I Gave My Baby the Wrong Name!

Filed under: Baby Names


I heard the name Nevaeh (pronounced neh-VAY) and liked it for my daughter. To prevent people from pronouncing it neh-VAY-uh I spelled it Nevae. Now everyone completely mispronounces it. I have even had people ask if it's a boy or girl name. I want to change it now to prevent my baby girl from having major frustrations but everyone thinks it's weird to change her name. She is only 7 months old. Am I being too sensitive about people mispronouncing it? Is it a bad thing to change someone's name?

- Nevae's Mommy


What's so weird about wanting your daughter to have the name you chose for her from the beginning?

Most parents who choose the name Nevaeh do it for the spelling, which is heaven backward. But you fell in love with a sound. Guessing (rightly) that people would pronounce Nevaeh as three syllables, you changed the spelling in order to capture the sound you love. But it didn't work. People didn't get Nevae, leaving you with namer's remorse.

It's a surprisingly common affliction. Naming a child is a major responsibility, and anxiety can persist long after the ink on the birth certificate has dried. There are many flavors of remorse with many different factors at play, including the reasons for the second thoughts, the age of the child, and the alternatives available. Sometimes the best course is to make your peace with the decision. But not always.

In your case, you've received new information that was not available to you at the time you chose your daughter's name: you've heard others try -- and fail -- to pronounce it. In other words, you haven't received the "product" you thought you ordered. You asked for a neh-VAY, and ended up with a neh-VAY-uh, or NEE-vuh, or who knows what. You now foresee decades of name frustration for your daughter.

So you want to fix what has you've come to see as a mistake. That makes sense to me. Why sit around wallowing in remorse when there's still time to take action and make things better? Your daughter is too young for the switch to faze her. As for your naysayer friends, ask yourself: Do you want the story of your daughter's name to be a story about you letting peer pressure override your better judgement?

Have you struggled with name choices? Share your experiences here. And if you have your own question to Ask the Name Lady, drop her a line!

Related: Can I Name My Baby After the Dog?

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.