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Yes, it happens. Some parents regret their baby name choice.
"I feel like I kind of got pressured into our daughter's name," says one mom. "It's been almost eight months now, and I still don't feel quite settled with it." For others, the regret is entirely unexpected. "When I named my son, I had no idea how many girls were named the same thing," one mom says. Others realize later on that their child's name is either too common or too unique for their taste.
According to a our site survey, 11 percent of parents experience baby name remorse. More than a third of these doubting parents admit that if they could have a do-over, they would pick a different name.
If you regret the name you picked out for your child, there's hope. Here are a few things you can do.
Create a nickname
"If your child's name leaves a bad taste in your mouth every time you use it, it's probably a good idea to look for alternatives. Nicknames can offer some great choices," says psychologist and relationship expert Dale Atkins.
Fortunately, many nicknames sound nothing like the name from which they were derived, which can make them more palatable to you. Gertrude, for example, can become Trudy, William can become Liam, and Emily can become Mimi.
"We named our son Broderick, but now I have doubts about it," says one mom. "So we call him Brody instead, which I like the sound of."
There are no hard and fast rules for nicknaming get as creative as you like! Some parents even end up calling their child a nickname that has nothing to do with their given name, like Buddy or Sunshine.
Shoot for the middle
If you and your partner both like your baby's middle name, consider using it as her main moniker. "My 13-year-old nephew has always gone by his middle name, and he and his folks are both very happy with that choice," one woman tells us.
This may create a bit of logistical confusion when it comes to school and other administrative settings, so make sure you're prepared to deal with that. But once you get used to the extra explaining, it will just become par for the course.
Arrange for a name change
There's no law that says you have to stick with a name you hate. If you feel very strongly, a legal name change might be the best cure for your remorse.
"We have friends who changed their son's name when he was 9 months old," says one mom. "The new name definitely fits him better, and they're glad they did it."
In our survey, 3 percent of parents reported switching their little one's name after birth. Find out the steps needed to change your child's name.
Take action early
Whatever you decide to do – be it adopting a nickname, going the middle name route, or making a formal name change – it'll be much easier on your child if you take care of it as early as possible.
"Names are very important to one's sense of self and identity, so it's best to make any changes while your child is still a baby or, at the very latest, before she turns 2," says Atkins. "Otherwise, it can be quite confusing for her."
So don't let your naming remorse drag on. Hard as it may be, facing it now will save you from a much bigger headache later.
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