The Top Baby Name Trend of 2016 Will Transform Your View of Gender

Kelsey Clark

The top big-picture trend in baby names for 2016 reflects our increasingly progressive, label-free society: post-gender names. In the words of Fatherly, "You never know what your kid is going to turn out to be… If you're planning on being one of those 'you can be anything you want to be' parents, you can start right away by giving your kid a universal, gender-defying name."

Names like Charlie, Hayden, Tatum, and Harper fit the bill, with all four breaching gender constructs that once shaped a child's identity. But, as with anything, there's an art to picking a truly gender-neutral name for your little one. According to The New York Times, sticking to the following three rules will help you find the perfect post-gender name for your new family member: 

Think beyond traditional names

The secret to finding a gender-neutral name lies in looking to the places, words, and objects that don't have assigned genders to begin with. By definition, these names "transcend gender and can work equally well for girls or boys," writes the New York Times. "There's no reason that Arrow can't be a girl's name and Alaska a boy's."

Look to the numbers

The only foolproof way to select a truly gender-neutral name is to consult the boy-to-girl ratio for any given name. Fortunately, this full, downloadable list of baby names makes things a lot easier.

Cross gender lines with family honor names

For many, carrying on a traditional family name is very important when welcoming a new baby into the world. Fortunately, the same rules that apply to places, words, and objects also apply to honor names. "Your daughter can get you dad's name James in the middle, and your son can be called O'Keeffe after your favorite artist," explains The New York Times.

What are your favorite gender-neutral baby names? Share your picks below, and shop this book for the full list of 2016 baby names

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