This blog has moved! Please join us over at!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Baby Naming Issue: Baby Name Regret 3

Lucy writes:
I'm looking for some advice and hoping you can help me out.

I'm the mother of two beautiful girls. My eldest girl, Sofia, will be three in April and my youngest, Liliana, is 4 and a half months old. Within a few months of being pregnant with Sofia we chose her name and I have never regretted it despite the popularity of it.

It was an entirely different scenario with my youngest. Since my husband and I are both of Italian orgin, we wanted another Italian name, but this was not easy to find this time around. Alot of names were tossed due to negative associations or because they were already in the family. Fast forward to a few days before my due date and still no name. We decided on Giulietta.

However, right after I had the baby, I felt that the name was not right. My husband agreed to change it a month later. However, due to the pressure and not knowing what I really wanted, I chose another name I am not happy with. I was not happy with the name when we registered her but since my ocd was acting up my husband thought i would have doubts about any name.

Three and a half months later and I continue to have problems. I find it hard to say her name. In fact i try to avoid it if i can. I'm embarrassed to say her name when people ask me. I find that the name is too long and frilly for me as well as old fashioned. I don't even like hearing it! I thought that i could use the nickname Lily but I'm embarrassed about that since its so popular right now. I'm also feeling that Sofia and Liliana/Lily don't match that well but I don't know if that's just me.

My husband gave me the opportunity to change it a couple of months ago to anything i wanted but i still haven't been able to do that. There are names that have grown on me such as Francesca and Elena but i know he's not keen on those. I now realize that I like short classy timeless names. I also didn't want any thing to popular. I recently realized how perfect Clara would have been but a friend just called her newborn Clara. I just don't want a lifetime of not being happy with my daughter's name and dreading saying it. I'm really having a tough time with this and I think about it almost all the time.

My questions too you and your readers are:

Is the name Lily too popular? Does name regret get better with time? Should I try to find a new name that I will enjoy saying? Does anyone have similar experiences they can share?

ANY help would be greatly appreciated at this point!

It's okay to change a baby's name, if after the baby is born you think of the name that you wish you'd chosen. Changing it to another name you're not sure about is, as you've found, a bad idea---especially because in my opinion, changing a baby's name one time is okay, but twice is...well, I won't say "totally out of the question," but that's the basic line of my thoughts. The only thing I can think of that would seem okay would be changing back to the original name.

Use the nickname Lily to help you with the feelings that Liliana is too long. Lily is short/classic/timeless, it's great with Sofia, and there is no reason to be embarrassed about its popularity any more than about the more-common Sofia's popularity: short/classic/timeless names tend to be common, but that is because they are excellent and well-liked names. And regardless of ANY of these issues, you don't have a name you like better ANYWAY, even after hunting carefully for a long, long time.

So this is the time, I'd say, to stop with all this: stop looking for names, stop trying to find names you like better, stop agitating about the name you chose, stop wondering if a different name would be better. Those are all activities for before the baby is born, and now she is 4.5 months old and has already been named twice, so I decree it is time to stop. When you feel your mind turning toward the name search, say to yourself, "No, Lily has already been named."

Baby Naming Issue: Baby Name Regret and Baby Naming Issue: Baby Name Regret 2 might also be of use.


Sarah said...

I'm going to chime in and say that I love Liliana. Love it. I think your instincts were right about her first name, but Liliana is full of win.

I know dozens and dozens of babies and I've never met a Lily, either. Which is too, too bad because it is charming and sweet and a natural nickname for Liliana.

I am a straight and simple baby namer. I like names that are direct and to the point. I shirk any name that seems like too much and I'm going to come down on the line of saying Liliana is just fine. Charming, feminine and simple. Love. It.

Mommy Daisy said...

I know a Liliana and an Elliana, but I think they are beautiful names. Lily is kind of popular, but I don't feel like I'm hearing it all the time. Having a popular name isn't as bad as you think. My name is Sarah (same as the commenter and so many other people). It's never bothered me much. Everyone recognizes the name easily and it just works. In 20 years I don't think Liliana will be one in a see of Liliana's, so I'm sure it will be just fine in those regards.

If you're still hesitant of the name, why not think of a nickname that you really like. Many people go by nicknames that are not derivatives of their given names, and that's just fine. Or what about Ana, the last part of her name. That seems to fit your classic style too. In the end I think the name you chose is lovely and works well with your other daughters name. Stick with it.

Giselle said...

