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changing a 17 month old's first name? Would you?

(25 Posts)
elisio1 Wed 19-Nov-14 20:37:53

Hello all,

A bit of background: I have 17 month old twins - a girl and boy. I also have 2 older children, 2 and 4 when I had the twins.As you can imagine, finding out about the twins was a huge shock. This plunged me into awful antenatal depression, which I only really came out of about 6 months' ago. Now I am delighted to have my twins! However, I am not delighted by their names.

Essentially, I chose their names while in a complete depressed fog - I just didn't really care and chose the first pair of names that sounded good enough!

However, now that I am better, I really regret their names-both of them! They are not awful names per se - they are probably pretty innocuous. It's just that I have never loved them. And there are several names I really love which I should have used - and I actually find myself feeling jealous when I hear these names used on others!

At the time, I fleetingly considered these loved names but didn't go for them - for not particularly good reasons (alliteration; my husband wasn't convinced by one of them and I just didn't have the energy to convince him. Basically, if I'd been feeling my normal self, I would have found a way to include them!)

It doesn't help that one of the names has suddenly soared in popularity and there are loads around. This is something I was determined to (try to) avoid as something similar happened to my first child's name.

Anyway, would I be absolutely mad to consider changing their names? Or at least one of them! At 17 months, has their name become their identity? Would it be a cruel thing to do?

Have others had name regret? What have you done?

Many thanks in advance

divingoffthebalcony Wed 19-Nov-14 20:41:27

Tricky. I totally understand why you want to, but 17 months is quite late. Not just in terms of the child/family getting used to the new name, but isn't it all a bit of an administrative nightmare? The birth certificate can't be amended at this stage I don't think? And the old name would have to be declared on passport applications, etc?

CrispyFern Wed 19-Nov-14 20:45:04

I wouldn't, at 17 months they know their names and so does everyone else.

What if you changed their names and someone became famous next year - who was absolutely awful - with the new name of one of the twins, would you change them again?

Names, really, don't matter that much. Love the twins, forget the names.

loislines Wed 19-Nov-14 20:57:58

I can understand why you might want to, but I think it would be hard on everyone, especially their siblings who are too little to understand why their little brother/sister is suddenly called something else. What does your OH think?

elisio1 Wed 19-Nov-14 21:13:24

Thanks everyone.
My OH is against it, but he just doesn't mind that much about names. The irony is that I'm a bit of a name "geek" and , in normal circumstances, would have pored over lists and stats and books. As it was , I just couldn't be bothered at the time of choosing names due to the lethargy of depression.

It would be an administrative rigmarole and would have to be done by deed poll, but is certainly possible! The point about it being confusing to their older siblings is certainly not to be taken lightly

The whole thing sounds pretty crazy putting it down on paper(computer) but I do find myself minding very much at the missed opportunity of giving them names I love!

I wonder if it's something that would cause a lot of fuss short-term, but long-term everyone would adjust?

Squirm Wed 19-Nov-14 21:36:51

Yes I would. If it's really getting you down and your husband will let you do it, then go for it.
I don't think my 13 month old knows his name as we mostly call him The Baby.
I'd use their current names as middlenames, adding new first names. You can use both names for a while as a kind of change over.
I don't think there's a strong enough argument not to do it.

rootypig Wed 19-Nov-14 21:41:03

Do it! they're too young to remember. And it sounds as though not only do you dislike the names, it also reminds you of a difficult time.

My DM changed her given name in her 30s and she and everyone else got used to it in about 5 minutes flat.

Inkspellme Wed 19-Nov-14 21:41:22

I think this is something you should do if you feel so strongly about it. The 17 month olds would get used to it with patience on your behalf and the older ones would also adapt given time. It would be an awful lot easier to do now than when school begins etc.

Maybe you could use both names for the twins for a while and then drop the old name? It may make the transition easier for everyone?

AmIgoingnuts Wed 19-Nov-14 22:05:06

Definitely do it now whilst they're still so young - don't risk a lifetime of regret. I speak from experience as I changed the name of my toddler a few months ago and it was absolutely the right thing to do. At 17 months, your twins will barely bat an eyelid and the siblings and everyone else will adjust v quickly.

rootypig Wed 19-Nov-14 22:06:54

desperate to know the names

nicelyneurotic Wed 19-Nov-14 22:18:21

I agree. Just change the names and don't have any regrets.

tammytoby Thu 20-Nov-14 06:51:27

I think at 17 months a child knows its name and certainly his/her older siblings do too. I think it would be a little unfair to change something that is so linked to their identity this late.

TheBiggestDinosaur Thu 20-Nov-14 07:04:24

I would start calling them the names you want, sort of as a nickname.

If it sticks and catches on, I would legally change the names (well actually, I would keep the original ones as middle names, and add new first names)

If it doesn't catch on for whatever reason, then they can just be a pet name that their mum sometimes calls them.

littlesupersparks Thu 20-Nov-14 07:10:54

I have a 2year old and 4 year old and expecting twins!!!

