42 answers

Competition for the "Perfect" Baby Name.

I'm sure many of you have had this or similar situations happen to you and I am looking for some ideas on how to handle an awkward situation. I am expecting my third child in February and have had a name for my child for several months now. My sister-in-law let it slip that they're having a girl (due in March). I joked, "Watch, we'll have picked the same name." Neither of us were going to share the name until the babies were born. We quickly discovered that we chose the same name and are both attached to the name. My brother wanted to rock-paper-scissors for the name, but I'm too attached to let it go so easily. I really wanted the name to be special. Any thoughts?

Just to add to this... Since posting the original request to you all, things have gotten messier. I agree with the advice that we can both use the name and go by different names if neither of us wants to go with another name. That not only was shot down, but I received a very emotionally-manipulative e-mail listing why they should get the name. Now there's bad feelings and my husband is even more determined to keep the name. At this point, I don't know what to do and am very upset and confused that it's come to this. I think I'll let things settle down and then deal with the more reasonable of the couple.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

I had a sitiation similar to this. My MIL-Mary Dean-passed away 2 months after my husband and I were married. About 6 months later we found out we were pregnant. We decided if it was a girl, we would name her Mary..... Well my SIL is Mary Cassandra(called Casey) and said she gets first dibs on the name Mary since it was hers and her Mothers. We had a boy and named him Michael(hubbys name) Dean(MIL middle name). Then she was pregnant with a boy, then us with a girl. We still couldnt use the name, it was hers. 12 years later she has 2 boys and 2 girls(neither with first or middle named Mary), and we have 2 boys and 1 girl and we win :) because we used her middle name. She was always called Dean growing up anyways(I guess its a southern thing).
If you really like the name and it fits, use it. Im the only J. in my large extended family(both parents are 1 of 9 kids) but there were about 12 in my graduating class, and easily 30 in my school. Someone somewhere is bound to have the same first name eventually.

Use this to see how many there are.
http://www.howmanyofme.com/

Relax and use whatever name you want! I have a brother and a step-brother both named John and a cousin named Jonathon. My mom and FIVE of her cousins all have different names but ALL of them married Davids. It's really not that big of a deal unless you all MAKE it a big deal.....

OMG!!! That's awful!! How much time do you have until the babies are born?? Maybe you both can look at baby name books and see if anything else grabs either one of you. If niether of you back down like by, say, 1 month or 2 weeks before the baby is born (you guys decide) then you'll have to flip for it, and the other one could still use it as a middle name, right??

I'm sorry - that sucks!!

More Answers

Hi M. -- Do you know that your baby will also be a girl? If not, all your problems may solve themselves! Assuming you are expecting a daughter too, it seems obvious that you'll have the first opportunity to name your baby, so go for it! Suppose you nobly gave up the name you have your heart set on, and then at the last minute your sister-in-law decided she didn't like the name after all! Would it be so terrible if both little girls had the same name? I assume their last names will be different. What if one child were named "Mary Susan" and the other were named "Susan Mary"? Kids get nicknamed all the time, and you and your SIL may find yourselves the mothers of "Sugar Pie" and "Pinkie."

Whatever happens, think which is really more important to you: Getting the name for your daughter or being a loving, gracious family member.

Let us know how it all turns out! Best wishes -- L.

I'm sorry that the name you picked out to be special turns out is more popular than you thought! I just want to advise you to please be careful. This could easily become a lifetime issue of resentment for you and your sister in law. You need to try to lovingly come to an agreement with her. You don't want your childs name to overshadow how great she's going to be! :) Just tell your sister in law how you honestly feel and have several solutions available and be willing to compramize a little.... :) The realtionships you have with your family are worth more than the name- even if it is a really great one! The situation still sucks though- I'm sorry!

