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Rules about Baby Names

We asked a question to our Facebook Members recently... " When choosing baby names......

  • Is it ok to give your baby the same name as another child within your circle?

  • Or do you need to make a list to "reserve" all the names that you like?

~~~ Here are the responses of 100 people that answered our question ~~~

We just named our son Reuben... there's a little boy at our church who is about 3 also called Reuben.... His did didn't seem to mind at all though. I think it's OK... as long as it isn't a cousin's name! ... that could get confusing.

I personally don't mind as long as it is not a close family member. Like above said...that could get confusing!

I'd use the same name of someone in a circle of friends but not immediate family. As for reserving...nope, tough, first in first served!

If it is a name you want to use, do! No one has the right to tell you, you can't use a name because they have or one day might use it... if you think it might be an issue talk to the parents of the other child so it's not such a surprise when you announce your beautiful bubba to the world.

I'm not sure it's personal really! We lost a baby in '06 and names him/her Cameron ... less that one month later we were called by my SIL to ask if we minded them using that name if they had a boy (was almost due to give birth) where I felt upset at the time .... He suits his name and I love him a lot!!! But it is still hurtful to have family not recognize our loss as Cameron due to my nephew having that name!

Its ridiculous to think that u named yr child a name first so no one else can use that name? What the? lol. Most people have names they like from when they were little, call yr kid what you want blow everyone else

Depends on how close a friend they are, and if the name had special meaning. i.e. if your best friend had a daughter named Annie and that was your grandmother's name, then I don't see the problem.

I avoid using names of friends/families kids or that are common for the time. Makes thinking of a name trickier sometimes though. Am onto baby #5 & am having a lot of trouble thinking of names!

Bit of a tricky one... Yes and no. I think you should be free to name your child what ever you want to. We named our son Lachlan which was the same name as a little boy I cared for. It didn't bother us as they are different ages and won't spend much time together. They actually call them big Lachlan and baby Lachlan which is very cute. It is difficult though as some people may get annoyed at using their Childs name but I think a name is very personal and it's hard enough choosing without restricting the names of people you know. Also some names are very common and if a person names their child Matthew or James they have to expect others might too. If it is a very uncommon name I'd be inclined NOT to use it though. Sorry for the ramble. It's a hard one

Your baby's name will be theirs for the rest of their life, and the friends probably won't be. They will have different sir names as well. We named our daughter a name that had already been used in the family but they have different sir names and are completely different in personality and in looks but they each suit the name perfectly.

That is your babies name and it kind of sucks aye. I would have said no straight away and if they didn't like it id make a point of being a bitch to them over it! not in the close circle - my boy is named jack after his great grandfather and his grandmothers name is Jackie, my second is blake not named after anyone and my 3rd is on the way if it is a girl I want to name her Bridget after my great grandmother who my father was very close too either that or kate who is not named after anyone

I think as long as the name is not the same as immediate family then it doesn't matter at all. One my good friends have a daughter with the same name as I do and it hasn't mattered. She also has a son the same name as mine son and they have different nicknames so we don't get confused.

My personal rule when picking a name is that it's not allowed to be on the top 100 baby names list, which usually means a name that's not in a friend group too... I agree first in first serve.

depends how close to them you are, my best mates boy is jade an I loved the name Jaiden, but didn't want the boys getting mixed up etc as they grew up, my little boy was stillborn, so he got named Jaiden, as there was no chance of jade and jaiden ever hanging out, if he were alive he would have a different name, but no you cant "book a name" if some one has a baby 6 weeks b4 u an names them the name you chose its tough

I don't release my 'liked' names LOL

When choosing a name, my husband and I pick the one that's "perfect" for our family, if we felt a name was perfect, we would use it even if it was already used by a family member. Because it's the name we wanted to use,

‎2 of the mums from my antenatal group named they're baby the same name, both couples had special meaning behind that name - they both didn't seem to mind
It bothered me when my sister said she was going to use may (my grandmothers name) as ...its my middle name & my daughters middle name - I guess that's silly to feel that way but I kind of felt I had dibs on that name lol as my older sister used both our grandfather & dads names and none of us have used those names either

I would name a child with whatever name I liked at the time no matter who else had the name.

I was also going to say, with regard to 'reserving' names... When my SIL was pregnant they told us the name for a boy and one for a girl. So when we had our bubba we crossed their girls name off the list only because we knew how much they loved it and if we used it they'd prob want to choose a different one. As far as my favorite name for my future daughter (if we have one) I don't really tell people but if someone says they like I just say it's on my list. I don't care of they use it- so long as they don't think I copied them!