I am personally shocked that you find Lily to be more common than Sofia/Sofie. I have a Lily, and we have certainly run into a few others. But I know 3 times as many Sofia/Sofie's.

I'd say you are just not as in love with Liliana's name as you were with Sofia's...which is totally normal with second children. IMO. Lily and Sofia sounds great together, and I think the fact they are both common-ish names makes them even a better match. They have become more common because they are beautiful names! What could be better than that!

Best wishes...

Maria said...

How are you feeling otherwise, aside from Liliana's name? Are you experiencing PPD? The reason I ask is because in my mind your unhappiness with Liliana's name could be related to that or could be a separate thing altogether. I really hope you don't mind me asking!

I personally LOVE the name Liliana and think it goes so well with Sofia. I would actually consider using Liliana for any future children of mine.

I think Lily is a very sweet nickname and goes really well with Sofia. Just out of curiosity- do you always call Sofia by her full name or do you have nicknames for her too? Lily and Fee/Fia/Soph/Sophie all work really well I think.

Other nicknames that you may consider for Liliana could be Ana, Lana, Jana (j=y pronunciation), Lili(e),Liana, Lulu, Lilia, and so forth.

I hope you find some peace with all of this soon!

Carolyn said...

I was thinking Liana would be a cute nn for Liliana (pronounced Li-ahn-ah). It repeats the pretty "ia" sound found in Sofia, but doesn't rhyme or seem matchy.

Liliana is such a rich name for a variety of nicknames--she's really lucky to have so many choices!

Lili (pronounced similarly to Leelee Sobiesky, the actress' name)

and probably quite a few others that I'm not seeing.

Anonymous said...

Does she have a middle name that you like better? Maybe use the middle name and even turn that into a nn.

Or call her L. Elle, the phonetic variation of the name, is widely chosen as a formal first name by tons of parents. Elle and Sofia.

StephLove said...

I would come down against changing her name legally again both because you've already done it and because you don't have a clear replacement.

Nicknames are another thing, though. They do tend to evolve over time so you could just start experimenting. Call her Lily one week, then Ana as a previous commenter suggested, maybe Lila the next week and see what seems to fit. Or maybe try her middle name.

I don't think Lily is too popular, if that's your primary concern about that name. It's more popular than Sofia spelled that way, but less popular than Sophia, which is a top 10 name.

heather said...

What about Ana for a nickname instead of Lily?? I think that's very pretty and just that much less common than Lily.

Liana is beautiful too... and that might be an option for a name change if you feel you must... kind of still the same name, same sound, just taking out two letters.
In removing just the one syllable, maybe it makes it just the right amount shorter and less frilly for you?
Or you could just call her Liana if you like it and keep Liliana as her name, giving her several nickname options to choose from if she likes as she grows older.

I think Sofia and either Ana or Liana are beautiful together and might take away the feeling that "Sofia and Lily" are too common...

I do think it's okay to make changes if it's that big of a deal for you.
I also was positive that I named my son wrong after he was born, but it wasn't that I didn't like the name we picked... I just thought another was better. We left it alone and after a month or so I got over it and since then I have absolutely LOVED the name we chose and am so glad we didn't change it. Like I said however, it wasn't that I wasn't happy with the name we chose in the first place... so it wasn't completely Name Regret in the same aspect.
I think if I didn't love the name after four months I would change it (or at least what we called him), regardless of the fact that it was changed before or how silly it may seem to others. Hey, it just makes for a fun story of how you got to know your "insert final perfect name here" for later!
I think how you feel when you say your child's name is important.

beyond said...

I would keep Liliana, not because you shouldn't change a baby's name (even twice) if you think you must, but because you don't have a replacement you love. Liliana is an excellent name. I personally don't think it's frilly, but rather traditional, beautiful and solid; it will age well, too. And I don't think Lily is too popular, I only know two Lily and they're both in (a different) middle school now. I like the suggestions of experimenting with different nicknames, maybe something you try out will feel just right to you...

Susan said...

I think your daughters' names are absolutely beautiful and well coordinated.

Nicole said...

I think the OCD you mention might be greatly contributing here. It was the way you said you think of it almost all the time. What if you give yourself a time limit, like one month, where you try to stop obsessing over names, and then if you find you can't do it, treat it as an OCD/therapy issue instead of as a problem with the name, and see if that changes anything?

Jenny Jacobs said...

Oh, you poor thing. I have experience with obsessively worrying an issue, and it's terrible.

Just wanted to pass on support.

