Help! Should I change my son's name?

Hi everyone! I desperately need your advice! You guys are always so helpful and supportive. I apologize in advance for the long post! [name_f]My[/name_f] son is 11 weeks old and I’m still having doubts about his name “[name_u]Flynn[/name_u]”. I always loved the name but I started to have doubts about it late into the pregnancy because I noticed the “[name_u]Lynn[/name_u]” in it and wondered if it made the name less masculine (I think of [name_u]Lynn[/name_u] as a girls name even though I know it was once a unisex name here in the US). We chose the name anyway because I thought my doubts would fade with time but they haven’t and I’m still really focussed on the “[name_u]Lynn[/name_u]” part when I say and write his name. [name_u]Lynn[/name_u] also reminds me of a mean girl at highschool, which doesn’t help! I’ve tried to focus on the fact that my Dad’s middle name has “[name_u]Lyn[/name_u]” in it ([name_m]Lyndon[/name_m]) so there’s a part of his name in [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] but it doesn’t help! Also, I made the mistake of looking at people’s opinions online and a couple of people said that the name looked a little feminine with the “lynn” part and also reminded them of “phlegm”, which really bothers me!

The name is very uncommon here in the US (no. 779 on the charts) and people don’t seem to understand me when I first say it and they often ask me how to spell it. They have also asked me over the phone if it’s a boys or girls name? That surprises me because I thought people would know it’s a boys name and would know how to spell it. This just makes me more unsure about the name. I worry that my son will always be correcting people when he’s older. Other concerns I have are that the name might become a unisex name one day (it’s mostly male right now but there are a few female Flynns out there) and I’m also struggling with nicknames. The kids call him “Flynny” but I really don’t like it because it sounds a little feminine. I’m also having trouble picturing an older man with this name.

At this point I’m just really self conscious about the name and cringe waiting for people’s reactions when I say it. I feel terrible because I have this sweet, healthy baby boy and I don’t know what to call him. I have been calling him “the baby” because it doesn’t feel right calling him [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] when I have all these doubts but my husband and kids have been calling him that from day one. I think about changing it every day to the only other name that my husband liked, “[name_m]Calvin[/name_m]” (nickname “[name_u]Cal[/name_u]”), but I get scared because it seems so drastic and we need a court order to do it. And I’m worried people will think that we’re crazy! I also get upset thinking about the birth certificate as it will always show both names and I wonder how my son will feel about that when he’s older. I also feel sad for the kids having to adjust to a new name and I even get a little sad at the thought of saying goodbye to “[name_u]Flynn[/name_u]” because that has been his name for nearly 3 months. I feel like I’m taking away his identity but at the same time, I’m just not sure if I can get past my doubts with the name and I’m so tired of worrying about it…it’s exhausting and it’s all I can think about. I didn’t have this issue with my other kids’ names ([name_f]Ava[/name_f], [name_f]Mia[/name_f], [name_f]Annabelle[/name_f] (nn [name_f]Elle[/name_f]) & [name_u]Austin[/name_u].

My husband would prefer to keep the name [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] because he’s used to it but he’s also happy to change it to [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] if I really want to. Our son can’t go by his middle name “[name_m]Joshua[/name_m]”, because it’s my husband’s name and we don’t want two [name_m]Josh[/name_m]’s. [name_f]My[/name_f] husband would prefer to keep the middle name as [name_m]Joshua[/name_m] although he’s open to changing that too.

I would love your thoughts on the following:

  1. Do you think my doubts about [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] will fade in time or do you think I should just change the name seeing as I still have concerns about it?

  2. If we change it, which option do you think makes the most sense and/or sounds the best?

*Change it to [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_m]Joshua[/name_m] [name_m]Holmes[/name_m]
*Change it to [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] [name_m]Holmes[/name_m] (not sure if this sounds as good but it might be less of an adjustment for the kids?)
*Change it to [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_m]Holmes[/name_m] so we have the option of calling him [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] if I don’t get over my issues with [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] (although I worry that going by his middle name would be a hassle for him)

  1. Do you think the kids would get used to the new name pretty quickly even though they’ve called him [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] for 3 months? They are ages 9, 7, 4, & 2.

