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Calling Dibs on Baby Names

Can You Reserve a Baby Name Before You're Even Pregnant?

Here's a post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we bring you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post about baby names.

Remember the episode of Sex and the City when Charlotte calls dibs on the name Shayla before she's even pregnant? I had a similar real-life experience the other day. A very good friend of mine told me I couldn't use a particular baby name, because she plans to. Except, she isn't pregnant.

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The name she loves isn't my style, but that's not the point. And I'm not pregnant either, but that's also not the point. What I found interesting is that a baby name was being reserved, years before it might, potentially, maybe not even, be used (after all, Charlotte on SATC ends up naming her daughters Lily and Rose). Can you even do that?


To play devil's advocate for a moment, what if I loved the baby name in question? Then I got pregnant before my friend. I'll admit, I would have a hard time not using the name just in case she ever wanted to. And really, what would be worse: feeling resentment because I didn't go with my first choice for a baby name or both of us having a baby with the same name?

I wouldn't dream of "stealing" her name though, because she is more important to me than some sort of moniker turf war. And even if this baby name was one of my favorites, I can't imagine us fighting over rights to it. We'd probably laugh, tell one another how we really felt, and come to an understanding.

Meanwhile, who knows if and when I will even have another child. If I do, though, I totally have some names picked out. Hmm . . . maybe I should submit a list of "off-limits" names to my friends and family, just in case. No, it definitely feels silly. It's like telling my husband that if Ben Affleck ever asks me out, I'm totally saying yes, and he can't get mad.

By the way, I've done that.

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If you really love the name, and don't want to step on your friend's toes, you can always use it as a middle name. She may never even end up using the name, and then a name you love is "wasted".

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