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New Poll Shows Baby Name Regret Is Common

Katlyn Joy |21, February 2013


In Scotland, 3,221 first names were changed last year. Of those, 311 babies were under the age of two and 1,129 children were 16 years and younger. With an increase from 2,841 in 2011 and 1,112 in 2005, these are very surprising statistics according to Daily Record.

A recent poll found that up to 54 percent of new moms regretted the name they chose for their baby. For some, it's because people, particularly close friends or relatives, expressed disapproval. For others the regret may be in how odd a choice they made, or at the other end of the spectrum they didn't realize what a popular name they chose. The dissatisfied parents have led, in some cases, to the extreme of legally changing their child's name.

What are Some Alternatives to Changing Your Child's Name?

Give it some time.
If you're in the throes of the baby blues, you may become tearful and regretful over your breakfast choices. Talk to people who matter to you about your concerns to get some valuable feedback about your decision.

Consider using initials.
You no longer appreciate the name of Jerusha Jezebel, but how about J.J.? Using initials will also give your child the chance to continue to use the initials in adulthood or go by the original full name if desired.

Use the middle name.
Lots of people exercise this option. Suppose you decide that Gretchen Lisbeth should go by Lisbeth instead of Gretchen. Just let your significant people know what's up and you'll find it not such a difficult task to deal with.

Shorten the first name to something more acceptable.
Suppose you went a bit overboard on the flower names with Chrysanthemum. Shorten it to Chryssie. Or maybe you dubbed your son Wilford after your beloved grandfather. Go with Will.

Change the spelling.
If you regret how blah or plain you think the name is, and then make it more unique by altering the common spelling. Go from Robin to Robynne or from Katie to Katy. Or if you went too over the top with a weird spelling, simplify it. Take out the accent mark or the extra letters you used to fancy it up. For instance downgrade from Kaeleigh to Kaylee or from Ja Sindah to Jacinda.

Ways to Prevent Baby Name Regret

Don't make your final names choices so top secret. Yes, we all know people who have "stolen" someone's baby name but it's not exactly a state secret. If you don't get any feedback now, you'll get it later when it's too late. Just take in what people say and consider why they rejected the name. Do they have a valid point, such as it rhymes as in Shawn Swann? Or is it that their first heartbreak came from a boy named Shawn?

Imagine not just a baby with the name you choose but imagine a grown up with the name. Will it fit your child then? What if you choose a bohemian type name like Rainbeau, but your child grows up to be not a poet but a tax adviser?

Write the name out in all the various forms. (First and last name, First initial and last name, First name and last initial). Does it lead to any obvious jokes that you would want to avoid? Is it too sing-songy? Most people steer clear of too much repetition such as Beatrice Benderman.

Avoid hot names and trends. If you saw it in a hit movie or read it in a bestseller then guess what? So did a horde of other people and there will be a multitude of kids answering to that name in the next year or so.

If you want to name a child after a person, make certain you won't change your opinion of the person. If it's a relative make sure it's someone you are highly unlikely to become on the outs with, such as say a dead uncle. Or if it's a historical person, do some real research as it would certainly be awful if you realized later that the writer you named your precious daughter after was a Nazi sympathizer.

Live with the name for awhile before the baby is born. Call the baby by the name often instead the generic "the baby." See how it sounds and feels to you.

What are the Negatives in Changing Your Child's Name?

One may be the inconvenience it can cause. You will need to do some legal paperwork, and it will cost you depending on how long after you change the name and what state you live in. Plus do you send out a bundle of "oops!" addendums to your baby announcements now?

For children six months or younger, the change will go unnoticed. For older infants, there may be some initial confusion as they have become aware that those series of sounds represent themselves in some way. Their identity is being formed at that point. While it's not likely to bring on long term psychological damage for such young ones, with an older child it may be different. Children may agree to a name change and like the idea but do you regularly value the opinion and wisdom of a grade schooler in big life decisions? They may grow up to resent the change more than their original moniker.

The Best and Worst Celebrity Baby Names of 2012

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