  2. My other son is “[name_u]Austin[/name_u]”? [name_f]Do[/name_f] you like how [name_u]Austin[/name_u] and [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] sound together with the same ending or do you think it’s too matchy?

  3. The only issue I can think of with [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] is the [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] and [name_m]Hobbes[/name_m] association. [name_f]Do[/name_f] you think that will be an issue with our last name “[name_m]Holmes[/name_m]”? Is it too close or will it not matter because kids my son’s age probably won’t know about them?

I’m so sorry for the long post! Thank you so much in advance!

  1. I think there is a possiblity that your doubts will fade, but after 11 weeks, it’s not likely. It’s a long shot, but have you had any issues with PPD? That seems to be a contributing factor in friends who haven’t really “settled” into their child’s name. It’s just something to consider, of course. Maybe try out [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] for a few days and see if that sits well with you.

  2. I think [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_m]Joshua[/name_m] [name_m]Holmes[/name_m] sounds lovely.

  3. I do think your kids would get used to the name. They might have questions but you can have answers. :slight_smile:

  4. I don’t especially love [name_u]Austin[/name_u] and [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] as siblings because the style is so different in my eyes but I wouldn’t think much of it. I don’t think they’re matchy.

  5. I didn’t think of the [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] and [name_m]Hobbes[/name_m] association until you pointed it out. I don’t think it’ll matter, really.

  1. Change the name. It’s giving you grief. It’s been over two months and you’re still anxious about it. The character The Librarian was named [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] so for me it’s always been a Boys name if that gives you any reassurance but still change it. I don’t know how to tag but otri’s suggestion should be considered. A lot of women go undiagnosed.

  2. Calvin [name_m]Joshua[/name_m] or [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] [name_m]Joshua[/name_m]

  3. The kids will get used to it fast. They’re not as invested in it as you are. Maybe sit them down and explain the reasoning behind the change so its not sprung on them. They can keep calling him [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] as a family inside joke.

  4. Austin and [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] work together. You have three kids with “A” names and that’s not a problem so don’t worry about this.

  5. Not an issue and you can read [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] all the books. Kids love it when their names in books, homework problems, etc.

Another thing is that he’s almost three months old. HE DOESN’T HAVE AN IDENTITY. You won’t give him an identity crisis when he can’t even crawl.

Why would the birth certificate show both names? It doesn’t do that for adopted kids so I’m confused. [name_f]Do[/name_f] you mean it will show a name change on the new certificate or will [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] be on it as a redacted first name? It just seems weird that it would still be on there when his name is [name_m]Calvin[/name_m].


I’d change it now before everyone is too settled in calling him [name_u]Flynn[/name_u]. Speak to your kids and get them used to the idea.
[name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_m]Joshua[/name_m] is nice


If it’s affecting you this much, then I say you should change it. If your husband is behind you, then it’s okay. As @PRSing said, [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] could be a funny inside joke with him. I adore [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] and [name_m]Hobbes[/name_m], but I didn’t make that connection. It’s a cute name!


I think you won’t feel at peace until you change it. The sooner the better because he won’t remember it at this young age. I would definitely have a family talk with the little ones just so no one is caught by surprise. I’m sure the legal process takes a few weeks at least so it gives your older kids some time to process and adjust. I would keep the same middle name for your husband.


I really like the name [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] but as others have said, if it’s causing you anxiety- definitely change it!! [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] is a nice name too.

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Ah I’m so sorry about the predicament you face that just sucks.

