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Baby names

25th Apr 2024

Survey finds one in eight parents regret their baby’s name choice

Jody Coffey


What’s in a name? 

Picking a name for your baby is one of the most permanent decisions new parents will ever make.

For this reason, it’s important that they love the chosen name, as it will likely be the most used word in their vocabulary for the rest of their life.

Sadly, in rare cases, parents can end up regretting the name they have chosen to give their newest arrival.

Taking into account ever-changing baby name trends, what was once ‘in’ may lose its appeal later.

A BabyCentre survey found that one in eight parents regret their choice of baby name.

For some, they felt pressured into choosing a name. For others, they may have loved it to begin with, making the regret entirely unexpected.

Credit: Getty

The survey results found that many parents, who have doubts about their name choices, admit that if they could go back in time, they would probably pick a different name.

In Ireland, parents and guardians have three months to register their new baby’s name, so taking a few weeks to trial a name is perfectly okay.

However, if you find yourself in this predicament after this cutoff point, nicknames can help to reframe your mindset around it.

In fact, nicknames of a given moniker has enjoyed recent popularity among parents.

For example, the name Charlie, derived from Charles, has surged in popularity for both boys and girls.

Mia, originating from the lovely moniker Amelia, is also growing in favour among expectant parents.

Archibald, which may have been a popular choice decades ago, has seen renewed interest in its nickname form, Archie.

Similarly, names like Leonardo and Elizabeth, which have been around since the 12th century, have undergone a modern-day rebrand as Leo and Elsie.

Alfred is also experiencing a resurgence through shortened versions such as Alfie and Freddy.

You get the picture.

If you are due to welcome a baby and find yourself going back and forth on a name, there are a few things to consider that may help to narrow down the list.

Credit: Getty

Do you like calling it?

For the next 18 years (at least), you’re going to be calling out for your child to come in for their dinner, to come downstairs, to do their homework, and so on.

If you’re stuck between a few, practice yelling out these monikers in the house and see how it sounds.

Do it alone to get a feel of how the name sounds coming from your mouth, but ask your significant other, family members, and friends to call it out so you can hear how it will sound out in the world.

Also consider writing it down as much as you can, as it will be a task you repeat on every form and during every summer on their book when they start and return to school.

Does it go with their surname?

Some monikers, while beautiful, could end up sounding clunky or odd when it’s paired with the baby’s surname.

For example, Nolan is lovely, but Nolan Dolan might put them on the receiving end of sniggers in the classroom simply because it rhymes.

While it looks great written down, when said out loud, the full name highlights how similar the first and surname are.

What will the full initials be?

The middle name can also interfere with how the first name looks when written as initials.

Three or four letters can become a full word — use your imagination on this one.

Consider what your baby’s middle name (or if they will even have one) before locking in the first name.

Could the name be turned into a nickname you like?

Lots of names become nicknames overnight and oftentimes, they will sound nothing like the original moniker.

For example, many William’s are only known as Will or Bill. Similarly, many Elizabeth’s are referred to as Betty or Liz.

Once a nickname sets in, there really isn’t a way to reverse it.

Before you choose the moniker, ask yourself, ‘If they get a nickname, what would it be?’

If you like it, great. If you don’t, maybe it’s time to go back to the drawing board.



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