There shouldn't be a competition, it sets the scene for all their growing up. Which one talks first, which gets the better grades in school, which gets married first. If you have a name you like, use it. Your sister in law can then use the name also or they can change it to something else, the choice is theirs. I had my daughter's name picked out since I was 16 years old and no one would have gotten me to name her anything else. My mother in law didn't like the name but after she got use to it she doesn't think it could be anything else. Your daughters having the same name will be fine. Chances are they would be called "Amy R" and "Amy B" or whatever their last initial is. Besides, as parents of two boys with J's for first name and a half dozen J nieces and nephews, we never get their names straigh anyway.. we just start out with Jarrod, Justin, Jordan, Justice... whoever you are! Don't sweat the small stuff, and this is small stuff.

My great neice Emilee calls my granddaughter whose name is Emmalyne "baby Emma" even though they are only 13 months apart.

Relax and use whatever name you want! I have a brother and a step-brother both named John and a cousin named Jonathon. My mom and FIVE of her cousins all have different names but ALL of them married Davids. It's really not that big of a deal unless you all MAKE it a big deal.....

Hello! I know this seems SO big right now and I don't mean to minimize your frustration; but from the outside looking in, it is a non-issue. It makes absolutely no difference if they have the same name. Even if you name them the same first AND middle name, they share a last name, you spell them the same, and they live next door to each other and go to the same school, it STILL doesn't matter. As long as you have two healthy, happy, loved little girls, they won't care what name you gave them.

Sometimes you just have to look at the big picture and be the low-key, easy-going person who is "okay" with things. If you relax about it and choose to stop the tension, you may just throw your SIL off so much that she'll either relax about it too or change the name! Either way, what matters is that you aren't stressed out during your pregnancy and you will get the name you love without feeling guilty about it.

Good luck and I hope you're able to just write this off your list of things to worry about during pregnancy!

I had a sitiation similar to this. My MIL-Mary Dean-passed away 2 months after my husband and I were married. About 6 months later we found out we were pregnant. We decided if it was a girl, we would name her Mary..... Well my SIL is Mary Cassandra(called Casey) and said she gets first dibs on the name Mary since it was hers and her Mothers. We had a boy and named him Michael(hubbys name) Dean(MIL middle name). Then she was pregnant with a boy, then us with a girl. We still couldnt use the name, it was hers. 12 years later she has 2 boys and 2 girls(neither with first or middle named Mary), and we have 2 boys and 1 girl and we win :) because we used her middle name. She was always called Dean growing up anyways(I guess its a southern thing).
If you really like the name and it fits, use it. Im the only J. in my large extended family(both parents are 1 of 9 kids) but there were about 12 in my graduating class, and easily 30 in my school. Someone somewhere is bound to have the same first name eventually.

Use this to see how many there are.
http://www.howmanyofme.com/

Hi M.,

My daughter has the same first name as her cousin. My SIL and I were pregnant at the same time and we told her as soon as we found out that we were having a girl, our choice of name. Needless to say, when her baby was born three weeks before our daughter, and she named her our chosen name, I was pretty upset. I told my husband that we were going to have to change our choice and he didn't budge. We both now have Andrea's but their second names are different. It has made NO DIFFERENCE that they have the same name. In fact, the girls somewhat enjoy it and have never been bothered by it. On a funny note, our daughter was given her second name after my mother and when my MIL found out about this, she insisted that my SIL take the steps to change HER daughters name to my MIL's first name!

It is very common in many countries (even our own) and cultures that many people in the same family have the same name. In my husband's family, there are many people with the same name.

My humble opinion is this...if you love this name, then name your angelbaby that and don't worry about having the same name in the family. In the short and the long run, it won't matter.

C.

The girls will be cousins right? I don't think it's too weird for cousins to have the same name, particularly if they have different middle names. Besides, you both will come up with original nicknames for your babies and won't call them by their given first name most of the time anyway.

Be glad you have a name picked out that you love! It took us 3 days after our son was born to name him, and it wasn't either of our first choices in names that we settled on. My son was also born premature, so that was a surprise and a scare- giving him the perfect name seemed less important at the time than helping him stay healthy and strong so he could go home with us.

PS. It's the baby that is special, not the name :)

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