Is Our Baby’s Name Too Short and Sweet?
Silence can mean many things: disinterest, polite disapproval, quiet appreciation. You interpret the silence over your daughter's name as a rejection of it by the people you speak with, and you may be right. I am not a participant in those conversations and can't read the body language and facial cues of your partners, all of which would help determine their exact stance toward "Andie" (the name, not your little girl).
Thanks to my knowledge of the name landscape of the 21st-century, though, I can argue that your reading of this silence is off-base in one way. I don't think the friends, relatives, or strangers you introduce your daughter to are repelled by the boyishness of her name. Traditionally male names are a hot commodity for young girls these days. Parkers, Rileys, Wyatts, and Elliotts are no longer out of place in a girl’s ballet class or soccer team. Feminized versions of male nicknames also have a long history—think of names like Bobbie, Ricki, Randi, or Toni. Spelled the way you’ve chosen, Andie clearly reads as feminine, calling to mind namesakes like the actress Andie MacDowell.
But your Andie is out of step with current fashions in another way. Nicknames are much less popular these days as full names or nicknames: lots more Williams are "just William," and way fewer Kates are "just Kate." Given current trends, many people will assume that Andie has a longer formal version of her name, and surprise could account for their less than gratifying reactions.
Even this trend has its outliers, though, as nicknames like Molly, Jack, and Sadie prove. If you love your baby's name as is, a cheerful "just Andie!" should silence the silent ones—after all, your feelings about the name are the ones that matter most. Owning your pride and happiness in your choice could provide your daughter a model of self-confidence and gentle assertiveness that will serve her well in later life, whatever the reaction of junior high classmates to her name ultimately turns out to be.
Still, if your heart can't rest until you find a longer name, you do have options other than those you already discounted. Crucially, the name doesn't have to start with "And." Think about names with "and" embedded in them, like Alexandra, Holland, Candace, Amanda, Cassandra, Miranda, or Ireland. If you can find a longer name you (and your husband) love just as much as Andie, make the switch and enjoy both of them. If not, stick with the short and sweet.