Name regret revisited

I posted on nameberry about 7 months ago stating that I had some major name regret over naming our second child, [name]Adelaide[/name] [name]Lauren[/name] (we call her [name]Addy[/name]). Everyone here reassured me that it was a beautiful name and that I shouldn’t change it. Unfortunately those thoughts have come and gone and now my daughter is 14 months and I still can’t seem to shake it.

I know a lot of it has to do with the fact that I wasn’t super connected to her during my pregnancy (although hard to admit). I had a scare at 25 weeks where I thought I was going to lose the pregnancy. I also dealt with low fluid levels at the end which made me worry a lot about her health. I was induced early because of it and wasn’t completely prepared. Thankfully she was born without any complications, but I think all the worry throughout the pregnancy made it hard for me to connect with her when she was born.

While waiting for her to be born, I had my long list of names written down on a piece of paper in my hand. My husband loved the name [name]Adelaide[/name] throughout my pregnancy (while I loved [name]Olivia[/name]) and when I saw him hold her for the first time and his face light up with love - I thought that is what she should be named. Her middle name, [name]Lauren[/name], is after my mom and I have absolutely no regrets about that. Anyway, now I have become obsessed with finding the “perfect” name for our third child and we haven’t officially started TTC yet (although we plan to soon). I’ve obviously been using this as a distraction to my real issue and I know it’s not helping.

A few people commented in my last post that maybe I was going through some post partum issues. I don’t think that was/is the case. It’s more about regret to me. If I could go back to the day she was born, I would have taken more time to decide - more time to bond. I love my daughter so very much, I just wished I loved her name. My amazing husband supports me and just wants me to be happy. So, what would you do? Accept it for what it is and move forward or consider changing it? I would love some unbiased perspective.

Thanks for the help.

I think it might be harder to change your mind now, and then wonder if you should have left it. Especially when 14 months have passed.

I would feel so special knowing that my daddy helped pick out my name. Maybe you can find a nickname to help the two of you grow closer? I know my mom has little nicknames for me that had nothing to do with my given name, and I feel connected in that way.

Plus you’re going to have lots of time to think about your other names for your next baby!

I agree - maybe working on a nickname that you love would be better than changing her name at this point. [name]Adelaide[/name] [name]Lauren[/name] is beautiful and it is so special that her dad named her. I see lots of nickname potential there, but I agree with kerrie again that the spontaneous nicknames that develop are really special!

What it is about [name]Adelaide[/name] that you do not like. You need to define your style so that you can give your next little one a name that really hits the spot for you.

Maybe it would be better for you to choose a nickname for [name]Adelaide[/name] that you find really sweet. My mother was called [name]Jane[/name] by her father and her real name was [name]Margaret[/name].

Best of luck,


So sorry to hear you are having a time with your decision. Could you call her by her middle name, [name]Lauren[/name]. What about a different version like, [name]Adele[/name].
I have to honestly say [name]Ive[/name] never heard of someone possibly regretting their childs name but I feel like there are way more worse things that you could be dealing with. Thank g-d for her health. Everything will work itself out.

honestly I think it has nothing to do with the name but the actual events surrounding the birth. It sounds like in fear you named her…it has nothing to do with her name but the fear. Admitting you were fearful and didn’t connect with the baby is a huge step. Allowing what is real to be the focus now. start with what you know. she is safe. she is thriving. your “amazing supportive husband” named her. her middle name is your mothers name. that’s a lot of positives.
I will say after traumatic births it’s easy to have a lot misguided guilts and regrets. Identify the things that scared you. The low fluid levels, the scare at 25 weeks, the rapid induction. All of those things happened. They were scary. But I think you are lumping your baby in with all the trauma of the birth/pregnancy. The loss of control you felt during the birth only got bigger when you gave up control about the name…but you didn’t lose control of her name…it just seems like you did.
That will steal the joy surrounding your daughters birth. SHE is a gift. the birth could have been better. But don’t let the fears of a past birth effect how you feel about someone now.
You can connect with her. It’s little to do with her name and a lot to do with you. Once you start to identify the real issue here then I think you will find so much freedom in your baby girl. [name]Free[/name] to love her, her name, and your role as her mom…You have a daughter! that’s so spectacular! Find joy in that. and let the birth behind. You might have not had a lot of control during it, but you do now…
find healing in what is right in front of you…

Wow, thanks to everyone who has taken the time to respond.

Yes, part of the reason why I can’t see myself changing it is that I do think it is so sweet that my husband named her. I feel that will always be a special bond between them. I would feel so guilty to take that away.

