Has anyone changed their baby's name as late as six months old?

(46 Posts)
Girlzone Fri 07-Dec-12 12:14:33

I think I could do with some advice. For some reason I just can't get used to saying my dd3's name. She has just turned six months old, and I just don't feel comfortable somehow with the name we've given her. She is our third girl and I spent the whole pregnancy agonising over which name to choose. My worst fear has come true, i think i got the name wrong. Having mixed with lots of little girls in nursery and school through my older children in I was keen to find a name that wasn't really popular. So that ruled out quite a few lovely names just because i didn't want her to be one of three in the class!
Anyway, about 3 weeks before she was born dh and I both started getting keen on a name that was quite far down on our shortlist, and it was the one we decided on for sure two days after she was born. But as the months have gone on, I feel like I'm getting less keen, rather than more keen, and a bit like it just isn't "special" enough. It's a name we both liked, but clearly neither of us were passionate about it or it wouldn't have taken us so long to settle on it. I am now thinking constantly about a different name that I liked in the past, and now I really feel it should have been her name. For me, it rolls out of my mouth with ease, as I have embarrassingly been trying it out on her in private for the last day or so. Plus it goes better with her siblings' names, and I think has a lot more impact with our surname.
I am crazy I realise. I actually think dd3 is too young to truly know her name and wouldn't notice the name change. But I doubt I could persuade dh anyway as he will say its too late and that she has a name already. And imagine the embarrassment of telling family and friends. I suppose her dsis's of 4 and 7 would also struggle to make the change. So I can't do anything about it can I? I have to find a way to forget the new name and make myself fall in love with the existing one. (There definitely won't be any future children by the way as dh has now had the snip).
Her name is Tessa (sometimes Tess when I'm speaking), and the new name I'm imagining is Gabriella.

kiwigirl42 Fri 07-Dec-12 12:48:39

You can call her whatever you choose. she is not going to know and other people will soon get used to it. Follow your own wishes. (ps Gabriella is a pretty name)

lovemybabyboy Fri 07-Dec-12 12:58:05

My friend changed her baby's name at about 9 or 10 months because her exP was not happy with the name, she reluctantly changed his name but now he is 2yrs old and he is his "new" name and nobody calls him his old name.
I would change it if I was you anx thats what you really want to do, people might be a bit surprised but will get used to it.

Girlzone Fri 07-Dec-12 13:09:33

Thanks for responding, maybe I could consider the idea...Alhough as I said, I doubt dh will agree. What a mess, if only I could have found this kind of clarity about names a few months ago!

PebblePots Fri 07-Dec-12 13:17:50

Fwiw I like tessa/tess, lovely!

FireOverBethlehem Fri 07-Dec-12 13:25:09

Did your DH like Gabriella as well, before she was born?

ArtexTheHallWithBoughsOfMonkey Fri 07-Dec-12 13:29:02

You can amend dc's birth certificate up to a year after you register them. We called ds one name but we found ourselves calling him by one of his middle names all the time, so we amended his birth cert to take the first unused name off it. Now he is just NameWeUse OtherMiddleName Surname.

rachael2401 Fri 07-Dec-12 15:11:57

Hi, I am having name traumas too. I did a quick google and babies recognise their names from 5 months onwards. So if she's 6m I would say it's not too late. She may or may not recognise that pattern of sounds at the moment. And even if she does reognise it i dont think that it is attached to her sense of identity or anything. It's just asound she knows. FWIW I think both names are really lovely. if yours is anything like mine it'll be your hubby that you'll need to work on? Have you broached the subject at all? It's a lot harder I think when there's other older siblings to consider. I have a 2.5 yr old and I am concerned about how quickly she'd get used to it. I have thought about keeping old name, adding new name so it's acknowledged that it was there. Someone advised me to say the name as much as possible, in silly voice, different accents etc. I can't do it tho and refer to her as 'the baby'... I hope you resolve things so you're happy. I still don't know what I'm going to do...have ordered two 'name's first Christmas' baubles and letters from father Christmas!!!

InTheBoonies Fri 07-Dec-12 15:41:31

I don't like DD1 name - she is 6 months! I think anything up to a year is fine... That's what I am telling myself. I rushed into calling her a name I just don't know what I was thinking.

I am trying to decide by new year if I will go for the new name. Just so you know your not alone, there seems to be a few of us around!

