You might have picked your baby’s name because of cultural or family traditions. Or maybe you sought help from the devastatingly handsome editors at your favorite dad media site. Either way, post-birth name regret can sneak up and bite you. Though why you’d regret naming your kid Manning is anyone’s guess.
READ MORE: The Fatherly Guide to Baby Names
Some relief could come from knowing that it’s not unusual to regret the name you picked for your kid. But that doesn’t make it any less troubling. Here are a few ways you can tackle baby name regret, whether it comes from you or your partner.
Know It Happens A Lot
Sometimes a parent starts using their kid’s name, only for a creeping dread to confront them that the handle just ain’t right. In fact, a survey out of the UK found that one in 5 parents regret the name they gave their kid. And it wasn’t just because Brits love naming their kids Millicent.
In fact, the most regret-filled names were pretty damn pedestrian, including James and Anne. Although, they could have cleared that last one up by dropping the superfluous “e”. Oh, those Brits and their funny ways of spelling things. It’s like they think they invented the language or something.
Why You Might Regret
There is story after story about the genesis of baby-name regret. For some it’s just that the kid doesn’t look like a Winchester. For others it’s the sudden realization that rhyming Cooper with pooper is way too easy. In some cases it’s because some awful Osama or Miley has made a mess of the world (or themselves) forever ruining your very reasonable baby name. It happens.
What You Can Do
The first thing you should do is just give it some time. It could be that your anxiety over your kids name is just because you’re a new parent and anxiety just kind of comes with the territory. Like dudes named Blaine at a frat party. In a month your little Picabo just might wear her name like a fancy knitted hat.
If the anxiety and regret doesn’t subside, maybe take a look at what else is going on. Is this regret accompanied by deeper depression in other areas? It could be that you or your partner are suffering from postpartum depression. It might be time to seek help outside of name lists regardless of how awesome they are.
Make That Change
If it turns out that you simply can’t live with your little Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii, it might be time to legally change it. Often, it’s not going to be an issue in the first few weeks of your kid’s life. But if your kid is months old (or much older) and paperwork has already been processed, you may need to jump through some legal hoops. There are some general steps here, but know they can vary wildly from state to state.
In the end, it’s important that you are comfortable with your kid’s name (and that they’ll be comfortable with it in the future, but who can tell). And if you want to make a change, doing it sooner rather than later is a good idea. You don’t want your little Barkevious getting used to feeling like a badass only to be turned into a Linus. That would be just a-Pauling.