Baby-Name Regret Is Real—and It’s More Common Than We Thought

A surprising number of parents wish they'd chosen a different baby name, according to a recent UK study.

Choosing a name for your baby is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make—and according to a new study, a lot of parents don't get it right, at least in their own estimations. The UK parenting network Mumsnet recently polled 1,300 parents on baby name regret and found a whopping 18 percent of respondents have, at some point, regretted the first or middle names they've given their children. According to the survey's findings, the sentiment comes on quickly: 32 percent of those who did regret their name choices started to feel it within the first six weeks. 

Why did these particular responders regret the names they chose? While 34 percent listed "other" as the reason for regretting a name choice, 25 percent said the name was "too commonly used," 21 percent said it just "doesn't feel right" and 20 percent said they never liked their name choice to begin with, and were pressured into using it. (Bummer!)

According to the survey's findings, only 2 percent of the parents surveyed have actually changed their children's names (like this couple who renamed their 3-month-old!)—but 17 percent of responders would make different choices if they could go back in time. 

Baby name regret is a pretty universal thing. After all, so many factors go into giving a child the right moniker: You want something that sounds good, but also has a strong meaning. Maybe you want to choose something that feels a bit modern...but there's a fine line between fresh and trendy. Initials matter, too—and no parent wants his or her child to come home from school with a cruel nickname, so making sure the name doesn't rhyme with anything that lends itself to this is key as well.

Parents are looking to pop culture more and more when choosing names, and while we love the idea that our favorite TV shows and public figures could have such a keen influence over the next generation, we also know that it can be tricky. Case in point: Pokemon Go-inspired names are seriously trendy at the moment....but let's face it: They're not the easiest to pronounce. Another hot trend: Post-gender baby names—which may have more staying power.

As our sister site Parents points out, there are certain strategies parents can use before committing to names: you could even go so far as to introduce yourself to strangers using the name you're thinking of giving to your child and gauge their reactions to it. Genius, right?

Have you ever wished you had chosen different names for your children—or are you having sencond thoughts about the name you've chosen for your baby-to-be? Tell us! 

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