Parents share the reason why they're choosing unisex baby names.

When it came to choosing names for their three kids, Peta and her husband Will were looking for “fairly gender-neutral” choices.

“I didn’t want really blokey names like Gary or Bruce,” Peta explains. “We wanted names that would allow for their personality to shine through, rather than the name setting up their personality.”

The couple named their second son Harper. In recent years, with the help of Harper Beckham, the name has become far more popular for girls than boys. There are now about 20 female baby Harpers in Australia for every male baby Harper.

Peta says until very recently, her son had only met girls who shared his name. That’s okay.

“As far as we know, Harper has never been teased about having a girls’ name,” Peta says.

Peta’s not sure whether giving Harper an ungendered name has had any impact on his personality. But she knows it was a good choice.

“He does travel a bit in his own orbit, and he is a creative thinker, so I think it sits well with him.”

Unisex names aren’t new. Think Lee/Leigh, Robin/Robyn, Kim/Kym, Ashley/Ashleigh, etc. But because the way we name our kids is changing, there are more unisex names around. We’re not as conservative in our naming choices as our parents were. We choose from a wider range of names, and we don’t care as much about tradition.

“We wanted names that would allow for their personality to shine through, rather than the name setting up their personality.” (Image: Getty)

“As parents increasingly seek out fresh new name ideas, they're turning away from traditional given names that had strong gender associations,” Laura Wattenberg, author of The Baby Name Wizard, tells Mamamia. “In their place we see more surnames, words and place names adopted as baby names, and new inventions chosen for their sound. Most of those names come with no built-in gender link. Inevitably, that means more names given to both boys and girls.”

Of course, we’re still a long way off having the same names topping both the boys’ and girls’ popularity lists. In fact, there’s only one name currently in the Australian top 100 for both genders: Charlie. But here are 20 names being used in Australia right now for both boys and girls.

Australia’s top unisex names

  1. Charlie
  2. Riley
  3. Bailey
  4. Darcy
  5. Marley
  6. Jordan
  7. Elliot
  8. Blake
  9. Frankie
  10. Emerson
  11. Sage
  12. Harper
  13. Taylor
  14. Harley
  15. Murphy
  16. Asher
  17. Phoenix
  18. Morgan
  19. River
  20. Dallas

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