A mum-to-be says she doesn’t want to be forced to name her baby after her deceased nephew, because of her family’s tradition.

The expecting mum says her family have always had a tradition that the first child born after the loss of someone in the family, gets that late family member’s name as their middle name.

“My sister and I both have those middle names,” she explained. “Her’s is Patricia after a cousin of our mum’s and mine is Denise after my dad’s aunt.”

“Almost a year ago my sister lost her two-day-old son, Philip. He was the last family member we lost and it was a huge, earth shattering blow for our family.

“I found out I was pregnant a few months ago. I waited a while to tell anyone and my sister was the first person we told, privately. When I told her she said it would be nice to have some positive news to focus on and she wanted me to continue the tradition our family keeps and give my baby, if a boy, the middle name Philip. She was so happy about the idea. It surprised me a lot. I would have figured she would not be okay with it. But she wanted it.

“The problem is my husband and I do not want to continue with the tradition. We do not want to give our son the middle name Philip. The name isn’t one either of us likes or would ever pick ourselves. We have not announced the sex of our baby yet but my husband and I know we are expecting a boy.”

While the couple have come to the decision to end the family tradition, the rest of the family isn’t happy.

“My family were saying how amazing it will be if my baby is a boy and Philip’s name can be carried on. I suggested they wait until we announce the sex and the name before jumping to conclusions. They asked why and I said we were thinking of not continuing with the tradition.”

“My family, and by that I mean my parents mostly, were really upset. My sister was the worst though. She asked why I wouldn’t want to honour Philip and why it was him the tradition was getting broken. She asked if I saw him as meaning so little and I said no, of course not. Then she asked if it was his name and we didn’t like it. She said she really hoped it wasn’t that. I said we just didn’t feel like the tradition was something we wanted to continue.

“The decision has brought up a lot of bad feelings and my sister is especially angry and thinks I’m being insensitive and showing how little I care for my nephew. I feel terrible. She’s so angry at me and my parents are unhappy as well. My husband hates them for putting this pressure on us. He said we should be allowed to name our son what we want and we should not be obliged to use a certain name. I never wanted to be an a**hole but my family believes I am.”

What do you think the expecting mum should do? Does your family have a baby naming tradition? Let us know in the comments below. 

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  • It’s a tough one, but I think ultimately her child, her choice.


  • On my late husband’s side, the first son born was always called William. I think some traditions are nice but they should never be forced on you. Name your child whatever you wish and hopefully your family will understand. Stay strong


  • Definitely a hard choice. I would just say name your baby whatever you like they will get over it really quickly when they see the baby.


  • The OP was deemed NTA for this Reddit post, very valid response.


  • I don’t love the idea of most naming traditions. It’s built from guilt and pressure from family members. If someone wants to honour someone special in their lives by way of a middle of first name, lovely. But having the expectation to name someone after those who have passed is a little on the nose for me. What if you just don’t like the name (…or didn’t particularly like the person).


  • That’s really tough. Your family could end up resenting and blaming your husband, thinking he’s the reason why you have chosen to break with tradition. It’s your right to name your child what you want, within reason. Put it on your husband and say he thinks it’s a bad omen to name your child after someone who has passed before their time.


  • Real easy forget tradition some of the old names would make you bark. I think go with what makes you happy don’t listen to anyone else .Stand firm and do well .


  • Do what’s bests for you, it’s your baby


  • It’s your baby so its yours and your husband choice of names. Tradition or no tradition. Your family should be supportive of this.


  • Do what’s best for you it’s your choice I know you’d feel guilty but this is your little family and if you want change family is going to have to accept it


  • You should only do what you and your husband wish, your sister would understand.


  • A sad situation, but as upsetting as it is it would be even worse for you to give in to the pressure and name your boy what others want. Shame that it has to make what should be a joyful (though usually anxiety filled!) time into one of dread and negative pressure.


  • You do what is best for you – tradition or not. Its your life


  • I suspect this is particularly raw as it was a recent death, and a baby. But I still think you should break the tradition if it doesn’t suit you.


  • You and your husband have the right to name the baby what you want.
    Sometimes family traditions have to be broken.


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