Can someone 'have dibs' on a baby name(76 Posts)
What would you do if a close friend/family member (with no DCs and not yet pregnant) asked you not to use a baby name because it is their favourite name for when they have children? Would it make a difference if they were TTC and having difficulties?
It wouldn't make a difference, a name is not something that can be kept for one person only, on the off chance they even get the gender that they want!
I had/have dibs on a certain girls' name and my DSIS has 3 DDS and didn't use it.
Possibly not because i had dibs on it but because maybe she's not keen - she never said.
I have had 2 boys thus far and may not actually go for it if we end up with a girl when I pop.
I think it would depend on the unusual-ness of the name, the closeness of our friendship.
I would laugh and say "when you're pregnant
you moron come back and try telling me that". <cruel>
(unless it's one of those horrific invented names in which case let 'em have it)
I'd think they were pretty odd. I'd possibly back off the friendship tbh, I don't like being pushed around. It would probably put me off using the name anyway unless I reaaaaallly liked it, as it would have a sour taste.
There are so many lovely names out there that I'd swerve it, unless it was a name that I'd always dreamed of using.
For unless you know that the person is a selfish pig, telling you this must have a considerable emotional resonance for them and that is something I'd want to ease, not compound.
Do you want to use the name?
If I really wanted to use a name I would, and tell them gently but firmly.
If I wasn't that bothered or had an alternative, I'd use that instead as they obviously feel more strongly about it. It matters to them & I wouldn't hurt them unnecessarily.
I would NEVER call dibs on a name but I guess I can imagine it could become something to hang on to if they're having trouble ttc.
Do you want to use that name? In which case I'd either not mention it again and then use the name, pretrending to forget the conversation, or if they were the sort to get very upset at that, I'd say you are probably going to use the name as your DH has always loved that name (that doesn't need to be true, but it's a little white lie that answers their "I liked it first" argument)
The first name is the name of my great-aunt who was also my godmother and looked after me a lot as a child. She died several years ago. I already have one DD and didn't use the name for her so it is fair to say that it wasn't my absolute favourite name.
The middle name is a flower name which we chose because DD1 has a flower name and we liked the idea of incorporating a flower into DD2's name.
DH and I had made the decision to use the names a couple of weeks ago after finding out the gender. I'm now 22 weeks so the decision coincided with feeling more kicks from baby so due to pregnancy hormones etc I now feel quite attached to it.
DH and I decided that we wouldn't reveal the name until the birth but MIL was asking questions the other night and we listed a few names that we liked including this name. Her face fell and she said that this was DSIL's favourite girl's name - first name AND middle name together. We had no idea. DSIL has been TTC for several years and recently had first cycle of IVF. The outcome of this is not yet known so it is a VERY sensitive time!!
So DSIL hasn't "called dibs" on the name, it's just their favourite name and MIL has told you.
Perhaps wait til you know the outcome of the IVF then broach the subject of names in a sensitive way? Just to see how she actually feels about it. It may be her favourite name but she might not mind you using it.
If she does mind, then I guess you need to think about how much it means to you, how much it would upset DSIL and if there are alternatives you could use instead.
Eg a different flower name as a first name (like Dd1) then your great-aunt's name as a middle name.
Personally, if it meant more to DSIL than it did to me, I'd think of a different name. It's early enough to think of another name you can become attached to.
On the other hand, if I were your SIL I'd also get over it if you did use the name. I just don't think baby names are worth falling out over.
But I'm not you or your SIL!
What a weird coincidence. Maybe give SIL a call - seeing as it wasn't her trying to dibs it - and say you are planning to use the name, MIL mentioned she liked it, how does she feel? (Or "just wanted to warn you" if you're not asking her opinion!) She may be just fine with it. Or are there any other flower-names you like that you could swap in and keep the family/godmother name that has personal meaning to you?
I'd buy a dog and give it 'their' name.
I would ignore MIL and would advise you not to share name ideas with anyone (except us) until you announce it.
I would still use it.
There is no guarantee your SIL will ever even have a girl so why 'waste' the name, and it had a personal meaning for you.
We did not tell anyone the name until the birth either!
If you're 22 wks you can afford to wait and see if her IVF has worked first and maybe then make a call.
