I was recently perusing a mommy-related discussion board, as I do from time to time (not really), and I came across this thread that asks people if they have any regrets about the names they’ve chosen for their kids.
Just one of the 14 commenters on this MomsLikeMe.com thread admits to having some regrets about their babies’ names, and that seems to be roughly in line with a 2009 survey that says 5% of parents would change their kid’s name if they had it to do over again. The most common reasons people give for wanting to change their kid’s name is that a) the name is frequently mispronounced and b) the name has become too popular.
Now, my kid has a name that gets mispronounced from time to time, and it’s annoying, but not so much that I’d ever consider changing it. And frankly, just imagine how many times our president has had to correct people’s pronunciation of his name over the course of his life (why do you think he went by ‘Barry’ in college?).
I do, however, have some real sympathy for those of you in the second category. How many people out there thought they were picking a completely unique name when they decided to name their little girl Makayla? Well, turns out they were not alone. Makayla is #48 on BabyCenter.com’s most popular baby name list. It’s more popular than Kate, for Pete’s sake. Shockingly, neither Pete nor Peter make the boys list at all. But Caden does. It’s #7.
The baby naming business is massive. There are countless books, free and paid websites and even small businesses (we've read about baby-naming consultants) devoted to an excercise that was pretty personal once upon a time. And given all the hype, the fact that people often obsess about their baby's name, and sometimes have regrets, isn't particularly surprising.
This kind of buyer’s remorse is not lost on Pamela Redmond Satran. She’s written a slew of baby-naming books along with co-author Linda Rosencrantz, including most recently, “Beyond Ava and Aiden.” The duo also founded the baby-naming Web site, Nameberry.com.
“Often parents will pick a name they've loved for a long time, like Ava or Aiden for instance, and believe to be distinctive, only to find that once they're around a lot of babies that the name is really a lot more popular than they thought,” said Satran. “That's why we went with Ava & Aiden, because those are two of the trendy names du jour.”