I don't think you should change her name again, either. Out of all the many great nicknames solutions suggested I like Ana the best. It's a great name and the spelling tells me how to say it, not like Anna. Though, depending how you pronounce Liliana, maybe Anna is the better nn? Both Anna and Ana are such, lovely, soft, classic names.

I hope that you will tell us all what you have decided. I am worried for you. :)

Patricia said...

Liliana is a beautiful name. It goes very well with Sofia, but also differs enough that each girl has her own distinct name (whereas a name beginning with an S or sounding closer to Sofia might not have that quality). There is no need to be embarrassed by the name Liliana or Lily: they're both lovely and I can't imagine anyone thinking anything negative about either name.

Baby name authority Laura Wattenberg ("The Baby Name Wizard") is full of praise for the name: "Liliana - this form of Lilian is used in most Romance languages and has a gracious style that makes it universal. It strikes a rare balance between creative and traditional. In fact, Liliana could be the solution to a lot of naming dilemmas, especially for parents who worry that Lily is too cute to stand alone but that Lilian is too severe for a little girl."

I'm wondering if you may be experiencing some post-partum depression that may be causing you to feel so negative about your younger daughter's name that you don't even want to say it. Have you considered talking with your doctor about these feelings you're having? Many mothers experience PPD, and there's help for it.

Wishing you all the best with your precious little girls.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all your support and advice. I realized when I saw my blog that I revealed quite a bit about myself making it very easy for any friends/family who read this blog to know who I am. I guess that shows how desperate I've become. I just want to feel at peace with my child's name and I'm afraid that will never happen given the way I feel about it. I think we gave ourselves to many restrictions in choosing a name. It had to be Italian and it had to sound good in both English and Italian and be easy to pronounce when looking at it. That's why we chose both names and not because I really loved them. I only realized after hearing and saying Liliana for a few days that I was not happy with this name. I also didn't want to shorten her name either. Sofia is ALWAYS Sofia but I will be shortening Liliana's name because i don't like the long form of it. Like I said in my email I was feeling this way about the name when we registered her...
I loved Chiara but that would put her up for a lifetime of mispronounciations and Mia which was too close to Sofia. Those were the three we narrowed it down to so I chose the one that fit the best not the one I loved. I now realize I would have also been happy with Francesca or Elena named my husband would have prob agreed to them if I would have told him I liked those better but that's not fair to him since he didn't like them. I know that Liliana is not a name i would have settled on while I was pregnant. I'm pretty sure I would have changed my mind about it if i would have thought about it while I was pregnant((. We thought about sticking with our original after the baby and just changing the Gi spelling to J making it easier to pronounce but Julietta didn't look right to me and I didn't like the Shakespeare connection with Juliet. Although sometimes I look at her and think she could be a Juliet but I don't think I would have been comfortable with that name either. Beautiful name but too Shakespeare for me. I know I would have not feel comfortable introducing her with that name and it wouldn't be an Italian name anymore:(. I think it would have been ALOT easier to chose an English name.

Anonymous said...

I am seeking help about all this for those who asked.

Mrs S said...

Glad to hear you are seeking help. Lily is a good nn for Liliana (which is lovely).

I wasn't sure of my son's name at first. He is 3 and it is perfect for him. So YES name regret does get better over time. She may develope a nn that you will adore. Just let her keep her name...she needs an identity.

I wouldn't change it a 3rd time. Call her Lily, Ana, Lila.
Stop looking at new names and enjoy your health baby girl and count your blessings Lili doesn't have any health issues to be concerned about.

Laura V said...

I am glad to hear you are seeking help; my first thought when I read the post was "oh gosh, she sounds like me before I got my anxiety disorder treated."

Peace to you.

Swistle said...

(Note: Two Anonymous comments above were deleted by me at the request of the commenter.)

Anonymous said...

Thanks Swistle. :-) I wanted to revise and repost.

Im going to start by saying your getting well intentioned opinions from people who love names and want to help you, however these opinions should hold no more weight then opinions of friends/strangers regarding if you should or shouldnt change the name. Your therapist is the trained expert and if he isn't helping you, meaning he is just listening and not actually giving you advice then you need to find another therapist and find one that is well sought after and specializes in OCD. With that said, I do think its safe for you to listen and take into account opinions on the actual issues regarding the name, and then you can decide from there.

