Parents usually spend an inordinate time trying to figure out the perfect name for their baby, but what happens when parents regret the name after living with it for a while? According to a recent study, 18 percent of parents later regret the name they gave their baby.
For parents who do have naming regrets, there are a couple of options. They can choose to legally change their child’s name, or they can choose to live with it, perhaps calling their baby by a nickname or middle name instead of his or her legal name.
There are a lot of considerations when it comes to changing a child’s name after it has been given. For one thing, parents have to consider how much they actually dislike the name. There are several possible reasons for having naming regrets.
A name might have originally been chosen for its uniqueness, but then the parents find that there are several other children with the exact same name. The opposite might also be true: name might have been chosen for its trendiness, but then the trend has passed or a negative association has been attached to the name since it was given. Finally, the parents may still like the name as a name but now find that it doesn’t suit the individual child. Naming a child before you actually meet him or her can be tough.
Then there is the age of the child. A child who is younger than one will probably have no problem with a name change. For older children, the change may be a little more of a transition. Relatives and friends may forget to call the child by the new name, or they may stubbornly refuse the name change. It is important to make everyone aware of the importance of support for the name change.
Finally, it is important to note that legally changing a name these days can be complicated. Since 9/11, the process of legally making a name change, even for an infant or young child, can take a lot of paperwork and go on for several weeks. Still, many parents who have taken that step say that while they regret the original baby name, they don’t regret changing it.