Baby name remorse - looking for support

[name_m]Ah[/name_m] man…I have gotten myself into a situation.

I had a very difficult time picking out girls names during pregnancy. At the time, I didn’t really care too much. I was kind of like “Eh, it’s just a name” and I couldn’t really think of anything I loved, apart from one name (think along the lines of [name_f]Tabitha[/name_f]*). Silly - I thought “Oh, that’s heartbreaking, I can’t use it” because my mom’s cousin shares the name (hindsight, who cares).

So about 2 weeks before my baby was born I thought “Oh no we don’t have a name”. It’s unfortunate, but looking back, I was having extreme anxiety issues, pressure at work, off my anxiety medication due to pregnancy etc. and I was under so much stress that I was unable to really focus on much of anything ([name_m]Don[/name_m]'t worry. I got help now and am feeling quite a bit better).

So we scrambled up some names to put on our short list and thought the best approach would be to wait until the baby was born. Well… you may be able to guess how that turned out! [name_m]Add[/name_m] the additional stress and pressure of the hospital and we just caved and picked a name out of the blue. I remember getting about 2 hours of cumulative sleep in the hospital over the naming stress, baby wouldn’t sleep and kept crying, I was overwhelmed physically and emotionally by labor etc. and I was completely and utterly defeated. [name_m]Just[/name_m] a feeling of total desperation like “oh well it’ll grow on me”

A week or two after we brought her home, the clouds lifted. Once I had gotten some sleep, I was enjoying my daughter, I didn’t have silly work stress pulling me down…I KNEW this was a mistake and I realized that [name_f]Tabitha[/name_f]* should have been her name. This sounds horrible but I sat in silence every time someone said her current name and would just shudder, then after they left, I would absolutely burst into tears! I told my husband everything and he says let’s change it.

I feel SO SO bad about all of this though. I feel bad that my daughter is going to have an amended birth certificate with a note on the bottom saying the old name. I just feel so regretful that the situation happened and I am feeling really embarrassed and alone. I’m just mad at myself. She’s 12 weeks now and I should have done this ASAP but I dilly-dallied thinking “Oh you’re just being stupid” but at this point I dislike her current name more and more. To make it worse, her current name is so classic and nice but it just isn’t for her.

I don’t quite know what I’m looking for! Support? Stories? Have you known someone who changed a baby’s name? Is it all that uncommon? I feel like people are going to judge us and like I said, I feel horrible about the birth certificate for some reason. :frowning:

Thanks a lot for reading this.

[name_m]Don[/name_m]'t worry about it! If you want to change your child’s name do it :slight_smile: I go to a church where you can be Baptized at any age. Most people will choose a patron saint to pray to once they have been Baptized. For example my mother was [name_f]Sarah[/name_f] and now goes by [name_f]Monica[/name_f]. I know literally dozens of parents who gave their children saint names after baptizing them. Never was it once a problem. I had a friend named [name_f]Charlotte[/name_f] whose mother originally named her [name_f]Rose[/name_f] but changed it. She wasn’t upset about it either. If you’re worried about your mom’s cousin and your baby having the same name don’t worry. My father and his sister are Cosmin and Cosmina and they survived :slight_smile:

Oh and I forgot… I have a sister named [name_f]Sophia[/name_f] and my parents spelled her name wrong and got her birthday wrong on her birth certificate and they had to correct it! Not exactly the same thing but having to change something on a birth certificate isn’t the end of the world.

I think you’re doing the right thing changing it, and you’ll feel happier once the old name is gone. Plus, when she’s older she might even find it kind of cool or interesting that she once had a different name on her birth certificate - it will be a story or a fact to tell people!

Oh that’s no problem, definitely change it right away and stop kicking yourself. I think there can be a lot of pressure with being a first time mom to get everything right, at least that’s how I felt, but truely there are so many moms who have gone through the same name remorse and it’s gonna have no effect whatsoever on your lovely baby. Think about if she could understand the situation surely she would tell you to just change it and forget about it and feel better! I understand the birth certificate thing though too - both my kid’s are “ruined” because they have my birth name on it, not my legal name change. I kind of found it comforting that both of them were like that, not just one. But seriously who cares. Your daughter just wants mommy to feel good about it and she might find it interesting or amusing when she grows up. <3

You’ll have a lifetime of calling your daughter by her name & it would be wonderful to use the name that really feels like the right one. I have a friend whose older daughter’s name is misspelled on the birth certificate & the spelling doesn’t match the pronunciation, & it’s been a problem all of her life. So I’d definitely change it, & say your daughter’s name w/a smile on your face because it’ll feel right! :slight_smile:

If you want to change her name then do it! It seems it’s been wearing on you pretty heavily and your daughter should have the name that you love for her the most. And don’t be mad at yourself for waiting to change it - it’s good that you took time to think about it, and lots of people take wayyyyy longer to change their babies name legally.

[name_f]Do[/name_f] it and don’t look back!

