“Baby pool,” “baby chicken,” and “baby gomer shepherd” are some of the most common baby names in Germany.
In recent years, the popularity of these names has been steadily declining in Germany as more babies were born and fewer were born with severe mental illness.
Some experts are calling the trend a symptom of a societal shift away from the traditional names that are used by families.
According to an estimate by the German Association for Child and Family Studies (DAS), more than 30 percent of Germans favor changing the name of their children from “Baby” to “Baby,” while more than 10 percent would like to make the change to “Germans” or “Gomer” according to a survey by the group.
The trend could be caused by the lack of awareness among parents of the risks associated with naming children after certain animals, according to an article by Daniela Küpper, a doctor at the Kaiser-Permanente Medical Center in Frankfurt, who said in a report on the trend published in the medical journal Pediatrics in November.
“Parents of preschool children and their parents have little knowledge of the health effects associated with the name Baby or Baby Gomer, and even less about the name Child,” Küppers wrote.
“This has created a situation where some parents are more likely to choose Baby over Baby German, even though there is no harm in doing so.”
The popularity of Baby pool and Baby chicken also could be related to the lack, Kücers research found, of adequate medical information about mental illness in the German population.
She pointed to the absence of statistics on mental illness among children and teenagers.
“There are few statistics on the prevalence of mental disorders among children, teens, and adults,” she said.
“The same is true of information on the incidence of mental illnesses among children aged between six and 21.”
She said it’s unclear whether this lack of information contributes to the increased use of Baby or Gomer names in the population.
Küppers research also found that parents of preschoolers are more interested in changing their child’s name than those of older children.
The reasons are varied, including the desire to protect the child from harm or to make it easier for the parents to communicate with the child.