Hi. I am due with my second child in less than five days! My husband and I do not know what we're having, as we didn't with our first child; a beautiful daughter named Elise Claire. We are totally settled on a boy's name. He would be named after both of his grandfathers (William David). However, we just can't settle on a second girl's name.
We both feel as though we chose the two most lovely names for our daughter. Would it be wrong to use the name Claire for a second girl (as her first name)? We're thinking Claire Danielle, as my middle name is Danielle. Our last name is Muscarella, which I also like to keep in mind. We also like the name Lucy, but not as much as Claire.
Here are some of the options that we've discussed:
I love the first name Lucian(n)a, but hate the Italian pronunciation Loo Chee Ahna and don't know what could be used as a middle name so this is totally out.
Please help! We're desperate!
In the greater scheme of things, it wouldn't be a big deal to use the same name twice (especially since middle names aren't often known), and I know plenty of people have done it and for the very reason you'd be doing it. On the other hand, it means making it clear that the firstborn got the best two names in the whole world, and the secondborn got only one of them. And if I apply The Baby Name Wizard's test of "Would _I_ want this name if I were the baby?," I think no: I wouldn't have liked to have my sister's middle name as my first name.
It is almost always the case that parents use their first-choice names for the firstborn: we look for our favorite, and we use it. Sometimes we have a very close second choice to use later, but more typically we have to start from scratch. I suggest continuing to look for other names you also love, even if you don't love them as much as your first child's names. My guess is that with time, you will come to love the names nearly as much, if not just as much or more. Don't panic: you will have time to think, even after the baby is born.
It can be difficult to search if you're both stuck thinking you can't find anything you love as much. A stubbornness sets in: each new name possibility is compared to the favorite name and found lacking, and so is rejected. This is the same trouble a parent sometimes has when their first choice is rejected by the other parent: the parent can't begin the search for a new favorite until they realize their favorite WILL NOT be used and therefore they must drop it, and stop comparing everything to their not-going-to-be-used choice, and help look for another option. I suggest trying that as an exercise in this case: think to yourselves "We already used those two names. They are out of the name pool. We need to find our favorite from what's still in the pool."
I could suggest some names (Celeste, Camille, Cecile, Corinne, Genevieve, Simone---pretty much anything from the French section of The Baby Name Wizard that doesn't have an -el- sound or an -a ending) but if you are comparing each one to Elise and Claire, you'll reject the whole list. Keep in mind what we've already talked about: it is typical and normal to use the favorite name for the first child: we choose the name we like BEST, so you're not alone in having trouble finding another name you like identically well. It's about finding the NEW best. Compare each name possibility not to the names you've already used, but to the other names in the name pool: Don't think "Do we like the name Lucy as much as we like the name Elise?" Instead, think "Do we like the name Lucy more than all the other names in the name pool?"
Let's also have a poll about your original question, and see what people think about using one child's middle name as a subsequent child's first name. [Poll closed; see results below.]
Name update! Alayne writes:
Well, it was a girl! Elise Claire's new little sister is named Lucy Elizabeth Muscarella. I must confess, I was still quite anxious about selecting a name all the way up until the day I went into labor, which coincidentally was five days past my due date (you'd think the extra time would have helped in deciding!). I was so anxious about it that I had convinced myself, the day of, that Lauren needed to be the name if it were a girl (which wasn't on our list at all). Needless to say, the baby names books went with us to the hospital. In fact, Lucy wasn't named until the day following her birth, which in part was due to the fact that she was born five hours before my husband was to be the best man in his cousin's wedding (yes, the tux accompanied the baby names books to the hospital). I knew Lucy was the right name when I saw how happy my husband was to say it aloud. Plus, Lucy was born on August 6th, Lucille Ball's 100th Birthday. We took it as a sign! Thank you for all of your wonderful suggestions and especially to all of your followers who commented. We love our Lucy!