Tips for Picking Complementary Names for Siblings

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Choosing the name for your second or third child can be harder than deciding on a name for your first-born. Should the names be connected or should they be independent of each other? Many parents face this question, especially when they don't have a go-to family name they are expected to use next.

How to Choose a Great Name for Your Baby's Sibling

Assuming one sibling's name should complement the other's, here are a few methods to consider ​before baby number two comes along.

Select a Popular Name

Some parents want to choose names for their kids that are unique, original, and not overly popular. But there's no shame in picking a name that's in vogue for a first and second baby, especially since many of today's most-loved names are thematically similar.

Olivia, Charlotte, and Emma are some of the classic, slightly old-fashioned names that Millennial parents really like. Noah, Ethan, and Jacob, all Biblical names, have been near the top of the list for boys and would sound just fine as a set of brothers. And the most popular names of the day all mix and match nicely with each other, regardless of gender.

Pick Old-Fashioned Baby Names

Instead of going the popular route, parents might prefer to select names popular from a different period. Names like Mary, John, Helen, Henry, Anna, Charles, Margaret, or James would echo the 1920s.

If going for the 1960s, names like Lisa, David, Susan, Robert, or Karen would have symmetry for two or more siblings. Names popular during the same period can offer a unity of sound and sentiment.

Choose Names Based on Meaning

For some parents, a name's meaning is more important than how it sounds, and this is a lovely pattern to continue among siblings. 

Names that reflect a family's cultural or religious background can also provide a cohesive flow to for siblings' names, and make it clear that children are part of a larger tradition than just each other.

The Alliterative Sibling Name

Choosing a sibling name that begins with the same letter as your current children has long been a popular method of selecting names. Alliterative names tend to roll off the tongue in poetic fashion. Another option is to choose names that are not precisely alliterative, but that echo one another, such as Hannah and Lilah, or Mason and Ethan.

However, you need to be aware that sound-alike names may cause trouble when you are trying to get the attention of one child or the other in the future.

Names of Celebrities or Celebrity Baby Names

One thing that seems to fascinate more than a few people are celebrity names. Do you have a few favorite actors, singers, authors, or sports heroes? Or perhaps you are fascinated with war heroes, presidents, or pioneers in a certain field.

You can turn to their names as inspiration, or follow popular Hollywood baby names to choose the best monikers for your sibling sets.

Choose a Baby Name You Love

The alternative to picking out to complementary baby names is to simply not worry about making the names "fit" and just choose a name that you love.

And if they're old enough, a nice gesture would be to allow older siblings to offer some baby name suggestions of their own.

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