Naming a newborn after a childs death

Karen - posted on 08/07/2014 ( 7 moms have responded )




My daughter recently got married to a wonderful guy. Tragically, his son died at two years old in March of 2013. He now wants to name their baby, early next year, if it is a boy, so that the middle name is the same as the first name of his late 2 year old son. I was hoping to get some feedback. I have some concerns.


Dove - posted on 08/08/2014




If it were the first name, 'I' would be concerned he was simply trying to replace the lost child. As a middle name though.... quite common and a sweet rememberance.


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Tanya - posted on 08/08/2014




I like what the other mom's have said to you about naming the child.

However, I wouldn't do it. I believe every child should have their own identity and name. In my culture we name our children after our parents and grandparents and give middle names. I threw that tradition out the window! I upset my family, but they're over it! My daughter only have a first and last name. My daughter was going to be her own little person.

However, it's just a name though... It doesn't necessarily define them.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/08/2014




What concerns do you have? Its not unusual for a child born after the unexpected death of another child in the family to be given a name honoring the first child, or as a remembrance of the other child.

And, first or middle name...really wouldn't matter to me either way.

Naming one's child after a deceased family member is an excellent way to remember them. My eldest son is named after his father, who's named after his uncle. My younger son has my father's name in his name (only because my grandfather refused to allow us to name the boy after him)

If your daughter is ok with the name, all is well.

Gena - posted on 08/08/2014




I find it a nice way or remembering somebody.If we had a girl we would have given her the name of my sister that passed away as the middle name. Also our sons middle name is his fathers name the third name his grandfathers,we personaly find it a nice way to respect his father and grandfather. Also a girl would get my name and her grandmothers. Why do you have concerns if i may ask?

Chet - posted on 08/07/2014




What concerns do you have? It's a nice thing to do.

In our family, we have a couple of people named for deceased children. My husband has an uncle who was named after his brother who died as a toddler. My husband also has a cousin who named his baby after his deceased sibling. In both cases, it was the first name being used again as the first name. Nobody has every suggested it was strange of offensive.

Also, it's not uncommon in some families for names to be heavily recycled. I have an uncle who gave all three of his sons his first name for a middle name. There was no expectation that the names needed to be purely unique.

I'm fairly certain that traditional Italian naming re-uses names if the original namesake dies. So if you name your first son after his paternal grandfather, and your first son dies, the expectation is that the next born son will be named after the paternal grandfather also (sharing his name with his deceased sibling).

I think that today people have come to expect more unique names. Years ago, there wasn't nearly as much diversity in names. People didn't have this sense of a name belonging to a particular a person.

There was a time when a full 10% or 15% of all baby girls were named Mary and a full 10% or 15% of all baby boys were named John. Most people had names chosen from a very small pool. Repeats was commonplace, and expected. Over the years, the pool of names people choose from has grown hugely, and even the most common names aren't especially common now. I know so many people who've not used a name they loved because somebody they barely see has a baby with that name.

Anyway, I think using the deceased sibling's name is fine.

Carly - posted on 08/07/2014




I think the middle name is nice, a rememberance. However, if you were to say the babies first name would be that I would have a problem with it. For me middle names are for respect, and have meaning.

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