Girlzone Fri 07-Dec-12 16:33:47

Hi everyone, the last two posts reassure me in a funny kind of way, that I'm not utterly mad. There are at least two other mums out there who feel like me at this stage! I'm about to post out my Christmas cards with dd3's name on, and I'm reluctant to send them in case I change her name! Sending out the cards will make her name even more official, and re-enforce it with all our friends and family, making it even more difficult to change.
rachael I find myself saying "the baby" quite a bit in conversation and my dh, although not refusing to change her name if I really must, cannot understand why I am even thinking about her name. To him, names are just not that important, he says she's been named, and he has never thought about what we call her since. So he does think I'm mad. I guess overall I'm just not brave enough to confront everyone with the change this far down the line.

TwoFacedCows Fri 07-Dec-12 16:58:42

change it, you can the explane to the people close to you, and when others mention tess/tessa give them a confused look and say " ummm.. her name is Gabriella" confused then they will jsut think that they must have got your babys name all mixed up!!! - and never know that you changed it! grin

RayanneGraff Fri 07-Dec-12 19:17:09

Can you try to fall in love with Tessa again? Do you think it suits her? What did you love about it in the first place?

I love both names, but think if you can't get over it maybe you should change it if poss.

Just one thought- do you like Gaby as a nn? As Gabriella would probably be shortened to that. Good luck hope you find some peace with her name either way.

StrawberryMojito Fri 07-Dec-12 19:26:59

Rayanne has a good point. Gabriella is prettier than Tessa but she will most likely get shortened to Gaby which is ugly in comparison with Tess. IMO, Tess is a cool name.

chickydoo Fri 07-Dec-12 19:31:03

I love Tess/Tessa. Classic, feminine & pretty. I much prefer it to Gabriella, that might get shortened to Gabby, not so nice.

bellamysbride Fri 07-Dec-12 19:38:12

Sorry, not much help but I love, love, love Tess.

FriggFRIGG Fri 07-Dec-12 20:16:30

My DD is now 4yrs and I've felt like this since she was a few months old,I wish so much I had changed her name in the first year,it is easy to amend a birth certificate in the first year,after that,it's deed poll only.
Plus,now obviously she knows her name,so we can no longer change it.

I would say,if you are certain on the name you love,do it Now don't dither like I did,I will always regret not changing her name.

katiecubs Fri 07-Dec-12 22:47:35

I much prefer Tessa - it's lovely! I wouldn't change names either way though - sorry just find it a bit odd.

Welovecouscous Fri 07-Dec-12 22:48:47

Both names are nice but Tessa is the best - a gorgeous name!

IwishyouaMerryChristmas Fri 07-Dec-12 22:50:17

Just post your cards from you, DH and the girls for this year.

Give yourselves a bit more time to decide.

Girlzone Sat 08-Dec-12 00:13:21

Thank you so much for all your responses everyone. It has really made me feel a lot better this evening to hear some feedback. I think part of the trouble is that it feels like such a silly thing to be worrying about that I don't like talking to people in real life, and it's embarrassing to say that you're not sure if you like your own child's name. So talking to all of you and hearing some opinions, instead of just having a conversation with myself, has really helped this evening. I think I was getting a bit too pre-occupied with it in my own head.
One post asked if I liked Gaby as a nn, and actually this was one of the reasons why I quickly crossed Gabriella off my list early on in pregnancy. I didn't think I would like that shortening. For some reason I now seem to feel that wouldn't be an issue for me and Gaby sounds fine. But I do like both Tessa and Tess, and since quite a few of you have been kind enough to say you genuinely like dd3's name it has made me feel a lot happier this evening, and a bit more confident about our original choice. I will think on this for a bit longer, but would like to say thank you for making me feel dd3's current name is perhaps not as "plain" to the outside world as I was starting to imagine. I haven't heard many positive reactions to the name Tessa. When people have asked my what my baby is called, I usually get a kind of blank look/ or no comment in response from people when I say the name. Perhaps this is partly why I started to doubt the name choice. So some glowing responses from you have made me feel better about the name!

LittleChristmasBearPad Sat 08-Dec-12 00:19:32

Tessa is a lovely name. I prefer it to Gabriella for what it's worth. But you coud change if you really wanted to.