I've just got pregnant from IVF and after nearly 4 years TTC and I have changed my favourite names so many tines, you might find mil doesn't even have up to date info anyway
I ALWAYS wanted a little boy called Alex.... we had a dd first SIL called one of hers Alex for a few days
to piss me off I am sure then changed her mind to something else.
We went on to have DTs's so not only did I get my Alex I also got a spare
Years later I am still very annoyed
A spare Stinky? You called them both Alex?!
I wouldn't. Imagine how she'd feel if she never had a child, watching your DD grow up with "her" DD's name?
Well, obviously you are within your rights to use whatever name you like.
But it would be kind not to use the name in the circumstances-as Tiara said.
Couldn't you swap the first and middle names around?
Ignore any 'dibs', its ridiculous.
My sister called me constantly when I was pregnant with DD , it started with one name and then it became a list which got longer with every phone call. She doesn't have any children to date and its unlikely there will be any.
An old colleague fell out with her sister when her sister used a girls name that my colleague wanted since she was a child. My colleague's sister has two girls. My colleague has two boys. Neither are planning more children.
The only reason I wouldn't use a particular name chosen by somebody else would be if that person had lost a baby.
Is there an alternate spelling? or perhaps a shorter or longer version
Ps or undergoing fertility treatment!
I would suggest you therefore sound her out, start with saying "SIL, we've been thinking about naming our daughter after my great-aunt, she was my godmother as well, it's XXX, what do you think?" if you word it like that, spelling out clearly why its a name that means something to you, not just a nice name, then she might be fine with it.
I wouldn't say that MIL has already said it's SIL's favorite name. She might not say anything about liking the name herself - it might just be a name she likes, not that in love with. If I was asked my favorite girl's name I'd have said Persephone, but as DH hated it, DD is called something else I love, but not as much as Persephone. I was happy to let it go, although I can see other people get much more set on a name and can't compromise, worth finding out which your DSIL is before you give up the name.
If I absolutely had my heart set on it I'd still use it but otherwise let them have dibs on it. It's just a nice thing to do.
Just use the name.
Your SIL may never have a girl - or even any children at all.
What if you pick another name and one of your friends "has dibs" on it? What if one of your DH friends wives "has dibs" on your third favourite name?
You could go on and on, it's ridiculous.
This is exactly why you shouldn't discuss names with anyone.
As I said, usually I would agree with the ou can't have dibs on a name.
But kindness and consideration suggests that in these particular circumstances.......
I remember when we were having trouble conceiving. I wrote out a list of potential baby names but didn't tell anyone what they were or that the list existed (as I thought people might think it was a bit pathetic). Then everyone else got pregnant and used all my names. I was sad, although clearly I didn't tell people (plus my list included some fairly common names like Thomas so it would be unreasonable to call dibs).
As long as it is one name (or combination of names) I would avoid using it - it's a pity to start your child's life off on a sour note. However, someone up thread mentioned someone reserving a whole list of names - that isn't on.
your thread title is misleading OP - your SIL hasn't called dibs, it's just that your mil has told you it's your SIL's preferred
I think given your SIL's situation it will hurt her deeply that you have used her chosen name for your second child while she is still desperately trying for her first. You say honestly that this is not your favourite name (as you didn't choose it for your dd1) and you only chose it a couple of weeks ago. The kind thing to do would be to choose a different name. I'm not saying you should choose a different name, I don't believe in 'dibs' on names, I'm just saying it would be kinder and less likely to hurt her. depends how important that is to you versus how important this name is.
"I would suggest you therefore sound her out, start with saying "SIL, we've been thinking about naming our daughter after my great-aunt, she was my godmother as well, it's XXX, what do you think?" if you word it like that, spelling out clearly why its a name that means something to you, not just a nice name, then she might be fine with it. "
How could she possibly say no if you put it like that? Not fair!
Sorry - won't derail the thread any longer - but I have now had IVF and had one DS (with a lovely name) and am just about to give birth to a DD (whose name I have picked). Lets hope this happens for your SIL.
'But kindness and consideration suggests that in these particular circumstances'
If it's your DHs friends wife or whatever then they can still use the name. It would be ridiculous to have cousins with exactly the same name so SIL can't use it if the OP does. It's not the OP's first choice name, I really think it would be nice to try and find an alternative name that you love.
