Category: Name Problems and Disputes

Changing Baby’s Name

By Abby Sandel

Australian blogger Sophie Cachia made headlines last week when she announced a name change for her new daughter.

Sophie – who blogs at The Young Mummy – welcomed daughter Betty, a little sister for Bobby, on January 14th. Two weeks later, Sophie and her husband announced that they’d made a mistake. Betty is now Florence, Flossy for short.

Many parents experience occasional frustration with their child’s name. Maybe it’s that Evelyn is far more popular than they realized, or because Grayson is sometimes spelled Greyson instead.

That’s not name regret. There’s a difference between these relatively minor annoyances, and the unshakable feeling that you’ve given your child the wrong name.

It sounds like Sophie quickly realized that another name from her original shortlist would suit her new daughter better. When that’s the case, a name change – especially for a newborn – is usually pretty straightforward.

Other families report starting their name search anew when their child is a few weeks or months old. If there’s pressure to choose a name before your baby arrives, that’s nothing compared to the challenges of choosing a name for a three-month old, as family and friends continue to use the name that you’re working so hard to replace.

Here are nine tips for changing your child’s name:

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They’ve narrowed down names for Cora‘s brother, but they’re still feeling stuck! Is the best name already on their list, or is it time to start fresh?

Danika writes:

We are stuck! Our son is set to arrive in April, and we’re not in love with any of the names on our short list.

Our daughter’s name, Cora, felt right from the start. We’re not having the same feeling with any of our choices this time around.

I really like to use family names somewhere in the mix, and the meaning of names is important as well. Our daughter’s middle is Brewster, a family surname, and we’re considering Christopher, Cameron, Thornton, or Guy for a middle.

Some names we’ve considered:

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Twin Baby Names: Double Delivery Surprise

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A double delivery surprise means four finalist names! If their twins are boys, they’re all set. But when it comes to girls’ names, they’re not sure where to begin.

Megan writes:

My husband and I are expecting fraternal twins in a few short months.  We have decided to keep the babies’ genders a surprise. As a result, we need to come up with four names (two boys and two girls).

We have two older children already. Our son’s name is Holden and our daughter’s name is Amelia.  We have a very common last name that starts with B.

We had no problem coming up with boy names for our twins.  We have chosen Miles and Emerson. If we have boy/girl twins, we have decided to use Emerson as the boy name.

We are at a bit of a standstill when it comes to girl names.  We don’t want any names that are too matchy, and would prefer names that do not have easily derived nicknames, but other than that we don’t have any real guidelines for names.

My top contenders are Hadley, Cora, Lila, and Margo.  My husband’s top contenders are Annabelle/Annabel, Maeve, and Elaida.  While we don’t hate each other’s choices, we don’t love them either.

I want names that I love as much as my other children’s names and our boy name choices.

We are quickly getting closer to the babies’ arrivals and we are desperate to find the right girl names. Do you have any suggestions for girl names to round out our list?

The Name Sage replies:

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How DO You Pronounce That?

By Abby Sandel

Most baby names come with a fairly predictable pronunciation, at least in English. No one argues over Emma or Mason, and we don’t mangle Charlotte or James.

And yet, other names are open to multiple possibilities. They’re not necessarily wrong – just different. Our assumptions about correct pronunciations are shaped by regional accents and changing trends. Pages and pages in our forum discuss this very issue.

It’s a different challenge from names that are misheard. Name your daughter Emmeline, and she’ll probably be called Emily at least some of the time. But that’s a different kind of frustration than explaining that she’s emmaLINE, rhymes with fine and sign, not emmaLYNN.

Or, of course, the opposite. Because it can be emmaLYNN, rhymes with kin and win, just as easily. Unless, of course, you pronounce it emmaLEEN.

Let’s take a look at nine baby names with pronunciations that often lead to confusion.

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Baby Name Advice: Use the Name You Love

By Abby Sandel

When it comes to baby naming, here’s my number one rule: Use the name you love.

That sounds straightforward. And yet, as we consider names, we come across all sorts of concerns – often from those closest to us.

The result? A shortlist of three or four great names starts to seem much more complicated.

Most objections are based on generational differences, or others’ personal preferences. It’s good to listen – remember Poppy Montgomery’s story about the near-naming disaster her father-in-law averted? But for every serious, name-changing observation, a great many comments are best ignored.

Here are nine frequently-cited concerns that shouldn’t come between you and your favorite name.

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