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How to deal with baby name regrets

Kim Grundy is a mom, writer, expert laundry folder and sandwich maker, not necessarily in that order. Raised in Oklahoma, she is now a West Coast gal and lives in California with her husband and two sons, along with one dog, two fish (oo...

Help! I don't like my baby name!

Picking a baby name is a big decision, and some parents find themselves with baby name remorse as soon as the ink on the birth certificate is dry. How can you deal with a baby name that you now regret?

Help! I don't like my baby name!

Choosing the right baby name is an emotional decision for many parents. Sometimes it is not as simple as just picking a name you like, as some parents feel pressure to choose a family name or have a spouse that is set on a certain name. You may have given in at the heat of the moment, or thought you liked the name until you got to know your baby. So now what? How do you deal with a baby name you don't like?

1Give it time

Being a new parent is overwhelming – and the new mom hormones don't make it any easier! Give yourself time to get to know your baby, get on a schedule, and get some rest so you can think about this with a clear head. The baby name might grow on you! Really.

2Talk it out

Did someone make an off-hand remark about your child's name that is causing you to doubt your choice? If so, talk it through with your spouse or someone close to you so you can get some perspective that one person's opinion doesn't matter.

3Consider the middle name

Many children go by their middle names -- and this could be a terrific option if you find yourself balking at the chosen first name. As your child gets older, he or she can decide if they want to switch to their first name.

4What about a nickname?

If Elisabetta suddenly sounds too formal or stuffy, why not call your baby Elisabeth, Beth or even Betta? Or maybe no can pronounce or spell your child's name? Shorten the name or come up with an alternative that suits your baby. In time, you may come to love her full name -- or you can stick with calling her a nickname.

5Legally changing baby's name

If you have decided that you absolutely cannot live with your baby name choice, legally changing your baby's name could be the right option for you. The rules vary state-to-state, so you might want to consider contacting an attorney who can handle the paperwork and make sure it is done correctly. If you want to forgo the attorney fees, contact your county court to get instructions on how to legally change a name.

Don't forget to report the name change to the Social Security Administration. Changing the name on the birth certificate is a process that can also vary state-by-state. Contact the health department for your state to find out what you need to do. Some states allow you to change the name on the birth certificate within the first six months without a court order, which can save you time and paperwork!

More on baby names

Does your baby name Google well?
How to buy a domain name for your baby
Baby name fights: How to compromise


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