Speak to SIL first though, don't take MIL word on it.
Just use the name if you want to without discussing it with anyone else.
Names are not single-use items. A child may have a particular name, but that name is still available for anyone else to give to their child if they wish. Earlier generations never worried about this. One Elizabeth will get called Beth and another Lizzie, etc. When you have people sharing a name, whether it be at school, at work or in the family, some sort of differentiating factor usually kicks in.
I agree with minipie. The kind thing to do would be to choose another name - it has meaning for both of you, but you are in a position to be generous.
curlew - basically, it's giving the SIL fair warning to say something if the name does mean so much to her, look at it this way, she knows her SIL is pregnant, and possibly knows its a girl. she hasn't said anything about having a name she'd like to use to her DB or SIL, and if OP hadn't mentioned it as a possible option to MIL, they might well have just gone ahead and named their DD this name. If the name means so much to her that she'd be upset by it's use by her SIL, best give her a chance to say so before the baby is born (so the OP can think of another name if it really is an issue).
But the OP's SIL hasn't felt the need enough to try to reserve the name, it's perfectly possible she doesn't care that much about it. If it's just a passing "oh, I like XXX" name and MIL has taken that to be gospel truth that any DGC on that side will be called XXX, then how upsetting would it be for the OP to chose a different name and then find out when SIL does have a baby, she didn't use the great-aunt name afterall? It could well just be a name she quite liked that day but subsequently has gone off, it could well be a name she loves but her DH hates so doesn't actually use (which is what happened in my case).
Basically, the OP needs to talk to her SIL, find out if it really does mean that much, but definately say her connection to it, I'd give up my best name that I just liked if SIL's godmother was that name and they wanted to honour her memory.
The kind thing to do would be to choose another name - it has meaning for both of you, but you are in a position to be generous. while this could be true, we are all just assuming it does have meaning for SIL, it really could just be a name she thinks is nice, not the name she's definately going to use if she has a DD.
OP, you've got time to wait, but definately sound out SIL to find out if it really does mean a lot to her before you reject a name you love.
I think you need to find out if this really is the name for your SIL. If it has long been her favourite name, then yes, I would probably let her have the first name (middle names are a different story, I think, nothing wrong with a shared MN). But she may not be as bothered as your MIL thinks?
Seems a bit of a coincidence to me that in a conversation with mil she told you that the two names you had chosen were the two names your sil would use if she had a baby.
The first name has meaning for you, it's sentimental to you. If your mil repeats the conversation to sil and sil asks you not to use it then fair enough but otherwise I'd just go with it.
I'm guessing that MIL doesn't like your names and is trying to put you off.
I'm sorry if the thread title is misleading. I was trying to gauge opinion in general while avoiding giving too much away but then realised that I needed to provide some background info to get more meaningful opinions.
SIL has since confirmed (in a family group conversation rather than one to one) that this is her favourite name (helpful, as it at least confirms that MIL has correct info) but also said that we would have to 'have words' about my list of names because they are a few of 'her names' on there (which makes me slightly less sympathetic).
If she is pg I think we'll be so happy for her that we'll happily compromise on this particular name but if she starts throwing her weight around with more names I will probably be less keen to do so!
I guess this should teach me a lesson and that I should avoid any further conversation until the baby arrives and nobody can argue!!
That would make me less sympathetic as well. One name dibs is ok, any more than that and she's taking the piss imo.
If you do 'give' her the name, make a big deal about it and you'll probably get away with newborn/christening presents. Just trot out 'we gave you the gift of the perfect name....'
No they cannot.
She who gives birth first gets the name, assuming the baby is the right (for the name) gender.
If she has been ttc-ing for a long time, and going through IVF she will probably be very attached to the name.
I know that my fictitious children had names, and appearances and school-start dates and favourite activities, simply because I had so long to dream about them .
Unless you feel very, very strongly about a name, would it kill you to let her have it? After all, you have the children, and I know from experience which I would rather have.
I don't think you can think of it as "throwing her weight around". When you are ttc'ing and failing at it (and having your failure shoved in your face month after month after month), you have literally no control over it. You have to "think positive" and clutching onto a name can be part of that.
