ideas
A version of this story was originally published in November 2021. It has been updated.