I named my daughter Alizae I've always liked that name. My partner has a god daughter named Alize pronounced the same just spelt diff. Her parents weren't very happy that we have chosen the same name. I personally don't think it's an issue I wouldn't mind someone I knew naming their children with the same names even if ya try spelling it different like I have it might work.

Apart from that if you're like us and are the last of your friends to have kiddies its very hard as u almost have one of every thing.... We finally found a name no one had and have a gorgeous wee Natalie .... I do think it's rude though if u tell your friends the sex of your baby and the name you've chosen then they give birth to their baby b4 u and name it the same.

Very tricky! I wouldn't use a name that was in my circle of friends or immediate family but after that you can do whatever you like, thousands of people will use the same name anyway, and so what's the harm? Luckily, we have so far chosen names that are a bit different than normal, so we don't have that problem :)

I wouldn't no. I don't have any immediate family or friends with children with the same names as ours!

We are having baby number 2 in a few months n expecting a girl we have decided on the name Caitlin, a close friend of mine has a daughter Cailin so not the same but very close, I told her we really loved the name Caitlin she is fine with it, pretty happy we have picked so close to her daughters name

I had a work friend who stole a name I liked for my son. I had my boy before her and was stuck between two names I even talked to her about. Was really upsetting and hurtful as both names were really special and meaningful. She didn't even tell me she named him the name she knew I liked and we had talked about it.

Lots of people have their babies names picked out for years before they even have kids, I say if you love a name and you want to give it to your baby just do it. There are millions of people out there with the same names; parents name their kids after themselves, why not after another close family member or friend? It's a form of flattery.

‎@Dahl, yeah, my exception to reserving names is when you know the gender you're having and have decided on the name, we've done that both pregnancies (even though some tried to tell us we'd change out minds!). I strongly object to being told by someone who is not even pregnant that I can't use a certain name because they will in the future, and yes, I've had that happen to me!

We only liked Jack for a boy and my close friend already has a Jack so that was a bit odd. However we had a girl and have since gone off the name as its super popular here, even though we chose it after bf dead grandad x

I think if u like a name then use it! Names are so hard to pick. So I wouldn't care if someone I knew had the same name it just means they have good taste lol! We chose names that weren't too common. Brodie for my son and Kaiah Rose for my girl.

I would never choose a name close friends or family have. Too confusing for all! I would chose and have done, used names that acquaintances have used for their kids. That said though, there are only so many names for millions of people! I have a Hayden and an Ella so there are lots of those around the place!

I was just talking about this with my sister-in-laws because one of them has an ever increasing list of girls names that she wants saved for when she might get married and have kids, haha I told her she's only allowed to have one. We almost named our last son after a friend and he was chuffed but we changed our minds and named him a dutch variation so he has his own name. I would say it's always better to ask first because sometimes the answer might surprise you either way.

We have two, Ivy and Blake I'm not fussed if anyone wants to use the name. Maybe close family but I don't see that happening as for a friend then that's fine, I am not to fussed lots of people have the same name within family like sons having the same name as their father. I see it like that however its not for me but if I was told by someone they wanted to use one of the children's names I am not to fussed its the child that makes the name not the name that makes the child and they are never forgotten and special in their own way

I wouldn't name my baby the same as someone in my circle. I don't even like naming my children the names of anyone I know. Makes it very difficult! Almost ready to give birth to #3 and we are sooo stuck for names. LOL

Call your baby want you want. Why should it worry anyone if they have the same name!!! How silly

We had a friend use the name we wanted for a girl just before our 1st was born... luckily he was a boy! We did use that name for our second though because we had moved towns and there was an age difference anyway. But we decided we wouldn't have used it if #1 had been a girl.

We kept our name list to ourselves, and chose a name that is quite uncommon (for our daughter). I would probably be a bit gutted if someone I knew used the name as we took forever to find it and just fell in love with it straight away. We chose it because it is unusual so therefore would not want to know too many other kids by the same name if you know what I mean....

Try being a teacher and finding a name LOL!

I think there is a difference between choosing a name and then oooops coincidence comes knocking or asking someone if they don't mind.

But people who KNOW what names you have chosen for your soon to... be born child but they still use them... to me that's wrong.

Haha I didn't tell other pregnant ladies the name I likes just said don't no yet. Lol but that's just me. At end of day it's your child and you can name him or her wateva u like =)

I was the only one in my circle of friends, and close enough family to have a baby with my first, so I named him what I (and what my ex could agree on) wanted. With #2 we'd JUST lost MIL, so we figured out a name that honored her, and 'fit...' with my oldest. This time we have again 'made up' a name (that I have yet to see anywhere!) that works with both the other 2. Won't be telling anyone the name though as gender is a 'surprise' and the name would give it away. I'm not worried that anyone I know would take it, as like I said, I've never seen it before. As to coffee groups etc... You have no idea how long you will be friends for, whereas your child will have that name for life... if you like the name, use it!