And I would normally be of the "first come first served" opinion when it came to names, and would have no compunction in using the same name as a friend/family member if I wanted to, but long-term infertility is a PITA and life-ruining. You can be graceful.
The same applies to using the name of a baby that has died. I have two friends who haven't spoken since one used the name that had been given to another's stillborn baby .
Ah now your SIL now has a 'list'?!?! She sounds like my sister who by the time my daughter was born, could have named an entire classroom of children with her 'favourite' names ie names I 'couldn't' use!
Unless your current preferred first and middle names are two names that are commonly used together e.g Anne Marie etc, I'd be reluctant to let her have both names tbh. A number of people have ONE favourite name, but they can't expect to retain ownership of any number of names! If she brings it up again and feels the need to speak to you about her 'list', I'd ask her what her favourite name from the list is and leave it at that. I'd also actually laugh if she started listing them. You're the person who is pregnant and while she would like to be in your position, she isn't entitled to take away your enjoyment at this time either and for a lot of people, part of their enjoyment is choosing the name.
I would also stop talking about your names to your MIL and any other family members. Keep it until your baby is born and then announce it as your baby's given name.
No, just use the name you love. You made an unfortunate mistake by discussing it in the first place.
p.s I wouldn't actually laugh but I wouldn't enter into a serious conversation about a long list either!
If SIL were very attached to one name, then I think in these circumstances, I'd want to be compassionate and avoid it.
But if she's trying to warn to off a swathe of names, I'd be far less sympathetic.
I'm another in the 'first to have a baby gets to use it' camp in these circumstances.
I get that she has a favourite name and would like to use it and has had a long time to think about a name. But you also have a long term sentimental attachment to the name and would like to use it for reasons that are no less valid.
What would have happened if the conversation was the other way around and MIL had been listing off names that your SIL liked and you'd said 'well as long as she doesn't choose xxx as that's our favourite name' - I don't think MIL would have thought that it would have been a reasonable thing for you to do. Sounds like she is trying to fight for what her dd wants (which is a reasonable thing for a mum to do for her dd, but doesn't mean that you need to give in to it!).
You're not choosing the name to spite your SIL, you're choosing it to honour your godmother. If your SIL loves the name that much then she can choose to use it too if and when she has a dd. So long as you realise that that is her prerogative just as much as it is yours to choose the name. And the family will soon figure out two different nicknames to differentiate between the two of them!
Do you know the reason why your sil likes the name - does she have a reason to use it like you do or is it just that she likes the name? I think that if I were talking names with SIL I would be tempted to say that you're not going to discuss names with her - that you have already chosen your list and you know what you want, that you don't want to know her list because you want to choose the name that is right for the baby and that you love, not something that you always feel is a second
or third or fourth... choice name because the ones you did like were on somebody else's 'maybe' list.
I must admit I think you've ended up in a horrible situation - if you had already chosen the names then putting them in a list of 'potentials' means that MIL will assume that you can cross them off your list with no problem, whereas actually as you say, you have chosen them and you don't want to do that. I know there was no reason to know in advance that MIL would put a spanner in the works like this - I bet you are kicking yourselves now if you are anything like me and feel you are in a bit of a lose-lose situation (having said that my mum told my bil that that they couldn't use the name that they had chosen as it was a dog's name - it's not, it's a normal little girl name and told me that my name choice was not a real name - it is, it's a really common old testament name that everybody has heard of although it's only recently become more common as a used name, she had been telling people that I was going to use a completely different name - which was the name of my teddy when I was little and I don't think wanted to have to admit that we had called ds1 something different from what she had been telling people).
Sorry, I haven't got any really helpful ideas on how to solve the situation, but I hope that you manage to sort it out and end up with a (the?) name that you love for your child.
I do lose some sympathy for your SIL if she is reeling off a whole list of names - it also rather dilutes the attachment that I would assume she had to the one name you're considering.
Perhaps if you are being generous, say that you won't use that name but that you don't want to talk about any others. Realistically, unless she has five or six kids, she won't get to use all the names on her list, even if you didn't share some of them.
First come, first served, you have an attachment to that name, that's perfectly valid. Don't not use it for something that might never happen, I.e, sil having a dd.
