Beyond Mama and Daddy - Names for Non-Binary Parent

I’m pregnant with my first, due in [name_u]March[/name_u], and encountering an unexpected and rather daunting naming challenge - what will the baby call us?

As a cis femme, I’m pretty easy to figure out: I have been referring to myself as Mama or Mommy. But when it comes to my partner, we’re coming up dry.

Baby’s other biological parent is my spouse of ten years, who is biologically intersex, identifies as non-binary, and uses they/them pronouns. They have no idea what they want to be called. As someone who was assigned male, and whose biological sex and gender identity are ignored or trampled on by most of their conservative family members, they really shy away from traditionally male parent names like Papa, Daddy, etc. Female-coded names like Mom are easier for them, but binary options still feel a little like erasure.

We have tried Nonny, because it’s similar to Mommy and riffs on “non-binary,” but it wasn’t a comfortable enough fit to put up with the need to constantly explain the term to others. That being said, if there’s a gender neutral or non-binary term that works, that would probably be the ideal outcome.

I know an easy solution would be to have the child just call my partner by their first name, but we both shy away from that because it’s something you usually see in relationships where one parent is a step-parent or is dating the bio-parent. Since in this case, we are both biological parents, I’d prefer to be on the same footing.

We could really use some suggestions. We’re open to other languages than [name_f]English[/name_f], and we’re especially interested in any gender-neutral parent names you can think of or are familiar with.

Thanks in advance for the help and ideas!

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I have a friend whose non-binary and they recommend [name_f]Baba[/name_f] which is a gender neutral term the heard once online, they also recommend the simple Parent nn [name_f]Patty[/name_f]? Or just regular nn that sound like Papa and Mama (given how their both the same sound) ex: [name_f]Zaza[/name_f]

Hope this helped! And congratulations on your pregnancy!

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I’ll admit this stumped me, so I Googled it and found this:

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I like [name_f]Baba[/name_f], sounds a bit like bottle though. What about taking your partners name and using a sound from it. For example, [name_u]Jordan[/name_u] could be [name_u]Jojo[/name_u].

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Oh my goodness [name_m]Pom[/name_m]-[name_m]Pom[/name_m] is adorable (though admittedly doesn’t sound like the answer in this case).

@lavenderwitch, I really like [name_f]Baba[/name_f]. I agree that the [name_f]Baba[/name_f], [name_f]Zaza[/name_f], etc. options make good sense in terms of linguistic development as your child will still be able to pick up the name at around the same time as mama. It is a good place to start and then if it still doesn’t right, you can go from there.

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I actually like [name_f]Nonnie[/name_f], (which to me sounds something like [name_u]Nana[/name_u]).
How about Nini?

Baba means dad in my language… but I second it because not a problem for you. From the link poster before, Nommy and Zeze are cute :slight_smile: Something based on their name is a good idea too. [name_f]My[/name_f] dad isn’t quite comfortable with being called dad (he’s not non-binary, but bisexual) so I sometimes call him [name_u]Izzy[/name_u], his nickname.

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I really like [name_f]Baba[/name_f]!

You could use a shortened version of their name. Or have a play around with their name and create something unique. Congratulations

We call my dad [name_u]Izzy[/name_u], his nickname. Nomy is cute!

Edit: [name_f]My[/name_f] sister posted this before me. Apologies [name_f]Poppy[/name_f] :joy:

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How about [name_u]Ren[/name_u] or [name_u]Renny[/name_u]? It’s the most common non-binary parent name I’ve heard. It comes from parent.

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I’ve encountered non-binary parents who use [name_u]Ren[/name_u]/Renny as a gender-neutral interpretation - that might work for your partner!

@rosepip [name_f]My[/name_f] friend’s child uses [name_u]Ren[/name_u] / [name_u]Renny[/name_u] for them as well!

I agree with previous posters, a shortened version of their name would work as well!

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As someone who has no experience in this situation, I can’t really give any more suggestions than what have already been suggested. However as a parent I like the idea of baba solely because it’s as easy to say as mama/dada and I feel like every parent waits for their baby to call them by name and [name_u]Renny[/name_u] (while I think is totally usable if that’s what feels comfortable) is a little more difficult and would take longer to say.

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If it helps, there is a couple similar to yourselves featured on 9 Months with [name_f]Courteney[/name_f] Cox in season 1. I believe the non-binary parent settled on [name_f]Baba[/name_f], but I’m not 100% sure.

I’m stumped on this one, the best I can come up with off the top of my head is [name_f]Mimi[/name_f], which is supposed to read feminine but seems like a gender neutral nickname to me.

Someone I follow on Instagram has been called Apa by their daughter for the last 11 years! (@lifewiththisone)

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