Name remorse: Can I change my baby’s name?

Apps by Annie

Not feeling good about the name you just gave to your child is not a pleasant feeling to have. For some, this will pass within the first few days, as you get used to your baby’s character. But for others, hearing the name all over again from different relatives may be a painful reminder that the decision, which you mulled over during the nights when the baby kept you awake, was not the right one.

First of all, know that you are not the only one going through the so called name remorse. An online poll carried by mumsnet.com with more than 1,000 responses from parents showed that nearly a fifth of parents regret the name they have given to their offspring and 2 % of parents actually changed their baby’s name.

What can you do if you don’t like the name you’ve chosen for your child …

and you feel they haven’t grown into it? Read our tips to ease your mind! Use a different version of the name. You don’t have to call your baby the name that is written in his legal records – you can always use a different (usually) shorter, and much cuter version.

William can go both with Liam and Bill, Elizabeth can be Liz or Beth and Andrew can go with Andy or Drew. There are endless possibilities and it’s only up to your imagination to come up with a shortened version of their given name that you will actually love saying out loud.

You can also create a nickname for your baby and go with that. Who says you can’t call your baby Bunny or Sweetpea? It’s cute and it can take your mind off the name that’s bothering you which is exactly the point.

The third option is to call your child by their middle name if you like it better and feel it suits your little one. Just make sure to avoid confusion at schools and other institutions your child comes in contact with by communicating your choice.

What to do if you feel that the name is simply wrong and nothing can help?

And if you feel that the name you have given simply is wrong and none of the choices above can help you, you can always opt for a name change. This process usually requires both parents to give their permission.

It’s recommended to not wait too long, though. Experts say that around the age of three, children begin to understand and develop a notion about their self-identity. Changing the name and taking away their self recognition can lead to more or less serious consequences to their self esteem.

If you find yourself not happy with the name you chose but your child is older and can understand the impact a name has on one’s identity, take into account what they think about the change. We wouldn’t suggest renaming an older child without their permission to do so first.