When she wants to discuss names with you that is the perfect opportunity for you to say that you like, such and such and you are considering it for dd.
hmm, if she has a list I too lose sympathy tbh ( or to put it a nicer way, clearly she has other names she also likes, so it wouldn't be so bad to use the one that is
currently her favourite)
A close family member has 'put dibs' on a names three times. First was years before either of us was pregnant and I just made a mental note it was out of bounds as it was her favourite name, and she did use it years later.
Second time was when I was pregnant (she wasn't) and wanted to make sure I didn't use another of her favourite names (it was OK as it wasn't on my list anyway, but I was a bit that it had happened again).
Third time we're both pregnant, and the 'reserved' name was one that she was aware was on my list from the last pregnancy. I was a bit miffed. We've both now settled on different names so again it's fine. If I have another baby I'm considering getting in there first and bagging one of my own though!
I think as a rule of thumb, if you are both already pregnant and there's one name only that you'd want to use, then it's OK to say 'listen, there is only one name we love and I'm worried that it's going to get used - can I see if this is on your list?'. If not, then I think any name is fair game and we all have to take our chances if someone uses it first. I can see the IVF situation is a tough one though as if she's been TTC for years she must have seen a lot of names she likes bestowed on other babies.
I certainly don't think anyone gets to reserve a few names just in case, especially if they already know they are on your list...you'd be kind to compromise on this one but any more is a proper cheek...
I have slightly more info now (sorry to drip feed).....
The name is Evelyn (I would pronounce it Ev-lin) which she wants to shorten to use the nn Evie. I personally view Evie as a different name (tho I accept that this may be a more obvious shortening if you pronounce Evelyn eve-lin).
Is it reasonable to suggest a compromise whereby I don't shorten to Evie so that she can either use the name Evie or use it as a shortened version of another name e.g. Evangeline? Or would the names be too similar anyway? And of course I won't necessarily have control over what my DD wants to shorten her name to in the long run....?
I am doing my best to think of complete alternatives in order to avoid any problems. (I like the suggestion that I have the opportunity to 'be graceful').
I think my problem with the issue is that there's a potential to be arguing over names like we're naming a pet or doll and forgetting that there is a little human involved who deserves a nice name!!
so she's more interested in the shortened version? I'd go with Evelyn for your DD, tell your SIL you won't shorten to Evie if she'd like to use one of the other names that can be shortened to Evie and just make sure in your DH's family you always say full name (even if you don't with your family or at school). You could say that as it's after your Godmother, she was never shortened (even if her name was!).
Call her Evelyn and ignore anything anybody says. There's nothing to stop her calling her daughter (IF she eve has one) Evelyn, and if they shortened it as you say, it would be different.
Honestly, I just don't get the fuss that people make of this. There are two Catherines in my extended family and it really isn't an issue as they don't have the same spelling or nicknames.
Oh and if she really loved the name, she wouldn't have a whole list (even if she said it was the favorite on her list), she would just have the name. The very fact it's still a list suggests she's not picked a name yet as a final one with her DH.
im pregnant atm and we told bil our name options.
he promptly named his new cat one of them.
I was raging inside. obv wouldnt say anything but you do get irritated anyway. I imagine sil would be gutted so maybe a heads up that you had already chosen it or something before dd arrives?
I certainly wouldn't let a cat interfere with my naming plans.
Don't use it. Be kind, be graceful, be generous. It will affect SIL's relationship with you, and with your future DD. What if she never gets pregnant? It will be a permanent kick in the teeth.
It sucks for you not to be able to use the name you love, and that is meaningful, but it sucks far more for her to have had this horrible experience of infertility.
Please don't do it. xxx
I'm not naming my child after some awful looking cat that hasn't even had its jabs and for them to claim I stole their cats name
You wouldn't be naming it after the cat though, not if you thought of the name first.
I am the last one of 5 siblings and DH of 6 so most of "our names" have been used before we actually even thought of having children. Yes it pissed me off seeing my list gradually reduced to shreds but we got over it! Having a baby is a couple's experience meaning that they will probably think that any name that had been mentioned by someone else will not suit their child. We had this with many many names. Go for your favourite OP: she might not have a DD, you have a special connection, different nicknames and she may find something else she loves better! And if she does not understand that she is a bit of a childish brat, not worth your time and effort.