Also, I agree that maybe another nickname might be the way to go. My husband is open to this as well. We never really discussed nickname options when I was pregnant. [name]Addy[/name] just sort of happened. Sometimes I think [name]Addy[/name] just sounds so young or is too common. I know she is only 14 months, but I have a hard time picturing Addy on an adult. I do like [name]Ada[/name] or [name]Adele[/name]. Which do you think would be a more logical fit with her full name? Also, I’m just not sure how I would go about reintroducing her now as everyone we know calls her [name]Addy[/name]. Any ideas?

As far as style goes, I actually really like older names. I have thought about [name]Lillian[/name], [name]Eloise[/name], and [name]Charlotte[/name] for a future girl or [name]Owen[/name] for a boy. I do love the history and meaning behind her name, but sometimes I think the “laide” part of her name sounds too harsh. I also don’t feel that it matches with my son’s name - [name]Trevor[/name]. People have even made comments to me about this before. I guess that is one of the reasons that I keep searching for the next name - trying to find one that would bring their names together. Any suggestions?

Oh - and yes - sometimes I stop and think in the grand scheme of life does a name really matter all that much. That is one reason I get so upset with myself that I still doubt her name. I am so grateful that I have two healthy, beautiful children. That is what matters most.

I sent you a message, but not sure if it went through! Anyway, just wanted to comment because I am having the same issues with my baby, [name]Emily[/name]. I’m not in [name]LOVE[/name] with [name]Emily[/name], and that nagging feeling that it isn’t the perfect name is making me so upset! Also, we call her [name]Emmy[/name] and while I do think it’s very cute, I can’t really see it on an adult. I’m not sure why, but I kind of feel like [name]Emily[/name] is too long and I wish I had named her [name]Emma[/name] instead.

You are not the only one!

I’m sorry you’ve been having so many doubts about your daughter’s name. If you love [name]Adele[/name], I think that would be a lovely way to make her name feel fresh and [name]Adele[/name] does seem more logical than [name]Ada[/name] to me. I think you could also do [name]Adie[/name] (said like AY-dee rather than [name]Addy[/name]… I know of a woman who was [name]Adrienne[/name], nn [name]Adie[/name], so it ages seamlessly to me), [name]Aida[/name] (ah-EE-dah, like the opera), [name]Dell[/name]/[name]Della[/name], or even Elaida (like [name]Elaina[/name]/[name]Elena[/name] with a “D”… maybe a bit awkward but I’ve always liked it). There’s also Lady, but that seems a bit perpetually childish to me.

[name]Do[/name] you still like [name]Olivia[/name]? Did you like the nn [name]Liv[/name]? I think you could still give her the nn [name]Liv[/name], not in some passive-aggressive sign that you wish you would have gone with [name]Olivia[/name], but as a celebration of the fact that your daughter did live, and she’s alive, and well, and whole, and your perfect, healthy, happy, wiggly little girl. :slight_smile:

Since she is 14 months now, I would probably try and see if a different nickname would work better for you (such as [name]Adele[/name]) or even use the nn [name]Liv[/name] for her, and see how it works… if you still have serious doubts I would probably change it. As much as you would try to hide it, I think your daughter will probably be able to pick up on the fact that you still regret naming her [name]Adelaide[/name] if you still do. [name]Adelaide[/name]'s lovely, but if it’s not working, it’s not working. Your whole family, including you, deserves to be happy. :slight_smile:

I think it also might be helpful to read these two articles/blog entries by a mom who had name regret. Her case might be a little extreme, but I think her story might help you. and

No matter what, I think if you’re going to change her name, the sooner the better. She’s over a year old as it is, and the older she gets, the more confusing it will be to her for her to have a completely new name.

All the best!

I am also dealing with this. My daughter is 7 months old and I have wished every day that we had taken more time to decide, to go back in time. My husband is on board with changing it, and has been since she was about 2 months old, but I’m wracked with indecision and sadness about abandoning her name (even though we rarely say it - she has an unrelated nickname), and I’m terrified that I’ll regret changing it. And I feel as if the window of opportunity is just about gone at this point. I wish it was more socially acceptable to try out a name for a few months to see how it feels! I wish you could “certify” that the name you chose was in fact the right one at some point, like maybe a child’s first birthday. sigh

By the way, kmg729, hugs. I know how hard this is. And I do also think [name]Adelaide[/name] [name]Lauren[/name] is very beautiful. But people can tell you that until you’re blue in the face, but you need to be the one to live with it every day for the rest of your life, and if you’re still not sure 14 months later, I really don’t think your daughter will be scarred if you and your husband agree to change it. I don’t think anyone actually remembers anything about themselves at that age, so even if she’s answering to it, a gentle transition of using both an old and a new name should be fine. Your son may have a harder time accepting it, though. [name]How[/name] old is he?

I’m finding it interesting that name regret seems to strike more with second children. I never regretted my first daughter’s name for even a second. Still don’t. But I’ve been consumed by it since day 3 with my younger daughter. And I’m finding anecdotes of other people who have also gone through this, and they always seem to have an older child for whom the name was just perfect. I wonder why this is.