Anyway, that aside I think people get used to all sorts of things very quickly. I'd worry about your older ones also wanting to change their names!!!!

snufflebum Thu 20-Nov-14 10:12:55

Just change them. It's not a massive deal. I also had PND and settled on a name because neither of us hated it sad I have come to really dislike it, to the point of making me cringe at hearing it. Partly because of the name itself, partly because I feel I let her down and should have fought harder, and partly because it just reminds me of dark times.

I am changing her name, but keeping the old one as a middle name, just because it's on all her baby cards, videos of the older one saying it etc. Think it will be less confusing for her as she gets older. I think the older siblings will adjust quickly, kids generally do. Change them and be happy smile

shakemysilliesout Thu 20-Nov-14 10:26:13

It's up to you but I wouldn't because of the future admin nightmare for the child- every passport/ visa etc will be a headache. Up to you though. Ensure Dh is really on board though as you both need to
Embrace the change.

KittyMcVitie Thu 20-Nov-14 11:39:29

I would change them to the names you want so that you can move on and not have baby name regret for years to come. I do agree with the other posters about keeping the old name as a middle name. You can then use both names for a while, then slowly drop the old name.

I changed my babies name at 9 months. I kept the original name as a middle name as it felt strange to take it away. I had agreed to a name my DH liked as I was so sick and exhausted all the time that I didn't have the energy to push for the names I liked. I thought I would grow to love it as we used the name I had wanted as a middle name, but it didn't. My dislike of the name got worse as the months went by. I didn't like saying it out loud, and people kept spelling and saying it wrong. There is nothing wrong with the name. It's very popular, but it just wasn't what my baby was meant to be called.

By 5 months old I couldn't think about anything else. I would wake up in the middle of the night and start trawling baby name forums and reading about how to change your baby's name for hours on end. It took a few more months before I felt strong enough to bring it up with DH. I was so upset by the time I managed to just say the words "I don't like the name" he completely surprised me by immediately saying change it then. The relief was instant! We told everyone the next day the new name at that was that. Everyone adapted quicky, and now nearly a year later, people have forgotten the original name including my eldest child who was 5 at the time.

Sorry for the long post, but baby name regret can take over your thoughts and make you so sad. You worry what others will think but in reality you are the latest gossip for a few days and that's it! As for your children, they might be 17 months but they are still babies. They wont remember and will be the fastest to accept their new name. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. xx

tammytoby Fri 21-Nov-14 08:34:14

Does it become more difficult and more hassle after 12 months?

KittyMcVitie Fri 21-Nov-14 10:40:23

You have to do it by deed poll after 12 months tammytoby. Up to 12 months after registration of the birth you can have the birth certificate changed, but although the short certificate shows the new name, the long version still has the old name at the top and the new name in box 17 at the bottom. The Registrar had no idea why the long version still showed the original name when I did it.

LaydeeC Fri 21-Nov-14 10:51:50

It still shows the same name at the top because the original entry can't be changed. If there was a spelling mistake, it could be corrected by inserting a note at the foot of the register page showing what the correct spelling should have been. Ditto if you simply change your mind on the forenames in the first twelve months following registration - it will be shown in space 17 (makes sense if you look at the long cert). But you can't ever amend the original entry - 'tis the law.

curiousgeorgie Fri 21-Nov-14 11:05:56

My DD is 17 months, and I have a 4 year old.

I wouldn't do it personally. DD1 knows her sisters name, DD2 knows her own name. For everyone else it would just be weird and confusing.

tammytoby Fri 21-Nov-14 16:02:54

Thanks LaydeeC. In that case, I would not change it.

elisio1 Sat 22-Nov-14 13:53:38

Thank you to everyone who has replied to this- it is a difficult and sensitive topic and I appreciate all feedback.

I am still in two minds about it all.

Part of me agrees with the posters who said it'll just be gossip for a few days then everyone will accept it. They are only young and have been called so many different things already - Squodge bodge! Tolly! Monkey-monk! etc that they probably don't know what their real names are!

Also my grandparents' generation always went by names different to their real names e.g. Margaret known as Daisy and it didn't seem to bother them.

However, part of me knows it's a major upheaval- administratively and for the rest of the family. Plus my dh is not keen but then again he's not hugely "into" names.

And will I ever be content with the name/s I do choose? You can always nitpick with names.

Anyway, all of this was very helpful so thank you.

PrintScreen Sat 22-Nov-14 14:41:59

I know a bit of how you are feeling as I regret my third child's name and sometimes fantasise about changing it. He is 17 months too. I won't change it because I know people at my work, DH's work and elsewhere will think we are really weird. Sadly I do care what people think but I wish I did not. Good luck making the right decision for you.

AWombWithoutAFoof Sat 22-Nov-14 14:50:19

I changed DD's name at 3 months, and yes, it was eggy, but absolutely the right thing to do.

Do the names you want bear any relation to the ones they have now? I'm thinking of a 'Jonathan known as Nate' type scenario.

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