One of my really good friends had this happen to her. She was given the name [name_f]Maria[/name_f] when she was born. The parents took her home, and then a few days later her mom was holding her and began to cry. “She’s just not a [name_f]Maria[/name_f],” she said, and so they changed her name to [name_f]Katelyn[/name_f]. My friend loves ending this story with the comment, “I can’t imagine being a [name_f]Maria[/name_f].” She really feels she is 100% [name_f]Katelyn[/name_f]. And she is.

You are not alone! There are soo many posts about the exact same issue.
It’s an overwhelming and exhausting experience for sure. I’d say if you’re sure the name doesn’t fit her spend some time calling her the new name and then get it changed ASAP. Maybe even keep the original name somewhere in the middle name spot?
I once read a blog where the writer changed her daughters name at 8 months old and I loved it-it makes you realize you have time, this kind of thing happens a lot, and changing it really isn’t that big of a deal even though it feels like it!
Good luck!

Please don’t fret. I didn’t even see my birth certificate until I was in my 40’s because I needed it for something. Much better to get the name right. After all, babies can’t read! :slight_smile:

I don’t know if it is necessarily common, as the only cases that I personally know of is parents I know who changed their adopted kids’ names for their safety.

I see no issue with changing her name! She’s still young…and her name shouldn’t make you cringe every time you hear it. Having a changed birth certificate isn’t a big deal, in the grand scheme of things. I would suggest using her current first name as a middle name, possibly, or some variation. It kind of eases other people into the change and also makes the change not so abrupt.

Name issues aside, I think if you are feeling that sad and emotional at this stage in motherhood, you should be evaluated for postpartum depression. Absolutely no judgment, it’s so common and can manifest in many different ways.

I felt the exact same way with my daughter. I shuddered everytime someone says her name. I cried a lot too because of it. I wanted to name her anything but her current name. That’s how bad I felt. At 2 months, I was already decided that I need to change her name but we finally did it when she was 4 months old. We didn’t do any announcement. Turns out half our friends don’t even remember her original name. We just had to explain it to those who remember and those who saw her often. They would ask how the process was and i’d tell them it’s easy bc it really was. If you’re feeling bad about an amended BC, don’t. It’s just a piece of paper that you wouldn’t see often. So far we’ve only used it to apply for her passport. I’d rather look at an amended BC than regret giving her a name that I don’t love. [name_f]Hope[/name_f] this helps. I’ve been through it and trust me you’d feel so much better when it’s done. Stay strong, mama! :smiley:

I just want to agree with all the precious posters who said not to worry about it, just change it. Absolutely you should change it and it’s fine to just start calling her by the name you love right now! You can change it officially when you get round to it. Please don’t kick yourself over this. It’s surprisingly common and it doesn’t need to be a big deal at all. Changing her name sounds like a smart decision made by the great new parent I’m sure you are.

I completely understand the feeling of having your mistake displayed for the rest of time on your little one’s birth certificate. I have had similar situations and I stressed and stressed over them similarly to how you are now.

Here are some things to consider that I used to walk myself through/found out after the fact:

  • You were dealing with a lot. You are not a bad [insert whatever you may be thinking here]. It is completely understandable, given the circumstances, that what happened happened. It is ok to not be perfect. Nobody is perfect all the time and your child will not blame you. She will probably thank you more often than not for caring so much about her name that you wanted her to have the best one.

  • People don’t really care. Anyone who is going to see the birth certificate will understand and not judge you for it. There are many reasons people change names on birth certificates. Nobody will know the exact reason for your change on your daughters and even if they did, I’m sure they can think of at least one other person they know who had something similar happen.

I like the idea that someone mentioned of using the name you registered her with as a middle name in the new name if you do really like it. That way it is still a part of her identity. You’re adding to it with the name that was truly meant for her. If you really don’t like it, though, even as a middle name, definitely take it out. [name_m]Don[/name_m]'t feel obligated to keep it.

You are doing great, and all that matters is that you love your child and give her the best you can. You’ve got this <3

edited for privacy

I just want to say (as someone who has been down this path), it is completely ok to change the name. For many reasons… It isn’t always postpartum depression/anxiety. But if you don’t change the name(and know you want to) and wait it could turn into that. [name_m]Just[/name_m] wanted to speak from someone who has changed the name.

I have naming regrets for my son, but I can’t change his name. We named him [name_u]Jesse[/name_u] after my husbands mother [name_u]Jessie[/name_u] who passed away a month before he was born.
I loved my mother in law and am sad she never got to meet her grandson. I don’t dislike the name [name_u]Jesse[/name_u] but it really doesn’t suit my son. [name_m]Even[/name_m] my husband has commented on it before.
[name_u]Jesse[/name_u] is 3 now so we won’t change his name but if he wants to go by his middle when he is older I wouldn’t be upset.

Since you don’t have that family connection to the name, I think you could change it without too much fuss…and if it bothers you, you can always just put the new name in the front and her other names as middle names then she would be gaining a name instead of losing one!