Mamas, Don't Name Your Son 'Shirley'

Choosing the perfect name for your new baby can definitely be one of the biggest challenges that parents face immediately after the child is born. I mean -- this is just one area that you really can't afford to screw up, right? After all, your kid will ultimately be stuck with whatever name you pick until he or she is at least 18. (No pressure.)

As more and more parents struggle to find unique names for their babies, there seems to be a growing trend in using traditional girl names for baby boys and also using more masculine names for baby girls. And while there are some pretty good name choices that seem to work equally well for both sexes, some seem a little too far on either side of the spectrum.

Somehow little boys named "Shirley" or baby girls named "Matt" just don't seem to have a very nice ring to them. There's definitely a line between names that are unisex and those that really aren't, that's for sure!


But when it comes to giving your baby a name that is more commonly associated with his or her opposite sex, baby boys are usually the ones who wind up with names that result in them getting made fun of growing up. With all of the bullying that occurs between kids these days, there is already enough to worry about as far as raising a little boy goes without adding fuel to the fire by giving him a name that is best fit for a girl.

When I was pregnant, I had my heart set on a modern yet totally adorable girl name. I loved the name so much that I even started picturing it in wooden block letters on the wall above the crib in my nursery before my first trimester was even over. I was obsessed with that name, and I couldn't wait to officially give it to my baby girl.

But then I went in to have my sonogram at 20 weeks and found out that I was actually going to be welcoming a baby boy -- not the little girl that I had already envisioned. And as much as I loved that girl name and thought there was a chance that it could also work for my baby boy, I just couldn't shake the idea of him being teased on the playground because his name had the "ey" sound at the end of it. It didn't seem fair to set him up for being made fun of by his classmates, all because I fell in love with a name that was more on the feminine side. We wound up shifting gears completely and going with a strong, masculine name. And I'm so glad that we did.

As parents, we just want to give our babies the best possible foundation for having a happy childhood. And choosing a good, suitable name is the perfect place to start.

Would you give your baby boy a traditional girl name?


Image via janineomg/Flickr

Read More >