Namer's Remorse

Hi, I need some advice. I have been struggling with namer's remorse for a few months now, and our sweet baby boy is now 4 months old. My husband and I had a few favorites on our list when we went to the hospital, but hadn't really decided on anything. We waited until the last day before deciding on a name, and I'm still regretting what we chose. We ended up choosing Luke, which my husband wasn't really fond of from the beginning, but because I liked it more than his favorite "Jacob", we went with Luke. The name that we were really drawn to throughout the pregnancy was Charles nn Charlie (in honor of my grandpa). I have always loved the name Charlie! But in the hospital, we both got scared and started thinking of all the other nicknames that can go along with Charles, ie Chuck, Chip, etc. , and the fact that Charles is an "older" sounding name. So we talked ourselves out of it. I have considered changing Luke's name, but I don't know if it's too late now. Our two year old calls him Luke and I don't know if she'll go along with the change easily. I also don't know what others would think. Should we change Luke's name to Charles/Charlie? Maybe there's another name that would be better? I just am unhappy with the name Luke, but I feel like if we are going to make a change, it needs to be soon, because he is "growing into" the name, and I fear it will be too late to make any changes.
Thanks in advance for your help!


April 8, 2013 3:17 PM

I don't think Chuck & Chip are a problem. Kids might call him that joking-good-naturedly, but those probably won't be his usual name.... (but that's just what I think would happen.)

By mk
April 8, 2013 4:07 PM

It's not too late to change his name. You can't control what he will choose nickname himself as he grows older, but call him/introduce him as Charlie and other people will follow suit. Your two year old will pick it up, or you can move Luke to the middle name spot and have it be her special nickname for him.


By hyz
April 8, 2013 4:42 PM

If you and your husband both feel this way, I don't think it's too late to change, although I do agree that the sooner it's done, the better.  I might leave Luke as a middle name so that there's some continuity--somehow that seems easier to explain to me since it's not an outright rejection of the original given name, just a switch to a better fit (i.e. "Luke just didn't feel right on him as a first name, even though it was a name we loved, so we moved it to the middle spot").  I know a family that decided their son's first name didn't feel right on him after several months, so they began calling him by his middle name, but years later still allow daycare staff who knew him as a tiny baby to continue using the first name as they originally did.  I know the child by both names, and I think it's kind of neat and totally understandable (and it helps that both names are nice, as are Luke and Charles), not weird or anything.  Two year olds are adaptable and I'm sure yours will figure it out. 

April 8, 2013 5:02 PM

I have a friend whose parents changed her name from Gretchen to Bridget at nine months. People thought it was odd, but accepted the change and her two-year-old sister adapted just fine (she was actually part of the impetus for the change as she called the baby Bridget so often that her parents made the switch as well).

April 8, 2013 8:33 PM

My grandson is adopted.  While he has lived with my son and daughter-in-law since he left the hospital at three days of age, the legalities were completed when he was two and a half.  While mommy and daddy called him by the name they had chosen from Day one,  in other contexts (daycare, doctor's office, court dates, visits with birth siblings, activities, etc.), he was called by the name on his then birth certificate (chosen by his birth mom).  He answered to both names.  At the time of his adoption the name my son and daughter-in-law chose became his legal first name, and the name his birth mother gave him became his surname (it's a name like Thomas or James which can be either a first or last name).  As far as I can see this name change has created no problems for him.  His siblings, whom he still visits from time to time, called him by a nickname based on his 'first' first name; I don't know if they still do.  If they do, I don't think it presents a problem.

In short, I think it would be fine to change to Charles (called Charlie) and a good idea to retain Luke as a first or even second middle name, so that if his sister finds the name transition diffcult, she will still have a rationale for calling him Luke.

July 2, 2013 5:05 PM

I don't think it's completely unheard of these days to change a name. If you really think that Charles is HIS name, then you should change it now before he gets too used to Luke. If you want to move Luke into the middle name spot, then that would help keep some consistency. But if you're not sure about Charles, then you need to take some more time to consider.