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We’ve Already Used the Perfect Baby Name!

My husband and I are stumped on a girl name for our third baby. We both like Claire, but it is our oldest daughter's middle name. Is it weird to reuse a middle name as a first name? My husband suggested Clara. I love it, but think it is too close to our younger daughter's name, Nora. We also both like Stella, but our oldest's name is Adelle. What do you think?

–Mom in a Middle Muddle

This can be a tough call! Is it okay to reuse a middle name for a younger sibling's first name? There are strikingly strong feelings on both sides. In some families, every child has the same middle name (say, Dad's first or Mom's maiden name). In others, a middle name can return as a first name without a second thought. And in still others, parents feel it would never be fair to give a child a name that's "used." The older siblings, if old enough to have an opinion, might love the practice—or hate it.

But you're certainly not alone. Many parents start the naming process with baby number 2, 3, or 4 and realize: Oops! They've already bestowed all their favorites on their older children. Maybe Claire feels right to you because you already know a pretty wonderful little girl named Adelle Claire!

To my ear, Stella and Adelle seem closer than Clara and Nora. But if Claire really is the standout choice for this baby? You wouldn't be the first parents to recycle a middle name, and you should not worry about doing it.

I'd advise you, though, that you will probably feel less comfortable using both of Adelle's names aloud once baby Claire is in the picture. If you're in the habit of doing that frequently, you might reconsider Claire after all. If you do choose Claire, be sure to give her a middle name that's distinctly different from Adelle, to reduce any bureaucratic confusion. Make it clear that Claire is her own person and you'll be all set.

Comments

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August 14, 2017 9:25 AM
By Laura T (not verified)

I would keep looking for other names. Sibling relationships can be competitive enough without adding that dimension. I will suggest Grace, Kate, Lucy, Anna, and Caroline as great alternatives to Claire.

August 14, 2017 11:09 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I agree with the previous comment. There are literally thousands of names out there besides Claire or Clara. There has to be at least one of those that you like. Will it be "perfect" no, nothing is. Will you like it as much as Claire? Probably not at first, but that's because Claire is already associated with someone you love. Pick a name you like, that is "good enough" and you'll learn to love it once it becomes the child.

Names similar to Claire: Clarissa, Adair, Blaire, Cleo, Claudia, Cecilia, Chloe.

Similar to Clara: Terra, Maura, Lara, Leia, Ada.

August 14, 2017 11:09 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I agree with the previous comment. There are literally thousands of names out there besides Claire or Clara. There has to be at least one of those that you like. Will it be "perfect" no, nothing is. Will you like it as much as Claire? Probably not at first, but that's because Claire is already associated with someone you love. Pick a name you like, that is "good enough" and you'll learn to love it once it becomes the child.

Names similar to Claire: Clarissa, Adair, Blaire, Cleo, Claudia, Cecilia, Chloe.

Similar to Clara: Terra, Maura, Lara, Leia, Ada.

August 14, 2017 12:05 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I know quite a few people whose first name is their siblings' middle name, and it never seemed weird to me.

Depending on the age of your eldest daughter, why not ask her?

August 14, 2017 2:32 PM
By Anonymous (not verified)

I really don't think you should reuse the name. The kid's going to get enough hand-me-downs in her life. Let her at least have a name of her own.

If there's ever any friction between the sisters, this will come up. "You stole my middle name!" or "Mom and dad like me best, that's why they named you after me." or "They didn't even want you, that's why they didn't bother to think of a name for you."

August 14, 2017 6:09 PM
By Kathleen Jones (not verified)

Why not. Just say you loved the name so much you used it again! Maybe give her a middle name that you can use with her first name on occasions to give her a little extra uniqueness. Also, how old is your daughter who has Claire as a md? I would ask her if she is ok with it and then if she says yes to go from there.

August 15, 2017 11:24 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Clara is a lovely name, and it isn't too close to Nora, unless you're eliminating every two-syllable name that ends in 'a'.

August 15, 2017 12:17 PM
By Jenny (not verified)

It happens in even the best of families... Queen Elizabeth's third child is Andrew Albert Christian Edward. Her fourth child has the first name Edward.

Also, she has children named Anne and Andrew, which would probably considered too close by many people.

August 16, 2017 3:53 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

Maybe you want the names to compliment each other and create unity with your and your spouse's preferences. I get it. Yet I think it's too close/redundant for a person's monicker to go ahead. I probably wouldn't like it. Just do a little more research, you'll find something especially since you do know what style you like. Friendly suggestion: look in your family tree you might find something that has the same charm, or like Violet, Hattie, Tess, Miriam, Margot, or Jillian...etc. The seem the vibe and don't sound like the siblings -and congratulations on her upcoming arrival!

August 18, 2017 7:10 PM
By Sally Odgers (not verified)

The only problem I see is that MAYBE it might come up that if you loved "Claire" so much why was it a second name originally? My sister's second name is Elizabeth and I think I'd have felt slighted if my parents had used it for me. (Mind you I DO feel slighted. They gave my sister two classic names and a family name but I got a diminutive and a classic and no third name.

August 19, 2017 8:31 AM
By Anonymous (not verified)

One of my brothers is named Samuel Benjamin. Another one is named Benjamin. It has never caused any problems. I say, if Claire is your favorite name, go for it.

August 21, 2017 2:55 PM
By AnneV (not verified)

Beryl
Daisy
Edith
Helen
Mavis
Poppy
Robin
Susan
Tansy
Wendy

WDYT?

August 21, 2017 9:03 PM
By Jan (not verified)

I think Stella is different enough to use - I like it!

August 25, 2017 2:16 PM
By Tessabelle (not verified)

I was just thinking of your first daughters first names and the Irish name Mairead came to mind.Each is distinctive, feminine and lovely to say aloud. Does it ring any chimes.BTEGEFIELD

October 21, 2017 10:52 PM
By AlysonJdn (not verified)

http://www.freeonlinecricketgames.net/index.php?task=profile&id=3404978

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