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Is it really wrong to name a new baby after someone that died?

(41 Posts)
sockmonster Tue 02-Jun-09 16:25:13

Slightly odd question I know, my instinct is that it's a bit odd and not a great idea-
BUT just wondering what the general consensus is? For example- naming a baby after an older sibling that died?

Is that disrespectful to the older sibling, is it honouring them, or is it just plain weird for the new child?


steamedtreaclesponge Tue 02-Jun-09 16:27:07

I think it would be a bit odd naming a baby after a dead sibling - a bit like you were trying to replace them IYKWIM

If you were naming them after a grandmother/aunt or something, fine

RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Tue 02-Jun-09 16:27:34

Message withdrawn

sockmonster Tue 02-Jun-09 16:31:19

See I was kind of thinking maybe naming the child after an older relative like grandparents isn't too weird.. but that naming them after an immediate relative is?

I'd want to do it- but I don't want to do that if it would have serious psychological effects on the new baby when it grows up and finds out the background.

Northernlurker Tue 02-Jun-09 16:32:25

I think actually most people don't tend to do this with siblings - the parents know better than anybody that what was lost cannot be replaced so why would you use the same name?

As a way of honouring other relatives though I think it's a lovely thing to do. Had any of my girls been boys they would have had my uncle's name as a middle name and I know another little girl with her aunts name as a middle name, aunt having died three months before the birth.

fucksticks Tue 02-Jun-09 16:33:59

dpends on the relative tbh.
I think most relatives would be fine, only a sibling would be a bit odd as it might look as though you were trying to replace them seeing as you chose the name both times iyswim. Anything else would come under 'honouring' them I'd say

sockmonster Tue 02-Jun-09 16:35:31

Hmm I think it's because it's my favourite name!! grin I want the name to be remembered, if that makes sense. I wouldn't want everyone to think I am completely nuts though!

Middle name a better alternative?

sockmonster Tue 02-Jun-09 16:37:37

I mean the person not the name- but in using the name again it would honour their memory in a way...


OK I think I would be met with rather disapproving comments from both sides of the family!

TwoScrambled Tue 02-Jun-09 16:39:34

Middle name is a good alternative, espeically good if two middle names and both are family names. Dont know why, it just sits well with me that way

EyeballsintheSky Tue 02-Jun-09 16:41:47

It's only relatively recently we've stopped doing this. In doing our family tree we only have to go back to the 1920's to find families where the 3rd son was called Peter or something after the eldest son called Peter had died in infancy.

Hmmm I think it's odd, sorry. Middle name at a push but not the first name.

I do know of someone who wanted to do the same and it was poohpoohed by one and all. Not sure if they ended up doing it in the end or not.

sockmonster Tue 02-Jun-09 16:44:12

Eyeballs- see I'm guessing that as it was so common, it was less that parents sought to replace the child and more that they wanted to honour them and use the name again?

sockmonster Tue 02-Jun-09 16:46:20

othermarypoppins- I do worry that the child may grow up to have serious mental health issues and after extensive therapy will ring me one day and say it was all my fault for using the same name..!!

sockmonster Tue 02-Jun-09 16:47:22

Shame though! hmm I think I need more people to talk me out of it! smile

suwoo Tue 02-Jun-09 16:48:45

Someone I know had a stillborn baby and they gave her name to the next daughter as a middle name.

I think it would be strange (sorry if thats a bit harsh) to name a sibling after a child that had lived for a few years and had already 'owned' the name.

Bucharest Tue 02-Jun-09 16:49:50

Grandparents/parents/friends is OK.
Siblings is weird. Not for the parent, but the child would probably end up with massive complex. (sorry!)

Deemented Tue 02-Jun-09 16:49:54

I would never dream of calling another child i may have by the same name as my son that died. I'd be mortified too if a close relative chose to name their child after my son - it's his name, not anyone elses, iyswim.

sweetheart Tue 02-Jun-09 16:50:36

sock monster - I lost a baby boy through miscarriage and when we found out we were having another boy we did think of using the name but decided not to.

We felt that it would be like erasing that our other boy had existed and also we wanted our new little boy to have his own special name.

I'm really glad now (3 years on) it was deffo the right choice.

Northernlurker Tue 02-Jun-09 16:51:38

It's secrets that would give a child ishoos, not a name. If you found out you had the same name as a sibling you didn't know you had then yes it would freak you out. But if you do know, know that your parents loved them and loved you, are able to recognise the part of the lost sibling in the family and are taught that you have the same name as a mark of that love within the family then I think any child would be fine.

EyeballsintheSky Tue 02-Jun-09 16:55:52

sockmonster, it's hard to say. Especially when we're talking about (gulp) the working classes of the early 20th century because we don't know how they really dealt with things like that. It may be that the original Peter was named after his grandfather, say. And when he died they still wanted to honour said grandfather rather than first son IYSWIM. It's convenient to think that it was easy come easy go with children when conditions weren't great but we don't know that, isn't a mother always a mother etc. Oh, it's not ooming out right but I know what I mean blush. Anyway, I digress. I think these days we are a bit more sensitive about these things (or we think we are) so I would feel uncomfortable using the name again tbh.

poppysocks Tue 02-Jun-09 16:57:13

I agree, I think after a sibling it looks like an attempted replacement. However, as a middle name it wouldn't be used much, you'd probably have fewer eyebrows raised and after the name is initially announced, would be less remembered/referred to in future.

FWIW, after endless agonisation we named DD2 our favourite name, which also happened to be the name of my sister who was a cot death. I was 2 when she died but don't remember her. We asked my parents. My mum was really enthusiastic, feeling that it was time to move on and she chose the name because she likes it so much. My Dad was a little more reticent but ok. The weirdest thing was other people who had known my sister. No-one has said anything, but I know that their point of reference with my DD2 was, at least to begin with wrapped up with my dead sister. She's now 10 months and if I'm honest, I still feel odd about it but now she's becoming her own person it is getting easier.

I think naming, particularly middle names, after older relatives who have been important in your life is lovely.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Buda Tue 02-Jun-09 16:59:53

Don't do it. My parents did. They had a baby girl when I was 4 and she died at birth. Was given a name that my Mum loved. Mum went on to have 2 more girls and didn't use the name but then had a surprise baby late on and did use the name. Youngest sis hates that she was called after the baby that died.

belgo Tue 02-Jun-09 17:01:40

Sockmonster - this used to be very traditional in Europe, to name a new baby after a sibling who has passed away. Especially in the past when more children died. My dh has an aunty called the same name as her sister who died when a baby.

Sunshinemummy Tue 02-Jun-09 17:11:42

My nan was named after her sister that died. I don't think it really affected her as it was more common then and she was the youngest of 11 - the sister she was named after being one of the oldest children.

I gave my daughter my mum's name as her middle name. My mum died alomst 20 years ago to the day that DD was born. It's a way, for me, of honouring my mum and giving her a part in the family that she missed out on iyswim.

fucksticks Tue 02-Jun-09 17:18:44

I think it would be more of a shame for memory of the one that passed away, almost dilute the memory in a way - for example if you mentioned 'when peter was born we were in london' you'd have to qualify it with 'the 1st peter' rather than letting his name speak for itself and be his
I'm probably not explaining myself very well, but if you name another child 'peter' too, then forever going forward your friends and family will think immediately of child 2 when they hear the name peter, rather than remembering child 1.

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