When did you start calling your child by their nickname — The Bump
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When did you start calling your child by their nickname


I have an 11 month old named Arthur. One of the reasons we choose the name is because we liked the full name, as well as the potential nicknames Art and Artie.

We've always called him Arthur...in the beginning I think it was to get used to his name (instead of saying "the baby"), and also so he would learn his own name. I know people that start using their LOs nickname right away, but to me, using his nickname just feels odd right now. Is this something that might naturally happen when he's older, or will it just get more difficult to start calling him by a nickname. 

Re: When did you start calling your child by their nickname

  • My son has always just gone by his nick name; he was 3 before he understood his "whole name"
  • Cricket99Cricket99
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    edited August 2017
    I call my son by his first and middle name, which I NEVER intended to do. My DH's uncle calls him CJ as those are his initials. I'm a firm believer that nicknames will come naturally, especially once they got to school. Call him whatever feels normal and comfortable for you! PS, I love the name Arthur, for both the full name and nicknames and it was our back up name for my son. Great choice!  
    ETA: autocorrect sucks
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  • We named our DD Penelope, intending to call her Penny.  We call her Nell, Nellie, Nella, Pen, Penny, Penelope, Sissy (for sister) - she just turned 2 and doesn't answer to any of them lol.  We're trying to pick one and be consistent.  I love Arthur, such a handsome name!
  • I'm sure nicknames will come with time. When my son was born we named him Julian and I said he could go by Ian for short. That never happened and I can't imagine it now. But maybe he will want to do that when he gets older. 
  • My son has no nickname at almost 4 years old, except the occasional "Buddy."

    My daughter goes by Lit, Lissi, Baby, and Sister, and often also just her full name. Started basically at birth.
  • My 6 month old is Theodore, and I call him Theodore when speaking to him. When H and I talk about him to each other, we call him Teddy. When we introduce him to people, we call him Theodore, and people often decide on their own nickname for him - some people immediately just say "Oh, hi Theo! Is it okay if I call him that?" or "Teddy, what a cute name!", even without us offering a nickname.

    Part of the reason we chose the name is because he will have a lot of options when he's older. We actually encourage people to use whichever nickname they like best (or his full name, of course), so that he isn't stuck with one he doesn't like when he's older. His cousins and aunts and uncles call him Theo, his grandmas call him Teddy, grandpa calls him Theodore. We just figure when he's old enough, he can tell us what he wants to be called.

    LOVE the name Arthur by the way - it was one of our top contenders!
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  • My DD3 is Gabrielle.  She goes by Gabrielle because I hate the nn Gabby.  Her twin sister couldn't say Gabrielle, and has always called her Bella.  I would call her that on occasion, but she likes her full name, so I STOPPED calling her Bella once she told me she didn't like Bella.  Twin is the only one who gets away with calling her Bella.  Everyone else who tries any nickname is immediately corrected.   
  • For us, it just came naturally. We never intended to use a nickname but just sorta happens. Half the time our son is Gavin, the other half it's Gav. We've always just kinda used both and he responds to both names. 
  • @madamerwin That's funny. I adore the name Theodore and it was on our final list of names. If baby #2 is a girl we've talked about using Theodora. 
  • I didn't really use any nicknames until they were mobile and verbally interacting with me regularly. And then we ended up using nicknames we never discussed or thought we would use or even considered 

  • I think this is something that evolves naturally over time, and it baffles me when people prioritize a nickname over the actual name or get bunched up about nicknames.

    My son's name is Timothy, so it's similar to your son's in that it shortens to Tim and Timmy.  He introduces himself as Timothy and always uses it in writing. I usually call him Timothy, but sometimes Tim for convenience.  His friends and teachers almost universally use Tim, especially as he's gotten older.  Hardly anyone uses Timmy, unless they're joking around.  For instance, I refer to him as "Little Timmy" to our cats for some reason -- I'm not sure why I do this.  It's just how I think the cats think of him, although he's almost 13 and as tall as his older sister now.

    However, over and above the shortened versions of his name, he has other nicknames that have evolved over time in funny ways that family members and his buddies often use.  I call him "Po" because he was obsessed with the phrase "the great grey-green, greasy, Limpopo River" from The Elephant's Child story when he was little.  For a while, we called him Timpopo, then just Po.  My dad calls him "Roscoe" for some reason.  His two best friends call him Timbuckaroo or just Timbucker.  I have to say, he won in the nickname lottery between the three of them, because the other two get to be called "Simey-Wimey-Poo-Poo-Head" and "Fart-Face."  Boys.  I can only imagine what Timbucker will evolve into when they're older -- eyeroll.  Hopefully they'll only say it when I'm not around.

    So, I would say, as Arthur gets older, you may find yourself naturally shortening it to Art or Artie -- but maybe not.  I would just play it by ear and see what seems to fit as he grows.  I think that kind of evolution is what makes nicknames fun!
    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • My daughter is Gianna and we pretty much only called her that until she was close to a year old (besides other generic nicknames like princess or sweet pea). When we began calling her Gigi more often, it wasn't something we thought about, it just started happening naturally as more of her personality came out. I say don't force it, if he's an Art or Artie it will come out naturally. It's also possible that he's just an Arthur and that's ok too.

    Also, my daughter just turned 2 and when you ask what her name is she says Gianna, not Gigi.
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  • My husband and I call Madison "Mads" but everyone else calls her Madison or Maddy. We started that at 2 I'm guessing. 
    Alexis got called "Lexi " pretty early but we call her both interchangeably. She knows her full name is Alexis and nn is Lexi. 
    My son will be Stephen and since by husband and FIL are both Steve he will stay Stephen until his buddies at school decide to shorten it to Steve. My BIL and his son are also Steve so I can't handle another "Steve" in my life haha. 
    DD1: 2/28/12
    DD2: 9/12/13
    Baby #3: Due January 2018

  • Kiddo #4 is Eva. At age 2 she began calling herself Vevie (like VV). Now we call her that, too. It was a nn we hadn't ever considered until she began using it for herself! 

    Other kiddos have personal (family) nn that they hear just as often, if not more so, than their given names....just sort of happened, they never were planned (B, Pal, & Banana).
  • With my first and third, we started using the NNs from the beginning. With my second we have always used his whole name. I thought we would eventually use Frankie or Frank, but they just seemed too harsh for a baby so we always used Francis. And he prefers Francis to either NN so we have never transitioned to anything else.

    I have a nephew named Arthur and he still goes by the full Arthur at age 5.
    Married 9-4-04

    ***PM me for my IF history***

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  • This is so cute!! My daughter is 10 and has gone by a nickname she chose (Fish) for a couple years now. As a toddler she was "vivi" or "vi-chan" which occasionally still slip out. She responds to all her names immediately. Hehe. 
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