This edition of ASK AMANDA is a tough one. What do you do when you’ve already named your baby and then you change your mind?
My baby girl was born last year and now she’s 6 months old. I’m really confused because I think I gave her the wrong name. I love her so much and I want to call her a name that I love. I would really appreciate if you could help me since you are an expert in baby names.
My baby’s name is Leia. My husband really loves Star Wars and that‘s how we got her name – from Princess Leia. Now I’m afraid that she’ll be teased in school because of this. I just feel that the name does not fit to her now.
Please help me. I like the name Amelia, Emily and Lily. Do you think I should change her name? I’m afraid that people might think that I’m crazy.
Thank you for your kindness and time! ANDY
First, let me assure you, you’re not crazy. You’re not even the first person to contact me about changing a baby’s name. Choosing a baby name is a huge decision! I know there must be quite a few parents who have “baby name regret” like you.
So what do you do now?
I don’t think there’s one right answer here, but for what it’s worth, here’s my opinion.
You mention a few concerns about your daughter’s name, Leia:
You think she might be teased because of the Star Wars connection
I definitely think people will make the connection between your daughter’s name and Star Wars. I’m not sure it’s going to cause a lot of teasing though. Star Wars is an older movie and it’s also a very cool movie. I think both of those things reduce the likelihood of teasing. I bet some people will actually think the connection is cool.
Do any readers think that the Star Wars connection to Leia will cause teasing? Chime in, please!
You don’t think the name suits her
How do you decide whether a name suits someone? That’s such a tough question. I think you and your husband need to decide this together
Ask yourself what’s making you feel this way. Do you think another name suits your daughter better or do your feelings stem from your mixed feelings about the name?
Speaking of your husband, how does he feel about all this? Since he’s the Star Wars fan, I’m guessing he still likes Leia?
You worry that others will think it’s weird if you change her name now
People will undoubtedly find it surprising if you change your daughter’s name at this point, but who cares? It’s your daughter and your decision. Do keep in mind that your daughter will eventually learn about the name change and may have questions.
This is what middle names are for
If you and your husband decide not to change her name officially, you can still change her name unofficially. You could start using her middle name or call her by a nickname.
Change the spelling
Another thing you could do is change the spelling of Leia to LEA. This would allow you to keep the same pronunciation while removing some of the Star Wars connection.
Consider other names
If you want to change her name, I made a couple lists with some ideas for you…
You might want to consider names that end in a similar -leia or -lia sound, so you, your husband, or others can continue to call her Leia if they want to. Here are some names you might like:
- Ophelia (this is a Shakespearean name though, which might cause the same issue you have with Leia)
Since Leia is a short “L” name, I put together a list of other short “L” names you might like:
I’m really glad you shared your question because I know there are a lot of parents feeling the same way you are – maybe some will write in and share their stories, too.
Good luck to you! Please write me with an update about what you decide.
More Baby Name Help
For more help choosing a baby name, get a copy of my book Baby Names Made Easy.
2 thoughts on “Ask Amanda: I have “Baby Name Regret,” what now?”
Well, here are my thoughts on Leia and potential teasing:
1) Leia is a fairly popular name (and rising), so it’s not all that far-fetched.
2) Since Disney bought Star Wars, Leia is now as much a Disney Princess as Ariel and Jasmine…and I’ve never heard about girls being teased for sharing a name with a Disney Princess!
3) Speaking as someone who was teased for having an unusual surname, I think my name was just extra fodder for kids who already thought I was weird for other reasons.
4) As time passes, the most popular baby names are decreasingly popular, and rarer names are increasingly popular. Name teasing is probably less common nowadays because today’s kids have greater exposure to onomastic diversity than previous generations.
5) Leia already existed as a name before Star Wars. It wasn’t popular, but it existed.
6) Princess Leia is awesome. Own the association!
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These are all great points! I think you’re right about the diversity of names now making so-called rare names less unusual or unexpected for today’s kids. Thanks for weighing in!
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