MoelFammau Sat 08-Dec-12 02:03:32

I also love Tessa.

My own name was changed at the age of 3. I can remember being called my old name (Kate) but I prefer my new one. It's more me. My twin sister's name was also changed at the same time. I remember the change and was very happy getting a new name!

My DD is Robin and I like the name a lot, but I don't love it. Both DP and I said last week that we wished we'd gone with our favourite, Ronja. Debating if I can use it as a pet name...!

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Sat 08-Dec-12 02:15:27

I'm pleased you are feeling more comfortable with Tessa.

There have been loads of these threads in the past, you really are not one of just a few who feel like this, is scarily common! Hormones around the time of birth & naming are not helpful!

However, you need to be 100% sure of which you want and if you do want to change it, do it before her first birthday - it is much much easier.

It really really doesn't matter what anyone else thinks of you changing her name - it's not their daughter and it impacts you more than anyone else. Your other children would soon get used to Gabriella (how about Ella for a nic name? I like Gabby better though!).

ChunkyTurkeywiththetrimmings Sat 08-Dec-12 02:23:48

No advice but wanted to sympathise with the 'blank look' thing... I have had doubts about our DC#2s name as some family members have seemed a bit hmm about our choice, & it makes me think - "what's wrong with it??!!". However, I'm starting to think that's just people....

ScumbagCollegeDropout Sat 08-Dec-12 03:01:38

FWIW I love the name Tessa. It's a fab name.

zippey Sat 08-Dec-12 03:33:07

It only matters what you think, but I prefer Tessa or Tess to Gabriella.

Tessa is a nice gentle name, kind of like Ethel. Gabriella reminds men of the tennis player Gabriella Sabatini or the footballer Gabrielle Batistuta, both great athletes with big hair.

arghhhmiddleage Sat 08-Dec-12 03:45:23

Tessa/Tess is lovely. One of my favourites -manages to be both classic and cool. I really wouldn't dream of changing it smile

TinyDancingHoofer Sat 08-Dec-12 03:46:47

I prefer Tessa, my friend is a Tessa and her dad calls her Bess. There was a Gabriella at my school who was and maybe still, Flabby Gabby. She was really skinny and it was all started by her brother.

Girlzone Sat 08-Dec-12 13:45:15

Thanks everyone for your replies and support. Posting has really helped me, and my obsessing!

toomuchchristmaspudding Sat 08-Dec-12 13:47:21

Oh, I love the name Tessa. We couldn't use it as it is too much like our surname. I def prefer Tessa to Garbriella (sorry - don't want to offend any mothers of Gabriella's).

beckie90 Sat 08-Dec-12 20:13:06

Tessa is beautiful, really really nice I much prefer it to gabriella. But its what you feel is the best. But just wanted to reassure you I think her name is lovely smile xxx

Lovethesea Sat 08-Dec-12 21:17:17

Tessa is lovely. Tess sounds warm and strong.

I do not like the name Gabriella at all. I find it rather ugly/poncy, whereas Tess/Tessa is pretty, warm and 'earthy' and has only positive connotations for me personally. FWIW

sparklechops Sun 09-Dec-12 11:42:27

You are not alone, OP. I am still worrying about DD's name and she is nine months. It was worse three months ago....I obsessed over it at that point and would get very upset.

Our situation was a little different in that we announced one name and then registered another, longer one with the birth name kept as a nickname.

A bit of a confusing mess!

The thing that weighed heavy on me was guilt at the thought of having got her name 'wrong' and somehow letting her down.

Then I read something on here from someone who said it took their DD a couple of years to grow into her name. That made me realise I should just give it time. I am gradually feeling better about the whole thing.

If you have a tendency to worry about things, like me, perhaps you would have fretted about it whatever named you had chosen.

For what it is worth, I think both your Dd's possible names are beautiful and neither is a bad choice.

Girlzone Sun 09-Dec-12 17:00:36

Thank you again for all your feedback. sparklechops it was interesting to read about your experience of this dilemma. I think I you hit the nail on the head with your comment about being a worrier about things in general. I think that is what I'm like, and indecisive, and it's likely I'd have spent a lot of time questioning dd's name decision after the event, whatever we'd picked! I think also it does take time for a name to grow on a child in my experience. It has been helpful to find out that many other people have gone through these intense feelings of doubt, which can take over a bit.
For the first time, I am now hearing so many lovely comments about dd's name, that it's really changed my perspective on her name and I'm a lot more confident about her and her identity! I'm so glad I decided to post on here as I think I'm going to be able to put this issue to bed, get on with things and start introducing her to people with confidence.