I think if your still feeling anxious/upset about [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] change it. Your baby’s name should bring you happiness and make you smile. I think having a name that makes you anxious definitely change it. I personally would change the name to [name_m]Calvin[/name_m]. You seem to like [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] and it’s a strong choice. If I was you I would have two middle names I would have [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] [name_m]Joshua[/name_m] [name_m]Holmes[/name_m] or [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_m]Joshua[/name_m] [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] [name_m]Holmes[/name_m]. Then you don’t have to say goodbye to [name_u]Flynn[/name_u], I think could have the transition easier for the children (they can call him [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] if they want it’s not odd) and you still get the family name [name_m]Joshua[/name_m]. Children are resilient and adaptable they will get use to his name being [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] instead of [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] just be prepared for questions! I don’t see the connection to [name_m]Calvin[/name_m], [name_m]Hobbes[/name_m] & [name_m]Holmes[/name_m].

Good luck & congratulations on your baby boy :blue_heart:

It depends on the state’s rules on how a name change would be handled on the birth certificate. Most commonly (when done just because a name change was desired) the original name remains with a note of the new name added. Removing the old name is more likely to be done when the name change is due to a reason like adoption or gender change (when there may be privacy issues with not doing so). An exception that may apply in your (the OP’s) case is sometimes name changes done within a certain time after birth (often within the first year or so) can be done in an easier manner (I don’t know if that would affect whether or not the original name would still show on the amended BC).

  1. I would imagine that your concerns about the name will just get stronger. I think if you feel like you should change it, you should go for it.

  2. Both [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] and [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_m]Joshua[/name_m] sound. nice.

  3. Yes, I think they would! It hasn’t been too long.

  4. They sound really nice together!

  5. I grew up reading [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] and [name_m]Hobbes[/name_m], so it’s a very positive association for me. But I don’t think most people would think of it.

Altogether, I think you should go for it! This happens to a lot of people. It’s better to do it now than later! :slight_smile:

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My son is [name_u]Finn[/name_u] (so very similar and a suggestion: it’s [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] without the -lynn, would that be better?) and I know [name_m]Orlando[/name_m] [name_f]Bloom[/name_f] and [name_f]Miranda[/name_f] [name_u]Kerr[/name_u] (celebrities) have a son [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] together, which is where I first heard it. It’s always struck me as a softer name, but I wouldn’t say feminine. The bottom line though is how it makes you feel and if you haven’t come around to it by now, I’m not sure you will. You should love your baby’s name, not be nervous what people will think, and if you are, maybe [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] is better suited. I don’t think it’s too late, people will get used to it, including your kids. Best wishes for whatever you decide.


I really like [name_u]Flynn[/name_u]. I know one and he wears it well.
Guess it’s up to you if you want to change it. If one chooses a rare® name, then I guess you have to be willing to own it.
In my mind, [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] is a bit rare but still very handsome and fits with contemporaries like [name_u]Finn[/name_u], etc.

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It does sound like you should change it.
How about making [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] a second middle in case you still want to use it?
[name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_m]Joshua[/name_m] [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] [name_m]Holmes[/name_m]

I don’t think many would think of [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] and [name_m]Hobbs[/name_m] btw


I agree with @Gabriellenz. [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_m]Joshua[/name_m] [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] would be a good compromise.


First off, thank you for sharing all of this. It sounds like you’re going through a tough time and I think it’s really brave to reach out for help and explain the situation.

I have a little personal story that might help. When I was a kid, my babysitter had a daughter who was around my age. One day she told me how, during her pregnancy, she and her husband had a name picked out for her. But the birth did not go well and mom ended up on a lot of medicine that made her really loopy and completely “out of it.” Her husband ended up doing the entire birth certificate process and gave their daughter a completely different name - The first AND middle were different!! I heard this story 10-20 years ago, so I’m a little fuzzy on the details. But I know it was a shock for mom, so I assume the name wasn’t even one they discussed.

By the time I met the family (around 7 years old), mom loved her daughter’s name and was glad her husband didn’t go with the original name. I have no idea what the process looked like for mom to find that peace. I have no idea why her husband did that. But the name that she didn’t want at all (when she realized what her husband did) eventually grew on her.

Now, with all that being said, everyone’s situation is different. You may never grow to love [name_u]Flynn[/name_u]. And that’s ok!! [name_m]Don[/name_m]’t be too hard on yourself about all this!

