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Naming Your Child After a Family Member

It's always a sign of love when you name your little one after someone in the family. But choosing baby names this way could also cause a few headaches. Read on for a couple of quick tips 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 when your second son is on his way, you may be a little hesitant about naming him Leslie, your other grandfather’s name.

You don’t want your older son to have a great story behind his name and your younger son be stuck with a name that carries less significance. You’ll either need to come up with equally meaningful baby boy names for your second son, or reconsider reusing that relative’s name to begin with. If the names in your family history don’t inspire you, why not browse our top baby girl names and baby boy names.

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 inspirational family members or run out of babies.

Similarly, using the name of a family member from your side can leave you with an unspoken obligation to choose a name from your partner’s side of the family for your second child.

Make It Meaningful

A backstory for a name can be quite powerful. If a child has a story behind their name or interesting name meanings, it can motivate him to be like his namesake and to emulate that person’s good qualities. If the namesake is still alive, consider asking their permission and telling him or her why you’d like to use their name. It can be a poignant moment as you honour your loved one’s 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 he or she will (most likely) carry this name for a lifetime. So although you can definitely consider family names for your baby, the decision is ultimately yours. If you still need inspiration, try our Baby Name Generator. This extensive database of names allows you to search by gender, popularity, name meanings and more.

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