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would you change your kid's name?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

In need of a gut check, and not sure the best place to post this but I'll start somewhere. This has been on my mind a lot lately. I have a 12 month old dd, my second. Her name was my second choice, and I've never *loved* it like I loved my first daughter's. It suits her OK, it just doesn't make my heart sing to hear it. As it turns out, the name we went with is becoming increasingly common (3 of 7 babies at her daycare have the same first name!) which doesn't help.

 

At this point, since she's over 1 year old, we'd have to go to county court to do a formal name change. Is it worth it? DH is fine either way... 

 

I have thought about just starting to call her by the name I wanted to originally and then let her decide later which name to use and whether to change it… though they're not quite close enough to be clear variants of each other. Could be confusing? 

 

Feels very much like a first world problem, and I wonder how much I'm really over-thinking this. :eyesroll At the same time, I do love names and the process of naming, and to me this feels important. I think I was rushed and felt pressure at the hospital to pick something and now wish I'd waited. 

 

Any thoughts? Wisdom? Get reals? TIA!


Edited by csteely - 12/4/13 at 5:01pm
post #2 of 14
My mom has always called me a different name than the one they gave me. She said that is what she wanted to name me. I don't know why she didn't name me that, but it doesn't seem like a big deal at this point. I like the name and would like to give it to a daughter if I ever have one. My wife goes by a nickname that is unrelated to her actual name. Many people don't know her real name. She doesn't feel the need to make it legal. I think it's fine to call someone a different name than the one they have without it matching the legal name, but if that's important to you, it might be worth changing.
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you for sharing! That's helpful to hear.

post #4 of 14

Call her what you want- that can be her nickname.  Or legally add the name you wanted as a middle name.  I'm not sure I'd be comfortable changing my child's first name legally, but that's just me- I have a half brother from my father's side who was born a twin and went by one name for the first 6 weeks of his life, then when his twin brother died, their parents switched the babies names so that the living twin was a Junior.  Kinda a different situation that yours, but still makes me uncomfortable to think about and my half brother wishes they'd kept the name he was born with or not told him about the switcheroo.

post #5 of 14

I feel like I remember reading that there may be some psychological attachment to a name at some point in development. I think I'd start there if you're seriously considering calling her something different than what you have called her for the first year of her life. 

 

As far as the legal change - that doesn't put any flags up for me at all. I plan to add a second middle name to my DC's legal name if I ever find the time. 

 

I can relate, though. My DC came a bit earlier than I expected and we had the most perfect boy name picked out. Then she came a few days earlier than I hoped AND she was a girl. We ended with a name that I still don't totally love. I joked about changing it for a long time...but the rest of my family vetoed it. Leo was going to be her name if she were a boy and I wish we had just gone with it for a girl. Ah, well. Her name will grow on me, I guess. :p

 

Good luck whatever you decide. 

post #6 of 14

My grandmother's name was changed when she was 8 years old.  It was changed by her mother.  There was no real reason for it, she just decided to change it one day (my great-grandmother was a bit of a sporadic free spirit).  Everyone (siblings, friends, neighbors, family members) eventually switched to calling my grandmother by her new name.  My grandmother was never really bothered by it.  She did not choose her new name, but she wasn't opposed to it either.

 

If I were in your situation, I would go ahead and officially change it now.  I honestly don't think it will make a big difference to a 1 year old.  And it's going to be an easier switch now than it will be when your child is older.  In many cases, a name change actually isn't as complicated or expensive as some think.  Have you checked to see what the requirements are in your state?

post #7 of 14

If you want to call her by a different name than it legally is I think that is fine as long as you're consistent about it. DH's cousin goes by his middle name rather than his first name (I just recently found out what his legal name was). One of my cousins goes by a totally different name, unrelated to her name, and everyone who knows her calls her that (family, friends, etc.) though work and school related friends use her actual name. She's in her mid-30's but it has been that way since she was little, as far as I can remember.

post #8 of 14

My friend's parents got divorced when she was young and her name was dad's choice and her mom was sort of bitter about it.  So she went by legal name (dad's choice) at her dad's and out and about and her mom's choice name when she was with her mom.  No confusion or discomfort at all.  And since that's an even more extreme version of what you're talking about, I think an informal name change would be fine.  After a bit of time, if it seems really "right" you can go through the legal process.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all the replies and food for thought! At this point I'm leaning toward just using the name with her, and letting her choose later if she wants to legally change it. If she were younger I might just go ahead and do it legally, as before 1 year my state will allow the change by just sending in a form. After 1 year, you need to go to county court first, which isn't insurmountable but certainly more of a hurdle.

I will look into the point that kids make a psychological attachment to their names - interesting point. She clearly knows this name and has for months.

Thank you!
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by csteely View Post

I will look into the point that kids make a psychological attachment to their names - interesting point. She clearly knows this name and has for months.

I had read about it in terms of changing an adopted child's name so this is obviously different but still worth considering. If it were me I would consider consulting a child psychologist (if I had the resources for that).  

post #11 of 14

One small consideration is that if you change it, for the rest of her life she'll always have to write down another name as well when filling out forms that ask about previous names. Not a big deal, but if she changes her name at getting married, that's at least two extra names to write down. (I have maiden name, married name, and now chosen name.)

post #12 of 14

I had this situation with one of the twins, DH and I made an agreement that he would pick the name of one and I of the other. BIG MISTAKE! I love Mimi's name but Lorry's name is definately not my favorite, but then agian its just a name and DD loves it. I wouldnt change it legally, I'll just give her a nickname of my choice. 

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by DTmama1 View Post
 

One small consideration is that if you change it, for the rest of her life she'll always have to write down another name as well when filling out forms that ask about previous names.

 

 

I was thinking about this too. Not a huge ordeal but could be a pain in the butt for her and kinda confusing in some situations.

 

I personally would just change it legally. Why does going to the county court seem so daunting to you? You go, you fill out a form, and it's done, right? You will have to show ID and pay and stuff but I don't think anyone's going to tell you you can't do it. IMO it's just clearer that way, also for other people. If you just start calling her by a different name all of a sudden, it will be confusing for her and others....unless you make a clear announcement that everyone should call her that from now on.

 

It reminds me, some years back in the baby forum here someone made a similar post about changing their baby's name at, I think, 7 months. I was surprised to see how many people chimed in that they or someone they knew had changed their baby's name. I don't think there's that much difference for this purpose in 7 months or 12 months. You seem clear you want to do it, I would just go all the way.

post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to post an update. My husband and I decided to go change her middle name to the name we (really, me) wanted to give her originally. That way we don't need to change the name that she's known by now, but we could also start calling her by her middle name without too much explanation/confusion. And of course, this way she can choose later which she would like to use. 

 

Thanks again for all the input! I feel like I have a load off my mind now that we've decided. 

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