FriggFRIGG Sun 09-Dec-12 17:05:59

I'm glad you're feeling better about your DD's name,it really is gorgeous. smile

sparklechops Sun 09-Dec-12 18:42:53

Glad you feel better. Tessa is a gorgeous name.

GalaxyDisaster Sun 09-Dec-12 18:47:11

Tessa is lovely. Tess as a nn is even better, but then I like my names 'plain' (you know, Isabel not Isabella, Sophie not Sophia). Glad you are feeling better about it smile

sparklechops Sun 09-Dec-12 18:49:53

Didn't read the comment from frigg before posting an almost identical one....oops. blush

It is gorgeous though.

AngelsWithSilverWings Sun 09-Dec-12 18:55:28

Oh Tess is a gorgeous name! I don't know any little girls called that but Gabriella is really really popular where I live ( Essex).

DreamyDreaminOfAWhiteChristmas Sun 09-Dec-12 19:06:54

Glad you're feeling better about your Dd's name Girlzone. They're both beautiful names.

I'm really pleased to read all the responses on this thread too, as I really can't get used to Ds2's name (he's 3 months old).

When I was pregnant I had a name I loved, and Dh had a name he loved. We couldn't agree, so when he was born we settled on a totally different name that we hadn't considered before. It's a lovely name, traditional, and I like it, but it just doesn't seem special enough to be his name. I call him 'The baby' most of the time, and often cry because I feel like we've got his name totally wrong.

It's reassured me to read that we can change his name up to 1 year old, and many of you have said it's ok to do it. I thought I was stuck with a boring name that doesn't suit him. I've talked to Dh about this a few times, but I'm going to talk to him again now. I'm bothered about people thinking I'm crazy, and the fact that his Christening cards all say his current name, as does his Christmas present sack, but I suppose everyone will get used to it, the cards will be a reminder, and I can get him a new sack next year.

FriggFRIGG Sun 09-Dec-12 22:34:04

Yes Dreamy that's a nice way to think of the cards etc...
weirdly,I obsessed about things like that too,but tbh,the cards are shoved at the back of a drawer somewhere...all the 'name' things we had when she was a baby could easily be replaced.
All the things I worried about,have no bearing on her/our life now.

confuddledDOTcom Sun 09-Dec-12 23:28:11

They are both pretty names, don't worry about shortenings, if you don't like a particular one just correct people. My dad and his brothers all had common shortened names but managed to go through their lives not being shortened because they corrected people and now my daughter insists her name is not shortened.

If you really want to change the name you still have 6 months to do it so go for 2 or 3 months with just calling her by the new name and see how you feel. If you decide you do like it then change it. I wouldn't worry about her being used to it either, when my eldest was a baby I called her "Beautiful" so often she wouldn't respond to her name! I had to make an effort to use it and it didn't seem to phase her.

emmyloo2 Thu 13-Dec-12 03:23:14

Not helpful but I adore the name Tessa and the nickname Tess. Don't change it! It's gorgeous.

mumsywoo78 Fri 14-Dec-12 10:35:38

girlzone u sound exactly like me iv named my boy noah even tho i do love the name peoples reactions made me doubt my decision.for the past week iv felt happy again with the name but 2day im having a bad day about his name &still wondering if iv gave him the right name although theres nothing else i really like. i totally want to be 100% content with the name noah as weve got to know him as noah&i have a 4yr old who loves the name. but for some reason im always looking for peoples reactions to the name.its driving me mad why am i like this do u think this is a symptom of pnd my doc says it is & im being treated 4 it.my boy is nearly 12weeks old.

LoveYouForeverMyBaby Fri 14-Dec-12 13:47:54

I prefer Gabriella but i think Tessa is a lovely name. I personally dont think it's horrendously late to chnage her name, but what would put me off is having to explain this to youer other children as they may struggle.

Havent read through the entire thread so apologises if thuis has been mentioned, but have you considered chnaging your dd3s name to something like Tess-Gabriella so she keeps her name but you can call her gabriella if you want?

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