Would you change your child's name if you got the chance?

Almost one in five parents would pick a different name for their child if given the chance again, a survey has suggested.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 2nd September 2016, 3:34 pm

The main naming regret, chosen by a quarter of respondents, was how commonly the name was used by others, while over a fifth (21 per cent) said the name they chose just “doesn’t feel right” for their child.

Another fifth admitted they were pressured into choosing a name they had “never liked” while more than one in 10 cited frustrations with spelling and pronunciation.

One mother said her daughter’s name “was taken by a terrorist group soon after she was born”.

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The survey was conducted by parenting website Mumsnet and comes as the annual report on baby names is released this week by the Office for National Statistics.

Almost a third (32 per cent) of participants said the remorse kicked in within the first six weeks of their child’s life, while just under a quarter (23 per cent) said it was when they started nursery or school.

One mother said she regretted naming her daughter Elsa - the protagonist of Disney film Frozen - when the animated movie became wildly popular.

A quarter said they knew someone who had picked a first or middle name for their child and then changed it, yet just 2 per cent had actually gone as far as to do so themselves.

The survey was carried out between June 15 and 20 with 1,362 participants, and was open to all UK Mumsnet users with at least one child. The data was not weighted.

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts said: “In some ways baby name regret is great practice for parenting: you do a lot of hard work and research, try to please several people at once, and end up getting it wrong.

“The consolation is that most children grow into their names - and those who don’t can always fall back on middle names, nicknames or (in extremis) deed polls.”