I chose a name that nobody else we knew had, because I don't like common names. But my mum named my brother Matthew, and we have a cousin called Matthew. The two boys are preteens now and great friends, we just call them matt and Matthew, or Matthew J and Matthew C, nobody minds!

It really does depend on the circumstances. Two kids close together in the same extended family is a bit tricky but in your wider circle of friends - who cares? Having lost a child myself I would certainly counsel anyone close to a bereaved mother against using the same name within months of the child dying. That includes friends but ESPECIALLY family. You might have had your eye on that name but there are plenty more names out there and maybe you can name a subsequent child that name. Or use it as a middle name, which can be seen as a touching tribute to the first child.

I named my daughter Nina after my hubby's great gran (who passed many years ago), but it is also my cousin's name, so I checked with her first! She was stoked we would use it but warned us that she has had a lifetime of having to spell it to people! I have since heard of lots of new bubs called Nina!

I think you can name your baby whatever you like, I have friends with babies the same name and it's no problem. Kids sometimes end up with nicknames that are special and unique to them anyway. Although I think it is good to be sensitive where required as a name is forever!

I try to avoid first names in our close family/friends circle, but having said that, we named our first son after my husband's best friend (it was supposed to be his middle name, but we weren't happy with any of our other options). It does... get confusing when they're together, but they get "Big Nathan" and "Little Nathan". It's not a problem for any of us, and 'Big Nathan' is honored that we chose that name. We've made him our son's Godfather as well, so I think that makes it all the more special.

With our second son, his first name is my cousin's middle name, and it caused a massive drama within the family. Apparently, we're going to have too many names the same. If it's a first name/middle name like in our situation, I really don't see it as a problem. Realistically, it's pretty impossible to find a unique name unless you make one up yourself.

After having worked in childcare for the last 6 years, I have come across a range of names, and it is going to be impossible to choose one for our little bub that I haven't come across before. I like to think that any of the parents at daycare would be honored if I chose to name my child the same as theirs. Also, look at different spelling options, gives a new spin to old favorites. But personally I believe you will know what kind of name suits your child, and it shouldn't be an issue for anyone else. Although I sympathize with the mum who lost little Cameron, only to have a family member use that name within the next few months, it can't be easy.

I would never use a name that is already in my friendship circle nor would I use a name by another family member- unless I am using it to name my child after that person.

Depends on how close the friend is....will your children be playing together all the time? Do you have alternative names?
If the name is really important to you just do it, but tell the friend first (don't ask permission, just let them know)....

I refused 2 use any names of people I knew, luckily my hubby came up with a unusual name but didn't sound unusual. If bubby was a girl I wanted 2 use my mamas name however we couldn't because hubbys nana kept telling people it was her name 2 & that baby would be named after her really annoying.

I reckon it's your choice and wouldn't worry bout what anyone thinks or says! So what if there's another kid with the same name everyone is different and represents the name in a different way! I say go for it name your baby what you want! (Keeping in mind they have to live with it for the rest of their lives!)

I think it's pathetic that non pregnant friends tell you that they have picked certain names that you can't use when your the one that is actually having a baby!! We kept the name of our 1st born to ourselves until delivery day and will do ...the same for the 2nd (although this time we do not know the sex).
As for using names in your circle - I personally think that it's a personal thing and just do what feels right for you.

I gave my daughter the same middle name as the daughter of one of my oldest friends. I told her first and she was really flattered and it's a bond they share. First names are a bit trickier.

I think that's unfair, I want Willow for a girl and I was telling this to a friend, who when his baby was born named her Willow! Not going to stop me using it and if they don't like it well that's not my problem they stole it from me to start with lol. We are having Willow-Rose.

I would be annoyed if a friend named their child the same as one of mine. But as Amie stated above, if you stole the name from them then fair is fair lol.
Aquaintances is ok I reckon but not mates of family.

We picked our daughters name because we liked it. Was only after we told one of my aunties that she reminded me that my newest cousin had the same name. I would have still picked the name because after all, I'm going to be the one looking after her and calling her when she needs to come and have lunch or saying her whole name when she is trouble.

That is a beautiful name Amie! Our daughter is Izabela and one of the ladies in our antenatal class that was due after me had her baby (girl) a week before us and like Isabella too which she text and told me and I told her to go for it but ...her and her man didn't want to have the same name as our baby so chose something different. We also loved Ava but had a friend with a daughter Eva and she got so mad about it! I personally just feel that you name your babies whatever YOU want, you have to live with the name forever so why not choose something you love. Each to their own though!!! :D

It's your choice I think too, but I've never told anyone the baby's name until it's born (we've had 4). But when my first daughter Lily was born, for some reason my FIL called her Lucy (no idea why, he's weird though!) so I thought it very strange when my BIL then named their daughter Lucy...I've had lots of people I know use the names of 3 of my kids (Lachie, Lily and Cooper; no-one's used Eden!), it would be weirder if they used more than one per family though! ☺

I would be gutted if close friends or family member chose the same name as my children, but as you said Toni, acquaintances I wouldn't mind :)

No, two friends from my coffee group had a baby boy weeks apart and both named Max...

We wouldn't use names the same as a family member or close friends.
When I was pregnant with my 2nd bub, both of my SILs were pregnant with their 1st babies, so we let them both know our shortlist of names for boys and girls. We didn't have our hearts set on any particular name before the birth, so I asked my SILs to tell me if they wanted to use one of the names, so we could cross it off our list. I was due in between them, but ended up giving birth first. I would have felt so guilty if we'd used a name that they loved, and then if they'd gone ahead and used the same name too, I would have been upset. So maybe it just depends on how your family/friends feel about it, there are plenty of names out there though!

I wouldn't be offended if someone chose the same name I chose for my daughters, I'd be flattered they shared my taste in names!! There's no such thing as dibs on a name - there are always going to be people with the same name, why is it a ...problem? I think it's egotistical to say "I named him that first, so you can't use it!". Also, a girl I know named her son Louis even though she wanted to name him Louie, because a friend of hers had named her son Louie and she didn't want to look like she was copying her. But now she's not even really friends with that particular friend and really regrets her decision - she was even talking about changing his name by deed poll. I say you have to live with it and so does your child, so you can name them whatever you like! However, I agree that the same name within a family could be tricky and confusing and I would avoid it.

A friend also called Rachael - had the name James on her list but had a girl - we ended up calling our son 2 years later James and she's now due a boy and is planning on calling him James too - she did ask if it was ok and we said not to be... silly we don't own names - she's usually called 'pocket Rachael' as she's tiny and I'm 'bus Rachael' as I used to live in a house bus so it's not really that hard to manage having friends with the same name. And I agree that it's so hard to choose a baby name when you work with children - I'm a preschool teacher and a nanny

Depends how much you like the name and how close to the friend you are. Having said that you could choose a name that none of your friends have now, who knows though who you will be friends with later on in life?

If someone in close family had already used the name then I wouldn't use it but as for friends I don't think it really matters.
We have a friend with a daughter Catherine but I also like that name because it's my Grandmas middle name and would like to honor her if we have a daughter.

I had a friend who was preg at same time as SIL and told her the name she loved for a boy - SIL had her boy a few weeks earlier and used it, friend then called her son something different and still regrets it years later. We tried to pick unusual names for our boys (without being weird), but there will almost always be other kids same age with the same name - there are three Ethan's at my one's kindy already!

I personally think family should avoid the same names but friends isn't a big deal as you may not be friends in the future, plus you could spell it different. I know I would be pretty pissed off if someone in our immediate family used the same names as my girls or variations nothing worse than cousins with the same name.

When I was pregnant with both my kids I kept my names list mostly to myself... I had 2 or 3 names I really liked but didn't actually decide till I had given birth and was holding the little mites in my arms. I generally wouldn't use the same name that someone close to me used but wouldn't ever make a big deal about someone using "my" names. And if anyone is interested my girls are Ava Jade and Zoe Kate.

We had very close friends name their son a very similar name to what we had chosen for our next son (we hadn't told them our name) which was tough at the time, though I'm over it now. I think I wouldn't mind still using the name we had chosen, but now we have chosen a new one which we like more. Having said that, I wouldn't even consider using a name I know my sister would use when she has her own children.

Hubby and I came up with a first and middle name for a boy and girl. We haven't told anyone the name for the boy (because our little one was a girl and we are still reserving it). I doubt anyone would come up with the same combo that we have in mind. People have asked me if they can use the same name of our little girl. Doesn't really bother me coz Aroha got her name first lol.

I think it would be fine to have the same name. Especially if neither of you shared in the beginning that you wanted that name.

I find this all very interesting as we are still trying to decide on a boys name for our baby due in 5 days. I personally would not use the names of close family for a first name, but if you ruled out the names of everyone you know then you would be hard pressed to find a name. I would be disappointed if my sisters or SILs used a name they knew I really wanted but this hasn't been an issue yet. My best friend named her daughter Charlie which we found kinda funny as we call our Charlotte, Charli all the time. My husband's best friend named their daughter Lyla, a name that had been on our shortlist first time round but they had no idea and thankfully we are having a boy this time so not an issue.

