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What if my baby hates his name?

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Whether you've found the baby name of your dreams or not, you find yourself suddenly terrified — what if your baby hates the name you've chosen? Let us put your mind at ease as you prepare to fill out the birth certificate.

Reasons children hate their names

We aren't going to lie — your baby might not love his name. He might even really hate his name. This could happen for any number of reasons:

  • His name is too common, and he resents having to use a last initial.
  • His name is too uncommon, and no one ever spells or pronounces it right.
  • His name is too unusual, so other children make fun of it.
  • His name is perfectly ordinary, but children find a way to tease him for it anyway.
  • His initials spell something unfortunate.
  • He just doesn't like it ugh parents are the worst.

The good news? You can absolutely control for some of these potential outcomes. If you fret most over the too common vs. too uncommon, look for a baby name that people recognize but isn't a current chart topper. Start with baby names popular a hundred years ago and work your way forward from there. Look for names that have only one spelling to save him that extra step of correcting people in the future.

The bad news, though — you cannot control how he or his name will be received by children on the playground. And even if you give him a taunt proof name? Children will tease him for something, at some point. So look for obvious jokes and rhymes — a certain Seinfeld episode comes to mind — but don't break your brain in pursuit of a name that may not even exist.

Middle names as your plan B

If you have your heart set on a very unusual first name, we recommend pairing it with a classic middle name. Think of it as a baby name backup plan. Your off-the-wall noun or adjective first name might suit him perfectly during childhood, but give him a second option for the boardroom as he ages.

Choosing a name for someone else is hard work! Carefully examine your relationship with your own name and think of how it has changed as you've aged. You likely held different opinions of your name at different stages, at times wishing it stood out more and at others wishing it stood out less. Most children like their names just fine. Our best bit of advice: choose a name you would love to have for yourself. If you would be proud to put it at the top of a resume, feel confident in putting it down on the birth certificate.

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