Baby names: Nearly one in five parents regret name they gave their child, poll finds

Choosing a popular name is the most common cause of regret for parents

Harry Cockburn
Thursday 01 September 2016 16:27 BST
Almost a third of parents who said they regretted their child's name, did so in the first six weeks
Almost a third of parents who said they regretted their child's name, did so in the first six weeks (iStock)

Almost a fifth of parents end up regretting the name they gave their child, a poll has suggested.

The most common cause for regret (25 per cent) was how popular the name they chose turned out to be, while 11 per cent said they regretted their choice due to spelling or pronunciation issues.

The survey, carried out by parenting website Mumsnet, found that of the 18 per cent of parents who felt remorse over the names they chose, two per cent of the parents did go on to change their child’s name.

Almost a third, 32 per cent, said they regretted their child’s first name within the first six weeks.

A further 23 per cent said the regret began when their child began school. And astonishingly, 12 per cent said the regret set in before their child was born and they had always known it was the wrong choice.

Names most frequently regretted were Charlotte, Amelia, Anne, Daniel, Jacob, James and Thomas.

However, one mother said her child’s name was adopted by “a terrorist group, soon after she was born”, and another cited the film Frozen as the reason she regretted calling her child Elsa.

Justine Roberts, founder of Mumsnet, said: “Choosing your baby's name is one of the first things new parents do, so 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.”

According to the Office for national Statistics, Amelia was the most common name for girls in 2015, while for boys it was Oliver.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in