Short stuff: Is it possible to have TOO many nicknames for your child?

Posted in Family.

My husband and I have always given our children (and the cat) lots of nicknames and pet names, but our youngest, who’s a toddler, seems to have been given the most out of all of us. He can say a number of words but not his own name – and now I’m wondering if we’ve confused him by giving him too many nicknames?

Name game

All of my sons go by both their proper given names and a shortened version (except the middle one whose name is Sonny), which is pretty standard I think – unless you’re a parent who’s a real stickler for full birth certificate names only. However, they also have a stack of other cutesy pet names that my husband and I dish out on a regular basis. 

toddler boy crawling

Identity crisis

Combined with several variations on his real name, our littlest now has around 15 different names that we, and our other boys, use all the time. Probably a bit much, right? The nicknames are said with love, but we’ve realised that sometimes he doesn’t respond to his real name – and he can’t say it either. What have we done? The poor little mite must be so confused! 

Read more about baby nicknames:

What’s in a name?

My son goes to daycare three days a week where carers and friends call him by his real name, and our whole family actually do use it daily (on top of all the other ridiculous names – ‘Lambie Pie’ is probably the craziest), so hopefully, he’ll start to recognise it soon. But until then, I wonder, should we pull back on the nicknames a bit? Our eldest has the nickname ‘Bear’ and we still use that along with his real name most days. He’s almost eight, and it’s never been a problem, he knows it’s a pet name that only his family uses for him, which I think is quite special. 

cute toddler

Time to cull

But 15 different names? Yeah way too many. My toddler needs some consistency in his life! Surely I can cut the list down to ten, right?! Okay, maybe 12 …

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