The cat will most likely be dead before your DD hits teenage years, particularly if they don't bother giving it jabs. Your DD will "wear" that name long after anyone has remembered the cat.
What's the cat's name? I can't imagine a cat with any of the current names going around.
the name has massive significance for you. The two children (should there be two children, who are both girls) will not spend their lives in the same room. Evelyn and Evie are different names.
Use the name you chose for good and special reason and with a clear conscience.
I have told everyone I know what my baby names are and if someone used one of them I would be LIVID!! I had a name I liked years ago and one of my friends stole it for her dog, I still don't know if it was intentional or not......!!
I'd still give my child the name if I liked it that much. As Leopoldina said, kids aren't welded together.
I agree with Don'tmindifIdo - probably best not to start off by mentioning what MIL has said. Probably MIL is making a mountain out of a molehill.
You could change the middle name to another flower name, but I don't think in the end you can be told you are not allowed to name after your godmother. Ultimately, no, you can't have dibs on a name.
Probably SIL is more focussed on actually getting pregnant rather than fussing about dibs on names.
We didn't tell anyone our plannted names for dd, and when she was born it turns out that my brother (not yet married or trying for a baby!) always wanted a daughter called that. But he wasn't really bothered- too late to do anything about it anyway!
Anecdotally, my MIL had a name in my for dh when she was pregnant and her sister went and gave it to her son who was born during MIL's pregnancy. Not sure if she knew about MIL's plans or not as it is a common name. MIL then went for another name that sounds similar but is not nearly as nice. DH has often mentioned this is he is not keen on the name he ended up with!
its more of a bil issue tgan a name issue. I think he would go on and on about it and piss me off rather than just picking another name.
Use whatever name you like.
When I was pregnant my brother phoned me specifically to give me a list of names that I wasn't "allowed" to use because he and his wife had already chosen for their (as yet unconceived) LOs. I was so cross with him that I would have been tempted to use one of them just to annoy him, had they not all been such ridiculous names.
My sister was born two weeks before my cousin. When my mum phoned my aunt and announced her name my aunt was taken aback to find it was the same name she had set her heart on but had never mentioned. My mum did not choose our names until we were born and my sister had already been registered.
Anyhow I have a sister and a cousin with the same name. I also have a cousin with my name. Several other cousins and their children share names too, most decided and talked about before the birth. It helps that most of the names are ones that can be shortened so one has the long version the other short (think Kate and Katherine). Funnily enough we are best friends with our namesake!
I think your SIL is being unreasonable to ask you to not use the name, she may have a boy, she may not have children, she may end up adopting and not be able to choose a new name. Use the name you want.
My sister asked me not to use DS's name when I was pregnant with him as she wanted to keep it for a future son she might have.
It was a really really hard decision what to do about it, but in the end, DH and I felt like we had to use it as in honesty is was the only name we both loved and had been our #1 boy name from quite early in pregnancy. Anything else would have felt like a compromise. Also, Dsis had had a son about 8 months before DS and not used said name - it might have been different had she never had a son at that point. It was a really hard decision though, and when we did decide to use it for certain after DS was born, I was careful to tell her first and tried to be sensitive to the fact I'd done something potentially very upsetting to her.
I don't regret using it either, and am glad I did. First, DS really suits it, and I was lucky that my sister was really gracious about it in the end. And lastly, while my sister has had another baby since, it was a girl and she's not planning on any more, so had I not used the name, it never would have been used by her either.
Not sure if that helps ...
I have two cousins named Margaret-they were born a few months apart and the mum of Margaret 1 was sister to the dad of Margaret 2.It never caused any problems at all.M1 was named for her paternal grandma and M2 because they liked the name.
If we were talking about them we added the appropriate surname.
Me n my sis-in-law were due a month apart & she took the name we wanted but im not bitter about it as sis-in-law gave birth first (first come first serve) We both had gals & the name i chose for my daughter absolutely Suits her. It took us longer to come up with another name but i wouldnt change it for the world
I have to say calling dibs on a name & not be pregnant is stupid but perhaps u can put it more nicely then that
It certainly does seem to be a recent thing, this idea that names can only be given once in any family or circle of friends and acquaintances.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.