Liam Payne Regretted His Son's Name—For a Minute Anyway

That's what happens when you name your kid "Bear." But baby name regret isn't just for weird celeb monikers. Here's how to avoid it.

Liam Payne Baby Name Rich Fury/Shutterstock
Former One Direction singer Liam Payne recently revealed he wasn't so sure about naming his new son Bear. When his girlfriend Cheryl Cole came up with the idea, he initially balked at the thought of it.

Liam wasn't loving it

"It was an internal battle," Liam said during a Total Access radio interview. "I wanted a more traditional name and she wanted a name that was more unusual. The reason she chose Bear was because Bear is a name that when you leave a room, you won't forget."

Eventually he came around to her way of thinking. "You know what? Now he is Bear," Liam said. "When I look at him, he's just Bear. At first, I wasn't really having it. I was like, 'I'm not really sure. I don't really understand.' Now I look at him and he's Bear."

Aww, that's sweet. And Bear is kind of a cute name, so we get it. But baby name regret is a real thing—according to one poll, almost 20 percent of parents regretted the name they chose for their child, even if it wasn't something unique. In fact, the top reasons were that it's too common (not a problem for Bear), that they were pressured into it, and that they just never liked it.

No regrets

If you weren't feeling the baby name pressure, you probably are now! Baby naming is hard, but what can you do to avoid regret? You've probably already thought a lot about names, but take a step back and look at the one you've chosen objectively. Try these tests:

  • Can other people pronounce the name?
  • Is it constantly going to be misspelled?
  • What are the nickname possibilities?
  • Will the initials spell anything unfortunate?
  • How will your child feel going on a job interview with the name?

Another consideration is how trendy the name is, so take a look at the US popularity chart. Sophia is beautiful, but if you want your child to be the only one of her name in the class, maybe don't pick it. On the other hand, if that doesn't matter to you because you like the name so much, don't have regret over not picking it.

Also, unless you want everyone's opinion on the name you're choosing, wait until after the baby's born to reveal it—at that point people won't be able to criticize! You shouldn't feel pressured by other family members to pick a name you don't like, so don't let them influence your decision. The only other person to be in agreement with is your partner.

All tests aside, if you truly love a name, like Liam Payne discovered he did, then just go for it. "You become your name as you get older anyway," he said. True! And if you really hate it after your baby's born, you do always have the option to change the name while he's still young. Happy naming!