By Lisa Milbrand
May 30, 2014
Baby Name Dilemma 28259

Lately, people have become very territorial about their baby names—leading to lots of drama when a friend or family member picks your secret dream name first. That's the issue reader Vanessa's up against:

We've always had our hearts set on Sebastian as a name for our unborn son (before we had children), who already has a sister Clementine. However, a close friend has also chosen this name for his son (born a year ago). We live in different countries and I have asked if they would mind us using this name to which they said, they would be "funny" about.

What to do? Things are we considering: - We don't live in the same country - We don't like any other names as much - We have many mutual friends and will come across as arrogant to everyone considering he has voiced his opinion

Other names we like: - Charlie although we don't like Charles and are hesitant to use a "nickname" as official name. Goes with Clementine as starts with C and ends with E. - Archer - grandparents hate this name.

Unfortunately, you're in a tough spot. Since your friend has said they wouldn't like you to use Sebastian, you'll need to decide if it's more important to use your favorite name or to keep their friendship (and possibly, the friendships of some other people in your circle, who might be offended that you "stole" the baby name). Because it's likely that they may not take your decision to use the name despite their protests well.

Charlie and Archer are two of my favorite boys' names as well, but since there are issues with both of them, let's work on coming up with something that's in the same wheelhouse as Sebastian, Charlie and Archer. I like the name Jasper, which has the "er" sound like Archer and a similar cadence of hard and soft consonants as Sebastian. It's the name of a precious stone, and I think it's a lovely pairing with Clementine (another gem of a name, I might add!).

Tristan, Sullivan, Harrison and Simon all follow the lines of Sebastian—I especially love Sullivan paired with Clementine. If Archer gets some bad press from the relatives, try similar classic names Arthur, Alistair or Sawyer. Four classic names I happen to love that I think would work for your situation: Holden, Roman, Henry and Finnegan.

Tell us: Would you name your child the same thing as your friend's child? And what other name suggestions do you have for Vanessa?

If you're still looking for a baby name, check out our Baby Name Finder, or email me at for advice. And don't forget to like In Name Only on Facebook to keep up with the very latest in baby names.