Choosing a baby name: survey results

We asked Mumsnet users to share their experiences of choosing a name for their baby. 

The results show that most parents (70%) made the decision together and agreed on the chosen name, before or soon after the baby was born. However, the survey also revealed that a quarter (26%) of people had a name which they weren't brave enough to use.

See the full survey results below.


Who chose your baby's name (or who had the most influence on which name was picked!)?

Answer options First childSecond childSubsequent children
You and your partner together
70%65%60%
You 22%22%18%
Partner
7%7%7%
It was a name you felt obliged to use for family reasons
1%1%2%
It was a name you felt obliged to use for religious or cultural reasons
0%0%1%
Someone else
0%1%2%
Other0%3%11%

 


And thinking about how you chose the eventual name: did any of the following apply?

Answer options First childSecond childSubsequent children
Used baby name books
51%35%24%
Had a name in mind that you/your partner had always liked 47%35%22%
Used websites such as Mumsnet
33%30%24%
Wanted to settle on a rare or unusual name
23%21%20%
Wanted to name the baby after a particular friend or family member
20%18%12%
Wanted to name the baby after a celebrity/notable person
0%3%3%
Wanted an unusual spelling2%1%3%
None of these7%9%9%
Other9%6%8%


Did you and your baby's father find it easy to agree on a baby name?

Answer options First childSecond childSubsequent children
Yes: you both had names to suggest and  were able to agree
50%52%51%
Yes: you were in complete agreement
34%28%27%
No. You argued, but came to an agreement in the end
14%17%18%
No, and one of you is still unhappy about the choice we made
2%3%2%
No, and you're both still unhappy with the choice you made
0%0%2%


Whom did you consult when choosing your baby’s name?

Answer options First childSecond childSubsequent children
Your partner; you chose it together
72%70%49%
No-one else. It was solely your decision
33%26%19%
Your parents
10%9%4%
Your friends
5%6%7%
Your parents-in-law
5%3%3%
Other relatives
3%4%4%
Work colleagues2%2%2%
Other childrenN/A7%13%


When did you choose your baby’s name?

Answer options First childSecond childSubsequent children
Before the baby was born
57%54%55%
Shortlisted in advance and waited to see which one suited the baby after the birth
26%24%21%
On the day of the birth
7%8%6%
The day after the birth
3%4%4%
The week following the birth 5%5%7%
More than a week after birth 1%4%4%
Left it until very close to the registration deadline (42 days after the birth)1%1%4%


If you told people about your name before the baby was born, did you change it because of negative reactions from others?

Answer options First childSecond childSubsequent children
Yes
3%3%5%
No
35%32%34%
N/A (Didn't tell people or didn't have name before birth)
62%65%61%


On reflection, are you happy with the name your child has?

Answer options First childSecond childSubsequent children
Yes, completely 84%81%71%
Yes, although I had some minor reservations
13%15%17%
No; I have my doubts
2%2%3%
No: a well-known figure or world event has affected the way the name is perceived
0%0%3%
No: you made a mistake
0%0%0%
No, and the name has been changed
0%0%0%
Don't know0%1%4%


Did you worry about any of the following when you were pregnant and considering names?

Answer options Response percent
The name you picked appearing on a 'most popular' list 40%
A friend, family member or acquaintance using the name you’d picked before your baby was born
31%
Your child being teased because of your choice of name
30%
Your child being judged (for example by future employers) due to your choice of name
26%
A celebrity using the name you'd picked
20%
Offending a friend or family member with your choice of name
8%
Other6%
No worries about names when pregnant
31%

 

To what extent - if at all - do you agree or disagree with this statement: "As the mother of the baby does all the hard work in pregnancy and labour, she should have the final say on the baby’s name"?

Answer options Response percent
Agree  29%
Neither agree nor disagree  23%
Disagree47%
Don't know  1%


Do you have a name you weren't 'brave' enough to use?

Answer options Response percent
Yes 26%
No
72%


If so, why weren't you 'brave' enough to use it?

Answer options Response percent
Too quirky 45%
Anxiety about your child being teased because of your choice
29%
Worry about your child being judged (for example by future employers) because of your choice18%
Worry that they wouldn't be taken seriously when older17%
Too unusual12%
Someone close to you had already used it for their child1%
Other48%


Which of the following best describes how you feel about middle names?

Answer options Response percent
They're pointless - you don't know why people bother with them 
5%
They're useful - the middle initial(s) help distinguish between similar names
14%
They're a good place to hide old family names you're obliged to use
6%
They're a good place to mark tradition and keep a family surname or cultural name as a part of your child's identity
41%
They're a useful back-up for people who don't like their first name
11%
They're useful if you can't decide which first name you like
4%
Other11%
None of these/don't know
7%

Survey of Mumsnet users with at least one child. Conducted in July 2015.




Get help from the Mumsnet Baby Name Finder Most popular baby names in the UK

 

Last updated: about 1 year ago