Family

What happens when you hate your baby’s name?

Does little Jacob actually feel more like an Ethan? Maybe you have 'baby name regret'.

Do you hate your name? Or maybe it’s the name you picked out for your baby within weeks of becoming pregnant, which now no longer seems to “fit” your toddler.

‘Baby name regret’ is something that afflicts a growing number of parents, even leading some to officially change their children’s names – which (ironically) many actually go on to regret.

“I regretted both of my children’s names after birth,” one mum wrote on baby name site Nameberry. “I changed my daughter’s name from Millie to Sophia. I wish I didn’t. I didn’t change my son’s, though, and I’m happy. As he’s gotten [sic] older he just seems to fit.”

Another mum on the same forum agreed, writing: “I sometimes have name regret, also with my third. We named him Declan, which I knew wasn’t very common in our area … but I also didn’t anticipate how many strange looks and mispronunciations we would get either!

“I love the name and know that if I changed to something else that I didn’t have my heart set on that I would experience the same regret.”

According to a BabyCenter.com survey, 11 per cent of parents are struck by baby name remorse. Of these, more than a third revealed that if they could, they would pick a different name for their child.

And in 2012, baby name expert Laura Wattenberg wrote about an increased number of parents who regretted the name they chose for their child.

“There isn’t hard data, partially because I don’t know of any accessible data on name changes,” she said. “But as a percentage of my mail… remorse from parents who have already chosen names is rising.”

But there are things you can do if you feel like you’ve made a mistake:

  • Create a nickname that can be used instead of their given name

  • Could you use their middle name day-to-day instead of their first name?

  • There is no law against formally changing your child’s name, just some fees and a bit of paperwork

  • Experts say no matter what, it’s best to make whatever change you decide on sooner rather than later, to avoid confusion

Watch: Ryan Reynolds baby calls him ‘mama’

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