How to Change a Baby's Name

Do you need to change your baby's name? The process to do so involves some tough decision making and some paperwork. Luckily, this article will help!


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    Discuss any potential name changes with your partner, older children, parents, and any other adults who are greatly involved in your day-to-day life. While the ultimate decision is up to you and your child's mother/father, the transition will go much more smoothly if everyone feels involved. Make sure to explain why you wish to change the name.
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    Call them a nickname. Shunt their original Christian name back to middle name status and just use the new name in the same way as a nickname. This is ideal if you have not registered the name. Be aware that, if you have registered your child as 'Andrew' and he spends his life calling himself 'Joe', filling out forms, getting job references etc. will prove confusing when s/he's older. Make sure you do it properly - they'll thank you.
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    Make sure that this act will not hurt your parents. If your child was originally named after your mom or dad, changing his or her name may cause them to feel betrayed. Break the new to them gently and with as little malice as possible. Involve them in the new naming process-- ask for suggestions and ideas, as this could help them still feel like they made a mark in your decision process.
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    Go onto social media. Give an advertisement in common newspapers and also update the new name on all social networking sites— Facebook, Twitter, and any others that you are using. Also create a post
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    Find out the legal procedure for changing your child's name. These vary locally, if you live in the United States, and the same is likely true for other countries. If at all possible, ask a lawyer or other legal personnel for advice and assistance. Make sure all formal documents involving your child are changed, as well.
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    Forget the name you called your child previously. Switching between two names can confuse them, especially if they are old enough to understand what you are saying.
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    Share the baby's name with your friends and family.
    • Share a photo of your bundle of joy on a social networking site, captioned with his/her name. Unless your extended family and friends have gotten used to the previous name, there is no need to add the old name too. This would merely cause confusion.
    • Christmas cards are a great way to make sure all your extended family and friends are up to date with the name change. Sign Christmas cards with all of the family names. Clarify who's who by signing 'Baby ___', e.g. Lots of love, from Tom, Alice and Baby Catherine. This way, people will understand that you have not forgotten a name or had another child whom they knew nothing about! If they knew the child by his/her previous name, now is the perfect time to add a little side note, clarifying the name change.
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    Gently correct people who use the previous name in a conversation.
    • If they weren't aware of the name change, thank them for mentioning it and explain your change of name. It would be polite to explain why you did this, if you feel comfortable. If you don't, try: "the poor baby just wasn't a Jonathan, so we've decided to use his middle name, Hank, instead. We chose Jonathan before we saw him and, when we met him, we decided that, even though it's a lovely name, it's not the right name for this little lad!".
    • If people continue to use the wrong name after being corrected, but do so innocently, don't point it out. Answer them, using the right name in your reply.
    • If someone persists in using the previous name (do so consciously), remind them that you've changed the name. You might like to share why you changed the name. If this doesn't work and they continue to use the old name intentionally, ask them to please refrain. No joy? Discuss why they are upset by the name change (now is when slipping the old name into middle name territory may placate your critics) and, if they are only trying to annoy you, leave them be. The fun will wear off when nobody knows who they're on about!

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Categories: Babies and Infants