Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Naming premature boy

10 March, 2008


I wanted to ask a question about naming a premature baby. I just gave birth to a boy, but he is three months premature, and so he won't be able to come home from the neonatal intensive care unit for at least two and a half months. I wanted to know what the halacha is for naming an infant in this case. I know you are normally supposed to wait until the Brit, but he won't be ready for a brit for a very long time…
Thanks very much for your help.


Mazal tov on the birth of your baby! 

It would be permissible to give your child a name early over the Torah.  The name would enable you to make a prayer for refuah with a proper name.  Couples in this position usually choose a name that expresses their hopes for the baby's healing, such as "Refael" or "Hayyim".  At the brit, you might choose to change the name, adding a name before or after it.

May you and your baby have a refuah sheleimah and may he follow in the footsteps of Moshe Rabbeinu, who, according to the midrash, was born after only six months of pregnancy.


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