Jump to content

Please share your experiences with changing baby’s name


  • Please log in to reply
41 replies to this topic

#1 Doral

Posted 22 February 2020 - 10:22 PM

Hello! Hoping there are some people here who have changed their baby’s name or know of people who have done this. Please share your experience with me - was it a hard decision, did you regret it, was it awkward/embarrassing, did it take a while to get used to, is it worth it etc.

I REALLY don’t want to change my baby’s name but I’m just not 100% happy with it either. I’m driving myself insane/getting really down about it and need to make a decision. I think she has somewhat become her name now so a part of me is so sad and heartbroken to change that but at the same time I hesitate before saying her name out loud, feel strange when other people say it and only ever call her nicknames unrelated to her actual name.

I hate having these feelings and don’t want to spend any more time stressed and anxious about this when I should be enjoying my baby.

Thank you

#2 alias grace

Posted 23 February 2020 - 01:08 AM

I know that you have asked for personal experiences and not opinions on what you should do, but I would advise against changing your DD's name.  My DH wanted to change our DD's name when she was about 2-3 months old and I flat out refused to entertain it.  In our case, we had both agreed on her name (with no real alternatives) about 6 months into the pregnancy but DH felt some regret afterwards that we did not choose a more culturally significant name. My reason for refusing to consider the idea was not that I loved DD's chosen name so much but because we'd be pushing the burden of our indecisiveness and insecurities onto DD.  Once you have legally registered a name, it remain permanently recorded even after it has been changed.  That means that your DD will have the administrative burden of having to provide details of 'previous names' on all formal paperwork for the rest of her life.  It is much, much easier and fairer to her if you accept her current name and move forward.  Ultimately, it is just a name and, based on your earlier thread, a very nice one.  I say this with genuine kindness, but I think that the only sensible option in your situation is to accept your DD's name and, hopefully, you can then let go of the attached stress and anxiety.  

If it is any consolation, I don't really love my DD's name any more (even though I thought it was perfect during pregnancy) and I would absolutely pick differently if I had my time over again.  But it really, really doesn't matter.  So many other things about her matter, but her name doesn't at all.

And finally, big hugs!  You're deep in the trenches right now and emotions can feel intense and overwhelming.  Plus sleep deprivation is not exactly conducive to rational thinking.  I hope that you are doing okay more generally and have enough practical and emotional support around you?

#3 8LittleAustralians

Posted 23 February 2020 - 03:03 AM

I altered some of my kids middle names, their first names remained the same. I'm assuming you have already registered the birth.

Its a pain, on every official piece of documentation you have to write about it, you have to declare former names for the rest of your life. I very occasionally have to deal with centrelink, but when doing my paid parental leave forms they still have my older kids former names, I've taken their revised birth certificates in multiple times before. Just did passports, it was a pain.

As per PP, if I had to rename all my kids, I would come up with something different for all of them, my taste in names changes so frequently. My baby's name has never been considered for any of my kids, nor was it on any of the lists for the 5 pregnancies I lost in the 2 years prior to her birth. I went into labour with my youngest son at 36 weeks and we choose a name. labour was stopped and I had him at 39 weeks and we went with a completely different name.

chances are if you change it, you'll have the exact same feelings about the new name in a few weeks or months.

#4 IamzFeralz

Posted 23 February 2020 - 06:35 AM

I didn’t have the choice with one of my kid’s names (long story) and it’s not a name I would have chosen and it still isn’t.  But to me it doesn’t matter.  He is still him, his own distinct personality.  It’s part of his identity and it doesn’t change the way I feel about him.  It has never deeply bothered me although I relate to what you say about it feeling strange when you say the name!

It may be worth speaking to a counsellor about this because I hear a lot of worry in your post.  Are you afraid that if you don’t change her name to something that feels 100% right that it will affect the way you love and attach to her?

#5 born.a.girl

Posted 23 February 2020 - 07:09 AM

I was never 100% committed to our daughter's name.  It was tenth on my list.  My husband wasn't keen on any of the others. The really, really annoying thing for me was that he said 'you can choose the first name if I can have the second'. To be fair to him, I made a list, and then it kinda got forgotten that it was supposed to be my choice.  I was working full time in a senior position, starting a business in my 'spare' time, and was sick through the whole pregnancy, plus had other significant pre-existing medical conditions affecting me, so right at that point, wasn't in any condition to stand my ground.

My problem that THE best name for her was one with both a shortened version, and an alternative spelling (Lily, Lilly, Lilian, Lillian) and I vacillated over which one to us, so just caved and accepted the name he agreed on.

28 years later she absolutely LOVES her name. There are umpteen other Lilys and all of the other names on the list.

The paperwork in future alone would be enough to put me off.

I'm sensitive about names because I was named by my grandmother, who called me what she'd have called another girl, then gave me my mother's name as a second name. Unlike my older sisters who have bland second names like Anne & Mary, I've got a very, very VERY dated name as a second name, and a dated name as a first name. I'm in my sixties and women with that name are all falling off their perch now.

Try calling her by her name - people do grow into their names, so that may be part of the issue.

E for errant apostrophe

Edited by born.a.girl, 23 February 2020 - 08:20 AM.


#6 newmumandexcited

Posted 23 February 2020 - 07:53 AM

I have three sons and my third has a name I don’t love - I often think ohh I should have insisted on that..

Except that he’s kind of become his name and it really suits him. I realise they kind of grow into it. My husband doesn’t love the name of my second but again, it’s totally him. I suspect, though of course, don’t know, that it will become less of an issue as time passes.

Plus as a teacher I know there are some crazy names out there that are totally beyond belief.

Edited by newmumandexcited, 23 February 2020 - 07:56 AM.


#7 Kreme

Posted 23 February 2020 - 07:53 AM

Before I had kids I thought naming them would be so much fun. It wasn’t! I felt a real sense of responsibility and there are so many factors to consider like surnames, nicknames, initials etc.

I think part of the pressure is people who go on about how much they lurve their kid’s name, how everyone else loves their kid’s name (only very rude people would say they hated it!) and my personal favourite “it suits him/her perfectly!”  

No offence to anyone who feels this way but it’s a load of crap! I was at cricket yesterday and someone called out to their kid whose name is the same as my DS. Instinctively I looked over and this kid is like the polar opposite of my son in every way. Yet I’m sure his parents feel like he suits his name just as much as I do!

Our kids both really like their names but they also like hearing about the names they might have been called. And with DD, a lot of the names I dismissed as “not special enough” she says oh that’s a nice name, I’d be happy with that. And the ones that I loved and thought were amazing but were vetoed by DH she says omg mum that is a hideous name, thank goodness dad stopped you LOL! My niece has a name my SIL adored and begged for. My brother finally gave in and agreed to it and my niece now hates it and insists on using a nn that her parents don’t like.

This is a long winded way of saying I wouldn’t change it. I read your other thread and the name you have chosen is lovely. Try saying it out loud whenever you talk to your daughter. You may find it starts to feel more like her. All the best.

#8 newmumandexcited

Posted 23 February 2020 - 07:58 AM

I read your other thread and like the name a lot too.

I say this very gently and with no judgement as I’ve been there, but is this definitely about the name? Presumably this is your first child and it can be a real shock of loss of control - and maybe the name is symptomatic of that feeling?

Just a suggestion - I have no insight but I thought it might be a thought..

#9 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 23 February 2020 - 08:11 AM

You do know people can end up using nicknames as their everyday names unofficially as well? I had a friend called Annemarie Sue. She never was called that, her mother always called her Susie. Teachers and friends called her Susie. In later professional life, she unofficially changed to Sue. It's always an option.

#10 zenkitty

Posted 23 February 2020 - 08:19 AM

Doral, you sound so sad and anxious that I’m worried this isn’t actually about the name. I wonder if it would be a good idea to talk to your GP about how stressed and down you are feeling. You’re not insane, I can see you want the absolute best for your daughter, but I’m worried that her name is symbolic and not the sole reason for your distress.

You may not feel 100% happy with it but you chose a beautiful name for your daughter and there may not be a name that leaves you with absolutely no doubt.

#11 Bigbaubles

Posted 23 February 2020 - 08:24 AM

Both my kids have long unusual names.

With the eldest we got a lot of really horrible comments. It took me a good 6 months+ to really feel like I have chosen well. It's such a big name and felt so grown up calling a baby that. 3 years later it suits her perfectly. She loves her name (and has come up with an interesting nickname!) and we still get some less than nice comments, but I don't care at all.

With the youngest her name is more known, but almost never used, so we get either extreme love for it, or extreme hate. Once again, I don't care, but I also feel much more confident with my decision.

Number 3 will also end up with an unusual name and i'll 100% own it.

Also, one of my friends had his name changed by his parents and found out what is original name was at age 12 and decided to go by that. He hated the name his parents changed it to.

Think about seeing someone to help talk through these feelings because it soudns like it could be more than just the name..

#12 MrsLexiK

Posted 23 February 2020 - 08:36 AM

I didn’t change my kids names but I changed my name and it’s a pain when filling in paperwork. As an adult there is much less official paperwork and I don’t work for government and haven’t had to get loans etc. I’ve kept one of my bank accounts in my original name as it’s just easier that way as occasionally I get cheque’s or stuff made out to that. Plus changing it at the other bank was so bloody hard they kept sending me cards in the wrong name.



#13 Daffy2016

Posted 23 February 2020 - 09:11 AM

OP, I would like to gently echo the other posters who have asked if you’re sure this is really about the name. I know when I had DD I struggled to call her by her name, and refer to myself as mummy, DH as daddy and my parents as grandma etc. It was a big adjustment for me and took me a few months to get comfortable with it. It was really tied to my own anxiety and difficulty with things changing.

On the flip side, DD has four names, which include my surname as a second middle names. I passionately insisted on it at the time and now, having had to fill out multiple forms with her very long name, I couldn’t care less and even forgot one the other day. She’s two now.

All the best and be gentle with yourself. Maybe try to think about how you’d advise a friend or loved one who asked you the same questions you’re asking?

#14 born.a.girl

Posted 24 February 2020 - 09:41 AM

View Postzenkitty, on 23 February 2020 - 08:19 AM, said:

Doral, you sound so sad and anxious that I’m worried this isn’t actually about the name. I wonder if it would be a good idea to talk to your GP about how stressed and down you are feeling. You’re not insane, I can see you want the absolute best for your daughter, but I’m worried that her name is symbolic and not the sole reason for your distress.

You may not feel 100% happy with it but you chose a beautiful name for your daughter and there may not be a name that leaves you with absolutely no doubt.


I think this is a very important point.

#15 Beanette

Posted 24 February 2020 - 10:04 AM

View PostDaffy2016, on 23 February 2020 - 09:11 AM, said:

OP, I would like to gently echo the other posters who have asked if you’re sure this is really about the name. I know when I had DD I struggled to call her by her name, and refer to myself as mummy, DH as daddy and my parents as grandma etc. It was a big adjustment for me and took me a few months to get comfortable with it. It was really tied to my own anxiety and difficulty with things changing.


I also really struggled calling myself "mummy" to start with, it seemed so alien to me.

When my DD was born I was a bit hesitant on her name, DH loved it and it was a family name on my side but it just seemed like a weird name for a baby (a very "grown up" formal name). She's 9 months now and has really grown into it, I found that as time went by I felt more sure of the decision.

I found it hard to imagine them as their own person, with their own name and identity, when they're just a little squishy baby but as they grow up their names just seem to suit them.

I would also have a chat to your GP or MCHN, just about managing stress and feeling worried. It can be good to try to nip any problems in the bud xxx

#16 Doral

Posted 24 February 2020 - 07:27 PM

Thank you all for your sweet and helpful comments. My husband has suggested I talk to someone as well and I am definitely going to as this has been on my mind constantly for a while.

I agree that maybe some post part anxiety/depression is playing a role but I also think my feelings are valid as I have literally felt this way since the moment she was born and my husband said she looked like a name and I instantly thought no. I had the best labour and unmedicated delivery and my daughter has always been a great eater and sleeper so I don’t think there is birth trauma or sleep deprivation playing a part here. I just don’t want to have these feelings of regret and uncertainty any more but I realise I can’t be certain they will go away if we change her name.

Can someone please explain how a different name affects paperwork and legal documents and things later in her life? Is it really that much of an issue?

Thank you xx

#17 onetrick

Posted 24 February 2020 - 08:03 PM

Did you change your name when you got married? You know that bit that says 'have you ever been known by any other name' where you state your maiden name... well, your DD will need to state both her birth name and the new name, and potentially have her birth certificate and change of name documents when applying for things like a passport later in life.
My DH took on his stepfather's surname when he was under 10, and I see how annoying it is for him (and I think in his situation it was perfectly reasonable and in a way it was his choice).
You could always do what they used to do and have her legal name and preferred name be slightly different. When she is older if she genuinely prefers her name that bnb you want to call her, then you can change it then (as she will be the one doing extra paperwork it seems fair to ask her??). So many older people are known as something different to their legal name or even second name... we seem to have moved away from this as a society, but I can think of a few people born at the start of the last century who did this :)
Also- on a completely different note, I had PNA and can relate to a lot of your uncertainty... happy to chat if you want to PM me about that.

#18 Sancti-claws

Posted 24 February 2020 - 09:21 PM

View PostKreme, on 23 February 2020 - 07:53 AM, said:

Our kids both really like their names but they also like hearing about the names they might have been called.
My older daughter actually uses the rather bizarre name her father chose should she be a boy (and boy was I glad she was a girl) as her online username!

When I was about 8, I soooooo wanted to change my name - I was going to hyphenate and be really cool.

When a girlfriend of mine (now 57) was young, she decided she wanted to be an abbreviation of her name - her mother honoured her request and called her the shortened name until she died (10 years ago).  Of course, my friend actually got over the desire in about a week, but her mother had promised.

Names are such funny things.

According to http://www.legalaid....g-a-childs-name

"It's not illegal to start using another name for your child without officially registering the name change unless a court has ordered the child be known by a specific name. "

#19 born.a.girl

Posted 25 February 2020 - 06:49 AM

View PostSancti-claws, on 24 February 2020 - 09:21 PM, said:


"It's not illegal to start using another name for your child without officially registering the name change unless a court has ordered the child be known by a specific name. "

I'd best stop calling my adult daughter 'monkey' then.

A neighbour with two adult daughters causes us all sorts of grief referring to her daughters by their nicknames - we can never remember which is which, one of whom is 'duck'. We're going to have to learn a little trick to differentiate them.

#20 Gudrun

Posted 25 February 2020 - 08:29 AM

Yeah, in your situation I think I would call her or 'X' in the everyday. If it sticks she becomes 'Y' 'known as' 'X'.

Leave the birth certificate to her if/when the time comes.

My granddaughter is not ever known by her birth certificate name.

ETA if you stick to her 'known as' name it will probably stick.

Edited by Gudrun, 25 February 2020 - 08:31 AM.


#21 Questionable13

Posted 25 February 2020 - 09:38 AM

Honestly, if her name doesn't sit well for you, change it!
I completely understand why some ladies here are suggesting it's a hassle with paperwork..but really, we all have to manage it in our lives. I got married and I still have to fill in my maiden name as 'other known names'.

My mum changed her last name (to a hyphenated name) legally. She has never complained about the paperwork and has to fill in 2 X 'also known as' sections in the paperwork!

I think if it's just not sitting well with you, there is nothing wrong with changing her name. Better to do it sooner than later too. People may be surprised initially but they'll adjust ok!

#22 alias grace

Posted 25 February 2020 - 09:52 AM

View PostQuestionable13, on 25 February 2020 - 09:38 AM, said:

Honestly, if her name doesn't sit well for you, change it!
I completely understand why some ladies here are suggesting it's a hassle with paperwork..but really, we all have to manage it in our lives. I got married and I still have to fill in my maiden name as 'other known names'.

My mum changed her last name (to a hyphenated name) legally. She has never complained about the paperwork and has to fill in 2 X 'also known as' sections in the paperwork!

I think if it's just not sitting well with you, there is nothing wrong with changing her name. Better to do it sooner than later too. People may be surprised initially but they'll adjust ok!

No actually, we don’t all need to manage it.  It’s one of reasons (although not the main one) why I didn’t change my surname when I got married.  My name, my choice.  I really like the fact that I’ll only ever have one name for my entire life, although I completely understand why others may want to change either their first or last names at some point in their lives.  Their name, their choice.

