Baby Names: Why Naming Regret Is Higher Than Ever


Pregnant-twinsBaby name books are thicker than ever before. Panning through thousands of names leaves parents unsure if they made the right decision, or if their baby really fits the name they chose. In these situations, too much variety isn’t always a good thing. 

The vast array of baby name choices is leading to more regret than ever before. Studies show that choosing the wrong name can influence our children. Boys given feminine names, for example, are more likely to have disciplinary problems later in life likely as a result of getting made fun of and developing issues with insecurity. 

Names can also send signals to hiring managers making people more or less likely to get a call back. Statistics show that people with "ethnic names" are less likely to get called in for an interview.

LiveScience reports:

According to [baby-name expert Laura] Wattenberg, it took a list of six names to cover half of the population of children born in England in 1800 (U.S. Social Security Administration records don't begin until 1880). By 1950 in the United States, that number was up to 79. Today, it takes 546 names to cover half of the population of U.S. babies born. 

Parents view names as sending a tailored message. According to LiveScience: "Almost invariably, name-hunting parents are looking for something appealing but unique, Wattenberg said. That's a tough standard, given that appealing names are generally popular by definition. As a result, baby name books have become thicker and thicker, with the record-holder currently swollen with 140,000 names."

But having more choices may make the final decision all the more difficult. In other words, parents may want to keep their noses out of huge baby name dictionaries and release some of the weight they are putting in a name. Thankfully baby nicknames may take the place of a poorly chosen name. 

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Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.









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