The new buzzword in parenting is a mashup that will alarm even the most liberal of grammarians. A "theyby" is a baby born and raised free of the constraints of gender designation, according to an article published earlier this week by New York Magazine's The Cut. Some new parents are adopting the childrearing practice, which includes keeping the baby's anatomy a secret from others and referring to the child only by plural pronoun, in an effort to raise a more creative and uninhibited human.
It's a new word, but it's not an entirely new movement. Retailers and brands have been wise to the idea of gender-neutral for a few years now. Yet as the trend gains ground, particularly with millennial parents, experts expect retail efforts aimed at these consumers to increase.
"As parents are changing, what kids are playing with is changing, too," explains Jim Silver, editor-in-chief of TTPM, Toys, Tots, Pets & More. He notes that the packaging from brands such as Mattel's Hot Wheels, Hasbro's My Little Pony and Star Wars products from Lego now include both boys and girls as a result of such new parenting behavior. "Manufacturers are not categorizing toys the way they used tothey're not gender-stereotyping the toy," he adds, noting that ultimately it can only be beneficial for the toy industry as more children are attracted to products that are marketed toward them rather than exclusively targeting one gender.