Another little story - I think a lot of parents don’t realize people’s reactions to names until they’re child is already named. I work in L&D often and I’ll never forget this one baby - He was named [name_m]Jacoby[/name_m] and I KNOW that it’s NOT pronounced [name_m]Jacob[/name_m]-ee, but for some reason, when I saw the name on the white board, I said it that way. The look the parents exchanged was like “OMG what have we done?!” and I knew I wasn’t the only person to pronounce it that way since their son was born a day ago. I felt really bad, especially since I know the correct pronunciation! Idk what happened between my brain and mouth that day :pensive:

I feel like this is a similar moment you’re having with people not understanding what name you’re saying and the gender thing.

So you’re not alone in this! I think more parents experience it than they openly talk about.

Lastly, my personal vote is to change the name to [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] or [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_m]Joshua[/name_m].

When I think of [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] I think of a masculine name and have no connotations to [name_u]Lynn[/name_u], I think of [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] [name_m]Rider[/name_m] the love interest from the Disney movie [name_f]Rapunzel[/name_f]! I agree with the others that if you feel you won’t love it than change it :blush: there’s nothing wrong with that, while rare, having chosen the wrong name means no harm when it can be changed! I think [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] [name_m]Holmes[/name_m] would make a darling name and associate [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] some how just in case the kids take awhile to adjust, on the topic of siblings, [name_u]Austin[/name_u] and [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] are a wonderful sibling set! And aren’t too matchy or out there! [name_f]Hope[/name_f] my comments help, and go easy on yourself! Your concerns are valid!


I personally much prefer [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] to [name_m]Calvin[/name_m]. [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] has such boyish charm I don’t see the [name_u]Lynn[/name_u] at all. How do you feel about [name_m]Finnian[/name_m]?


I like [name_u]Flynn[/name_u], and it fits well with your other kids names. I don’t know how set you are on [name_m]Joshua[/name_m] as the middle, but you could always change it to [name_m]Calvin[/name_m]. [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] [name_m]Calvin[/name_m]? But personally, I see it as a beautiful masculine name and don’t think you should change it.

Flynn is 100% a male name to me. If I heard it on a girl it would absolutely remind me of girls named [name_u]James[/name_u]. It’s going to take a long time and A LOT of female [name_u]James[/name_u]’ before I can see it as unisex. [name_m]Even[/name_m] more so for [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] since it’s less common. [name_m]Just[/name_m] how my brain is configured.

It’s interested you bring up the [name_u]Lynn[/name_u] association - usually girls names that contain [name_u]Lynn[/name_u] use it as a suffix tracked onto another name (eg [name_f]Sarah[/name_f]-[name_u]Lynn[/name_u]), not just adding a letter to the front so I think that’s why I can’t see [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] as a -lynn name🤷🏻‍♀️

If anything, I actually see [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] as closer to [name_u]Finn[/name_u] with an L thrown in! Natural nicknames for me would therefore be Flynnegan, Flynnick, Flynnian, Flynneas, etc!

But if all that still doesn’t help ease your mind, I think a name change is the way to go. I’m happy you have the support you deserve from your spouse :slight_smile: You could consider [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] [name_m]Joshua[/name_m] [name_u]Flynn[/name_u] lastname if you are really worried about the birth certificate. I’m afraid I don’t have any insight on your other questions.

Thank you so much for your response! No, luckily I haven’t had any issues with PPD, with any of my kids. I can be indecisive at times though! [name_f]My[/name_f] concerns with the name started near the end of pregnancy when I read some comments online about “[name_u]Flynn[/name_u]” sounding like “Phlegm” and the “lynn” part making it look less masculine. Unfortunately, those comments got stuck in my head and are the reason I’m not settled on the name. I wish I could go back to how I used to think about the name…I really loved it. Thanks again for your thoughts on this. I will take your advice and try out [name_m]Calvin[/name_m] for a few days to see if it feels like a good fit. :slight_smile: