What to Consider When Naming Your Child After Family Members

What to Consider When Naming Your Child After Family Members

It's always a sign of love of reverence to name your little one after someone in your family. It can cause a few headaches, too! Read on for a couple quick things to take into consideration before pulling names off your family tree!

Don’t Start If You Can’t Finish

Your grandfather’s name was George, and you loved him, and George is such a good strong name. It was obvious that you would name your firstborn son George. But then your second baby is on his way and you’re a little hesitant about naming him Leslie—your other grandfather’s name.

You don’t want your older son to have this great story behind his name and your younger son to be stuck with a name you just liked. So you’ll either need to come up with an equally meaningful name for your second son, or reconsider reusing that family name to begin with.

Don’t Leave Anyone Out

If you’re going to name your child after someone who is still living, that’s fine—unless that means leaving someone else out. Long-gone relatives won’t be able to complain about being overlooked, but if you start naming babies after siblings, you’re either going to run out of siblings or run out of babies.

Make It Meaningful

A backstory for a name can be quite powerful. If a child has a story behind their name, it can motivate them to be like that person and to emulate their good qualities. If that person is still alive, consider telling them why you’d like to use their name and ask their permission. It can be a poignant moment as you honor them and continue their legacy.

Do Your Own Thing

Even if there’s a long-standing naming tradition in your family, you don’t have to follow it. This is your baby, and that baby will (most likely) have that name the rest of his life. So while you can definitely consider family names, you need to ultimately decide what you think best fits your new little bundle of joy.