I think its fine...no one in our antenatal group told anyone about the names they liked - we named our son Blake and a friend from antenatal classes named her son Hunter but he was Blake for a day before they decided on Hunter (and he was born exactly 2 weeks before our boy Blake but she never told us that Hunter was Blake for a day until after our boy was born), another lady from antenatal classes named her daughter Ruby and if Hunter had been a girl he would have been called Ruby! Then another lady from antenatal classes had twins and named them Maddison and Olivia and if our boy Blake had been a girl he probably would have been called Maddison Olivia....quite weird when names had never been discussed! There could have quite easily been double ups!

I honestly wouldn't care if one of my friends named their baby the same as ours. I know that two of my friends like the name we chose, but one friend doesn't have a partner, let alone looking like they're going to be having a baby any time soon, and the other is actually pregnant now. IF she has a girl and still wants to use the name, I don't mind at all! There's no way I wouldn't use a name I like though just because one of my friends liked it, what if they never ended up having a baby of that gender and I'd not used a name I love because of them?!

A few years ago made the mistake of discussing names that my pregnant sister had on her list with my pregnant sister-in-law. She ended up stealing it!!! Thank goodness my sister ended up having a girl. I still feel stink about it to this day.

I would be gutted if my sister or my husband's brother used the same name, but other than that it is up to you. My cousin always had a name she loved for a boy, & then our baby cousin was named it. I think she will still use it but spell it ...differently. I'm a teacher (as is my husband) & it is so hard to find names we like that don't remind us of a student. One of my girls names was Stephanie, & one of my closet friends is too. She would have been flattered if we'd used it I'm sure but we named our girl Kasey, something a bit more unique.

I wouldn't care if someone named their child the same as mine, BUT there are always exceptions to that rule, like I fell pregnant with my third daughter before my SIL fell pregnant with her daughter and I would never have dreamt of calling my daughter Carla for the simple reason I knew my SIL would most likely use it for family reasons. But you can't please everyone I named my youngest Beverley Juanita after her grandmothers, and someone asked why not Juanita Beverley, it was just our choice

A close friend and I were due 6 days apart, we hadn't discussed names at all and my hubby and I had a shortlist of 4 names. Turned out she had her wee boy 8 hours (to the minute) before I had ours and they used 2 of the four names we liked. We decided not to use either of them when we found that out and are very happy with our choice of Lachlan George :)

Oh, and as for family, I have a HUGE family and if there was a name I liked, first name or not I would use it anyway.

I wouldn't have used a name of someone born at the same time (e.g.: same year) from close friends/family, but am fine with say a year or two age difference... I probably wouldn't worry too much about people at playcentre either (although I'd ...give a heads up) because the kids will all likely end up going to different schools so it won't be a long-term issue

I'd hate to regret not using a name because of someone we didn't see anymore! Also you join a class at kindy/school and all of a sudden there are three kids with the same "unusual" name LOL.

I would always respect someone's choice if they had shared they particularly liked a name and I would like to think that my husband and I are creative enough to come up with a name that is unique within our circle... but calling dibs on a name is a bit crazy... I think it's good to remember that friends do come and go and I am sure no one would NOT become friends with someone if their children had the same name as yours.

I just don't name my child until it's born. That way you know no one else has that name. It doesn't matter if someone else's uses my name once my child's born however. The problem I had was liking a certain name but remembering a really horrible kid from school with the same name!

We chose names that were different from every one else that we knew- I did not want to use a name that had been used in our family or circle of friends - I think that it a personal choice and first in first with the name...

I think you should respect your 'circle of friends' enough not to copy. Find a name that means something personal to you and yours. It's not about RESERVING, it's about PRESERVING

‎'copy' sounds like they're 16 years old! If you love a name then that's the decision made.

Reminds me of a guy who rang up a radio station once. His wife was due with their first baby, and he told his best friend what the baby girls name was going to be. A couple of weeks before baby was due the "Best friend" turned up with a new puppy ........ And you guessed it ....... he used the name that was going to be for his friends baby!!!! Now in that case I would be seriously Peeved!

I don't see a name as a possession. If it's right for your baby I say use it, I don't understand this stealing names thing, what happens when they go to school, join a sports team etc, there will always be other kids with the same/similar names, even when you think you're being original (as I found out), unless you're creating your own original name I think it's a free for all! Just because you told someone you like a name and are considering using it doesn't mean you own it!

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