One in five parents regret the name they gave their baby. Here's why.

Secretly regret the name you gave your baby? You’re not alone.

In fact, a survey by UK website Mumsnet has found that almost one in five parents suffer baby name regret. The number one reason? That the name is “too commonly used”.

The most frequently regretted names, according to the survey, are Charlotte, Amelia, Anne, Daniel, Jacob, James and Thomas.

For almost a quarter of parents, the remorse didn’t kick in till their child began school – presumably, sharing a class with other kids with the same name.

But there are other reasons that parents regret the name they chose for their child. Many say the name “just doesn’t feel right” or “doesn’t suit him/her”. Then there are more specific reasons:

  • Eleven per cent say it causes problems with spelling or pronunciation.
  • Six per cent say everyone calls the child by a shortened form of the name, which the parent doesn’t like.
  • Three per cent say there’s been a shift in public perception of the name since their child was born.
  • Two per cent say they worry their child won’t be taken seriously.
  • One per cent say a celebrity has chosen the name for their baby.
  • One per cent say the child’s initials form an embarrassing acronym.

Despite all that, the survey reveals that only one in 50 parents have changed their child’s name.

It’s not hard to find examples of baby name regret online. Here are a few.

One Mumsnet mum said her baby’s name “was taken by a terrorist group, soon after she was born”. Um, Isis?

Another said she began regretting naming her daughter Elsa “when Frozen became massively popular”.

“I know someone who changed their baby’s name when she was six months old. The original name was ‘Baailey’. Not sure if she regretted the name or spelling or both.”

“My actual first name is Jif,” a man told Reddit. “People think I’m from New Zealand and I’m saying ‘Jeff’. Thanks, Mum and Dad.”

One couple, who spoke to Today’s Parent, took a poll of friends on Facebook. Tyler won. The mum says she gave in and went with the name. “I felt cornered by what other people wanted. I wish I had fought harder for the name I truly wanted: Zachary.”

“My co-worker really regrets her daughter’s name,” explained a commenter on Wedding Bee. “She got pregnant young, and couldn’t decide between two names – Kathleen and Alexandra. Unfortunately for her lovely daughter, my co-worker’s then-16-year-old brain thought that ‘Kathalandra’ (yes, really) was a good compromise.”


"Why did I call her that? Why?" Photo via iStock.

One mum explained on Nameberry that she let her husband choose the name of their third son, and he went for two family names, Sawyer and Miles. "Now we are running into little girls with the name of Sawyer. He is almost two and I have thought about calling him Miles instead but we have called him Sawyer for so long I worry about calling him something different."

"Twelve years ago we had twin boys," a Reddit user explained. "We knew one would be Thomas, after my wife’s uncle, but struggled to name the second. For about 28 hours he was Baby B. Then we finally settled on Jeremiah. Two days later we introduced them to our pastor and he said 'Oh cute, Tom and Jerry.' I looked at my wife and we were both thinking, 'Oh, we did not just do that.' But we left it."

"My son's name is Tyson. Everyone always asks, 'Oh, like Mike Tyson?' No."

One dad told Reddit that he and his wife regret the name of both their kids. In the case of their son, they named him Aidan, not realising it was so popular. "For my daughter we picked the name Arya, long before we even knew there would ever be a Game of Thrones show, but that's not why I regret her name now. No, that would be as a result of her middle name. Naomi. Nothing wrong with that on its own - until you see her name written out with her middle initial, especially in all caps. ARYA N."

Do you suffer baby name regret?

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