Charlie, Alex, Abby and Katie are popular nicknames for children with classic names such as Charles, Alexander, Abigail and Katherine. Trends for baby nicknames include "ee" sounds for girls, such as Addie, Maddie and Millie, and initials for boys, such as shortening the name John Thomas to J.T.
It is increasingly common to skip traditional names entirely in favor of nicknames. For example, parents list names such as Gracie instead of Grace, Leo instead of Leonardo and Ella instead of Elizabeth on children's birth certificates. In 2013, Liam, which is traditionally used as a short form of William, was the second most popular baby name for boys. Mia, which is often used in place of Amelia, was the sixth most popular baby name for girls.
Generic nicknames such as Sport and Champ have declined in popularity in the United States, but Buddy is increasingly common, particularly among fathers. This trend reflects modern parenting strategies that frame children as equals to their parents, in contrast with previous parenting styles that emphasized parental authority, according to a 2012 article in the New York Times.
Parents approach nicknaming in a variety of ways. Some review lists of the most popular baby names, while others choose to shorten common names in unique ways. For instance, Alexander becomes Xander, Henry becomes Hal, and Marguerite becomes Daisy.