Now that you've gotten many opinions on the name being a good name etc, has it changed the way you feel about the name? I wonder if you were seeking social support for changing it a third time? Perhaps your battling whether its right or wrong to change it a third time? Or if you were seeking support in alleviating your concerns with Liliana? Maybe a little of both? Also, you mentioned feeling like Guiletta would fit her at times, do you feel regret about changing it from Guiletta and/or do you think you will later?

I know your feeling a lot of issues with Liliana. I will weigh in & will give you an honest opinion. I feel some of the issues are contradicting w/ some other variables. You need to sort out the real issues. I do not think popularity or it being an old name are the issues. Sophia is clearly popular (# 2 name in the US) therefore Lily being popular is something you CAN live with as your already doing it w/ Sophia's name. Next, you said Francesca and Clara (clearly old fashioned names) are other names you like, yet you say an issue with Liliana is that its old sounding. I'm not sure is Elena is old and new. That leaves the last issues that its too long / too feminine sounding. Your right it is longer then Sophia by one syllable. As far as if its more frilly feminine sounding as compared to Sophia, I'm not sure, I'm going back and forth w/ that. Lets just say I can sort of see your point..this is one question that is going to be varying in opinions. So by default it sounds like the last two issues standing are the real issues (too long, and too feminine). I could be wrong, names & images are all a matter of perception, perhaps you see the other names not feeling as old as Liliana, and perhaps you feel like Sophia is popular & you might hate that, & may have wanted to do things differently the 2nd time around. I do think you can live with the popularity issue though & to say your embarrassed to say her name because its too popular, just doesn't make sense, when your clearly saying Sophia's name, are you feeling embarrassed when you say her name because its popular? If not then popularity isn't one of the real deep issues. You said your embarrassed to say her name, so please be honest with yourself as to why. Can you live with the name and be happy with it? That is what this comes down too. Is it just second thoughts etc or does it really not sit right with you? If you cant live with Liliana & make peace with it, then you just may have to change it. Like I said, you need to sort out what the REAL issues are, and then decide if you can or cant live with the issues. My heart goes out to you and I hope that what I said may have helped?

K said...

I think its great that you were proactive and took action on something that you were having difficulty dealing with - your daughter's name. A lot of people would have kept that to themselves. Sometimes we just need to express what we are going for and receive help or support from others!

For my part, I think Liliana is beautiful. To be honest, I have never heard it before, although I have heard dozens of Lily's. I think it sounds fresh and pretty without being too ornate.

I hope you can grow to love it, and, as previous posters have said, I think that the nickname options make the name even better. If your daughter for some reason dislikes one nickname, she will have many other options to pick from.

Amy said...

I just wanted to tell you that I have been in your same situation. I named my daughter Evelyn and greatly regretted it afterward (there is a post about it on this site). I also had trouble saying her name and obsessively tried to find another name to change it to. I've dealt with anxiety for many years, but this naming situation led to a diagnosis of OCD. I am in treatment and doing better now. I still don't like calling her Evelyn, but everyone pretty much calls her by her nickname (evie) and I like that (enough). For me it took naming a baby to find out what my naming style was. After we named her, I felt that Evelyn was too much and realized I prefer shorter, simpler, sweeter names. I don't know if it makes you feel better to know that someone else has been in the same boat. For me, it helps a little. I still wish I loved her name but hopefully time will make that happen. Also I LOVE the name Lily. My best friend's daughter is Lily and she is the prettiest, sweetest little girl. To me, Sofia is more popular than Lily. I also think you shouldn't worry so much about popularity (I wish I hadn't). Names are popular for a reason - they're good names! I also love Ana. Anna is actually the name I wish I had named my daughter. Anyway, I know how awful you must feel and I hope you have started to feel better about it.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I just want you to know that I am in the same situation and I didn't think I had a problem because of it. I'm quite shocked at what people have said on here about getting help etc. If you want to change your baby's name then you can. It's not up to anyone else, it's up to you. Does that mean you have to get help? I don't think so. If you need help then I definitely do. I named my second baby once he was born to a name that didn't sit well with me. My husband loved it but everytime I said it, I frowned. So we decided not to register him with that name and decided on Caleb but my older boy's name is Kaiden and we didn't realise how difficult that would be. I was constantly wondering who my husband was talking about when he said their names. They are so so similar sounding. So, we decided it just wasn't working and that we should go for Keegan or Jacob. We went for Jacob but I still love Keegan and now he is 4.5 months old, I'm considering changing it again to Keegan. I know my family will think I'm crazy but they aren't the ones doing it.