Two more name change stories (is this becoming a small scale epidemic?):

Also (I clearly have a lot to say on this), are you still set on [name]Olivia[/name]? Like, do you really want her name to be [name]Olivia[/name]? Have you held her and secretly whispered “[name]Olivia[/name]” to her just to see how it felt? And, if so, did if feel right? I ask this because, while I am consumed by regret and have other choices that I love, I don’t look at my daughter and think, “but she’s soooooo a [name]Mirabelle[/name]” or whatever. I try out different names on her and try to imagine how her looks and personality are going to blossom and how her name sounds with my eldest. Except for that last part, though, it’s all a big unknown, and that’s part of what’s hard and scary and overwhelming for me. Making a life-long choice.

I actually have one more link for you. A recent one I found. A mom who’s still conflicted about her daughter’s name after 15 months. She’s certain she won’t change it, but I think it may be helpful for you to read the responses, particularly the one about perfectionism. I know I struggle with that:

I wouldn’t change it at this point, as she’s already 14 months old and, believe it or not, recognizes her name.

In addition, [name]Olivia[/name] is a beautiful choice (while I might be biased, as it’s my name!), but so common. [name]Adelaide[/name] is a beautiful, distinctive name, for a beautiful little girl with a distinctive story of how she came into the world!

Call her marmalade for a nn :wink:

Again, thank you for all of your responses. I hesitated posting this morning, but I am so glad I did. It really helps to hear your opinions on my situation.

Babybliss and nerdy - I am sorry to hear that you are going through this as well. Thank you so much for reassuring me that I am not alone. Also, thank you, nerdy, for all of your links. I have done quite a bit of searching on the internet, but I haven’t seen the ones you posted. I plan to look through them more in depth later tonight. I can completely relate to and understand your thoughts. I was shaking my head ‘yes’ to many of the things you wrote.

My son is 3.5 and he is part of the reason why I have also hesitated in making a name change for my daughter. I wonder how he would handle it. Although I casually asked him today about what he thought of calling his sister by a different name and he replied with, “That’s a great idea!” Haha. I just would hate to do it and have it affect him in some way long term. I find it interesting, nerdy, that you have read this happening more often with subsequent pregnancies. I have never had one ounce of name regret with our son.

Another part of my hesitation is how our family and friends would perceive me. I know it shouldn’t matter because I am the one living with these thoughts every day, but it still does. My husband and my parents are about the only ones I have told.

I also got to thinking about today how I think I’d regret taking the name [name]Adelaide[/name] away from her at this point, but what about including it in her middle name. What are your opinions on this?

Thanks again for all of your thoughtful responses. Please, keep them coming…

If you are really regretful I wold definitely look into changing it or tweaking it before it is truly too late! I can relate b/c I suffer from name regret daily with my oldest DD. (I do want you to know though that I think [name]Adelaide[/name] is just as lovely as [name]Olivia[/name], (in fact, lovelier IMO) while being less common-which is a major plus [name]IMO[/name]). I loved my oldest daughter’s name ([name]Isabel[/name]) after we named her in 2003, but it was not my first choice-my DH wanted something traditional and I came up with that over my whackier alternatives.

Also, I’d definitely think about the fit of the name-one of the reasons I consider changing my oldest daughter’s name so often is that the very similar [name]Isabella[/name] became SO popular after I named her. BUT When shew was about 3 I started to think about changing it, she just seemed like something different. She still does, and now she is almost 9 and I WISH I had never named her that but it is just too late to change her name and she rather likes it. She hates all the nickname alternatives (an frankly, so do I). I like her name but it is no longer my style and doesn’t fit. Oh well.

Anyway, if you have really intense regrets, maybe talk to your DH about moving [name]Adelaide[/name] the the MN, but I’d definitely find something equally unique to replace it rather than something in the top 10-50 (Just my opinion having dealt with a name that is close to another name in the top 10). Also, I’d consider if you think the name fits her now, or not-that is another issue for me and it may not be for you, she may actually “look like” an [name]Adelaide[/name]-KWIM? HTH!

If you don’t love it, and love another, change it.
I know people who have had name changes at 2/3 years.

[name]One[/name] girl…I can’t remember her original name now, but she’s now [name]Jade[/name]. And it suits her lovely.

[name]Olivia[/name] [name]Lauren[/name] is lovely. [name]Livia[/name] [name]Lauren[/name] is nice as well if you like alliteration.

I just wonder how your daughter would percieve a potential name change when she is older? Would she see it as breaking the special ‘thing’ she had with her daddy? THe truth is, you wont know the answer to that until then, but to me it seems a real shame to change the name for that reason… anyway, good luck…

I think putting [name]Adelaide[/name] to the mn spot is doable.

I like [name]Olivia[/name].