How this mum realised she'd chosen the wrong baby name

Carri Kessler and her twice-named baby.
Carri Kessler and her twice-named baby. 

Carri Kessler thought that she had found the perfect name for her daughter: Ottilie.

"I have a friend in the UK named Ottilie and it's beautiful. Ever since I heard that name I've wanted to use it," she told TODAY.

But despite being sure, when their daughter arrived Kessler and her husband started getting cold feet.

"Then the nurse came in and asked what her name was, and we said, 'Ottilie'," Kessler recalls. 

"And she was like, 'What?'"

The doubts continued when friends and family had difficulty saying the name.

"No one could remember it and no one could pronounce it," Kessler says.

"I was like, 'If you say it with a British accent, it sounds really good!' And people said, 'but you're from Maryland [in the US].'"

People were still grappling with the name six weeks later. And when her grandmother revealed that she couldn't remember the name, Kessler knew she was really in trouble.


"She said, 'I don't know how to say her name. I have Post-its all over the house so I can remind myself,'" Kessler recalls.

It just kept getting worse. In fact, Kessler became so anxious about her baby's name that she would find herself breaking into a sweat whenever she had to introduce her daughter to someone new.

According to experts, baby name regret is not uncommon.

Pamela Redmond Satran, co-founder of, told TODAY that baby name regret is something that happens more now than it did a generation ago.

"Parents care a lot more and think a lot more about names now than they did back then, and agonise a lot more about names than they did say in the mid-'80s."

For Kessler, the unease she felt about her baby's name was taking its toll. She reluctantly broached the subject with her husband, and to her surprise found that he agreed.

Her family also supported the idea of changing the name to something easier to pronounce.

"Then we were like, 'this is so exciting, we can rename her!'" she remembers.

"All we did was talk about names. 'Is she this? Is she that?' I felt like she was anything simple that wouldn't give me anxiety."

The couple didn't take any chances second time around, asking "799,383 people" for their opinion.

The final name came from a suggestion made by a friendly barista: Margot.

While Kessler was concerned about telling friends and family the news, she found the process less awkward that she'd imagined.

"People are so focused on their own lives. You're like, 'We're changing our daughter's name,' and people are like, 'Oh, ok, let me post another selfie on Facebook'," she joked.

Although the transition has been easier than expected, the couple don't plan on hiding the fact that they changed their daughter's name.

"I honestly think she'll be like, 'why do we have a bench that says 'Ottilie?" I feel like it's a good story for her. It will be part of her lore.

"I honestly take her out now so people can ask her what her name is and I can tell them it's Margot," she says.

"It's a great thing. It's really taken a lot of stress out of my life."