Choosing a baby name is a big deal – and there’s a certain amount of pressure that comes with it. Friends and family will be asking your child’s name the moment they’re born, so what happens if you rushed into a decision, only to regret it later?
Jen Hamilton, a 32-year-old mum from North Carolina, has made headlines after revealing she changed her son’s name after six months. Originally, Hamilton and her husband called their son Aspen, but now, he’s called Luke.
“I thought it would fit when he was born but after a couple of months I was struggling with it. People suggested that he might be bullied if it was shortened to ‘Ass’ when he is older and I started to pretend I didn’t hear people asking his name,” she told reporters.
“It was an exciting time trialing names for him. It’s hard to name a baby you’ve never met so it was easier now we knew him. Now we love Luke and think it is perfect for him – we’re so glad we changed it.”
She’s not the first parent to backtrack on a name, nor will she be the last.
Back in February, Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott announced the birth of their son, telling fans they’d named him Wolf Webster. But a month later, Jenner shared a post on her Instagram story revealing they’d changed their minds.
“FYI our son’s name isn’t Wolf anymore,” she wrote. “We just really didn’t feel like it was him. Just wanted to share because I keep seeing Wolf everywhere.”
In September, she revealed the baby’s name is still “Wolf” legally, but that’s no longer what they call him at home. She also said they’re not ready to share his new name publicly yet.
In the UK, you can apply change your child’s name by deed poll for the price of £42.44.
Making the change may sound extreme to some, but baby name regret is actually pretty common.
A 2019 poll by Channel Mum found one in seven parents feel they made a “terrible mistake” with the name they chose for their child.
One in five said this was because the name became “too popular” with other parents, but almost one in 10 were put off thanks to a celebrity choosing it for their own child.
Journalist Michelle Martin previously wrote a piece about her own baby name regret for HuffPost UK.
“Initially, I loved it. It was modern, I thought, and no one else would have it,” she said of her son Tyrell’s name.
“And for years I was right – but fast forward to when Tyrell started school and I quickly grew to dislike it. Far from being original, different variations of the ‘ell’-ending name began springing up everywhere. In his class, there was him (Tyrell), Corelle, Sherelle and a Jamell.”
Letting your child choose their sibling’s name is also risky business. Mum-of-two Trayce told Michelle she regretted letting her daughter make the big decision.
Krishana named her brother Tyreke after a character in the hit 90s TV show Sister Sister. “I wish I called him Troy or Trey,” said Trayce, who chose not to share her surname.
“We don’t use his name at all anymore, the only time it’s used by family or friends is when he has done something bad – otherwise, he’s just known as Ty.” The mum says if someone they don’t know uses the name Tyreke, they often mispronounce it, resulting in Tariq.”
So if you’re regretting your child’s name – or even considering changing it – rest assured that you’re certainly not alone. And you can do something about it.