Millennial Moms Are All About This Baby Name Trend

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In your 20s or early 30s and trying to figure out what the heck to name your son or daughter? If so, there's a pretty good chance you aren't going to take the traditional route. (No disrespect to the Johns and Susans of the world!) A new study shows millennial parents are more likely to choose unique baby names, because, of course, we're all about going against the grain.





Experts at the Journal of Applied Social Psychology released new research that reveals today's parents are more independent and are shying away from tradition -- including conventional baby names. The study also notes that our generation (you know, millennials) is proving to be more individualistic by focusing more on "me" and "self."


While researchers don't go too in depth about specific names, the use of baby names deemed "popular," as a whole, certainly appear to be on the decline.

For example, an examination of the Social Security name database shows a little more than 8 percent of boys born in the US between 2011 and 2015 received a "top 10 baby name" -- compared to 10 percent of little gents born between 2004 and 2006. Only 7.88 percent of girls born between 2008 and 2015 got a traditional baby name, while 8.2 percent did from 2004 to 2006.

Researchers involved with the study were a bit surprised to discover how unpopular once-popular baby names have become, especially since events that cause great uncertainty (like a recession) usually bring people together and evoke a sense of community -- possibly leading back to tradition.

More from CafeMom: 26 Creative Baby Names That Didn't Exist Until Millennial Moms Came Along

As Jean Twenge, a psychologist and coauthor of the study, tells Live Science, "Since choosing a baby's name is not just an attitude measured on a survey, but also a behavior, those names reveal how people are acting, not just what they're saying."

Being a millennial mom of 2- and 1-year-old kiddos myself, I don't find it shocking at all that more parents are opting to go against the grain. Hell, I chose to name my second child Bishop after one of my favorite X-Men characters -- so, yeah, tradition hasn't exactly been at the top of my list.

(Plus, have you seen my name? I can't exactly find a key chain for it.)

I have nothing against conventional names (I love Anne!), but I do enjoy thinking outside the box from time to time. And while I can't speak for all millennials, I think there is something to be said about choosing a baby name you don't hear every day.

And before anyone tries to say millennials are trying to be difficult, just know that individualism and shying away from historical convention did not start with us. As this study points out, the shift from tradition to unorthodox has been gradual each generation. So there.

More from CafeMom: 23 Baby Names Parents Say They Regret Giving Their Kids

Who knows, maybe unique baby names represent how we, as a society, are trying to be more inclusive of other cultures and ways of life. By not holding on to traditional names as the standard -- or making the choice to add some other options into the mix -- maybe we're saying there's room for both convention and the eccentric.


Image via Inara Prusakova/Shutterstock

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