Edited by alias grace, 25 February 2020 - 09:53 AM.


#23 MooGuru

Posted 25 February 2020 - 10:06 AM

I get where you are coming from OP because I had similar thoughts as did several of my friends - in fact I think every friend it came up with in conversion had experienced the same.

I think for me I wanted perfect and whilst it was the name I desperately wanted and DH had not been a fan. He kind of announced the name making calls and I panicked and thought No! (this was a name I'd loved since childhood. That had *signs* immediately before the birth. Like the night before I went into labour the name came up on tv and I was all see told you it was a great name).

If you have another name set in your mind test out using it and see how it feels but if your husband doesn't agree with a name change I'm not sure you'd legally be able to anyway. Ftr I have a friend Anna. Her actual name is Rebecca. No one calls her that only Anna. She's never bothered to change it and she's in her 40s.

#24 Questionable13

Posted 25 February 2020 - 10:16 AM

View Postalias grace, on 25 February 2020 - 09:52 AM, said:



No actually, we don’t all need to manage it.  It’s one of reasons (although not the main one) why I didn’t change my surname when I got married.  My name, my choice.  I really like the fact that I’ll only ever have one name for my entire life, although I completely understand why others may want to change either their first or last names at some point in their lives.  Their name, their choice.

Maybe saying "we all need to manage it" wasn't the best way to say it! I do apologise for that.

I guess the point I was trying to make is that OP needs to think about what is most important for her. For me, I'd prefer to feel ok with my babies name and put up with a bit of extra paperwork, than to forever feel like I can't even call my child her name.

#25 zenkitty

Posted 25 February 2020 - 11:48 AM

I changed my surname to my mother’s (from my father’s) at 18. It only ever comes up when applying for passports, loans, etc., so not an everyday hassle. Paperwork certainly shouldn’t stop you from changing it if it will make you happy. When she’s older you can just say when she was born you called her X, but once you got to know her you realised she was actually Y.

Do you have a name you would prefer? Or is it more dissatisfaction with her current name? If you have a name go for it, but uncertainty is harder.

Also remember that you don’t need trauma to have PNA/D, your feelings still matter and are real. It’s not logical or rational, take care x




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

'My parenting style is Survivalist'

A helicopter or tiger mum, I am not.

8 mums reveal their favourite nappy bags

We asked a bunch of mums which nappy bags they love the most.

Why you shouldn't bother throwing a big first birthday party

If you're feeling the pressure to host an all-out, over-the-top shindig for your baby's birthday, I hereby grant you permission to throw the rules out the window.

The 24 baby names on the verge of extinction this year

If you're on the hunt for the perfect baby name and don't want a chart-topper like Oliver or Olivia, then do we have the list for you.

'My mum doesn't seem that interested in my baby'

Q: My mother and I have always been close, but now that I have a baby, she has not helped out as much as I thought she would.

New guidelines: "Bottle-feeding mums need support too"

Breast is best, but mums who can't, or choose not to breastfeed need support too.

Dads also struggle to 'have it all', study finds

Men and women both experience work-family conflict.

Language development may start in the womb

Study found babies can recognise foreign languages before birth.

Meet the baby born from an embryo frozen for 24 years

Experts say little Emma is a record breaking baby.

 
Advertisement
 

Top 5 Articles

Advertisement
 
 
 

From our network

Five things you need to know about flu and pregnancy

As the 2017 flu season begins in earnest, here?s what you need to know to protect yourself and baby.

Mum tips to keep your pre-baby budget in check

Money might be funny in a rich man's world (or so ABBA told us), but for the rest of us it's a major consideration – particularly before having a baby.

5 easy ways to make your maternity leave last longer

Maternity leave is a special time for you, your partner and your new little bundle. The last thing you want is for financial worries to stand in the way of that joy.

10 ways to keep your 'buying for baby' costs down

Becoming a parent is full of surprises – not least of all finding out that, for such small beings, babies cause a lot of chaos and expense.

5 ways to prepare to go from two incomes to one

Here are some ideas for getting that budget in shape, ready for being a one income family.

 

Baby Names

Need some ideas?

See what names are trending this year.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.