Katherine Heigl's son Joshua Bishop Jr. may be named after her husband Josh Kelley, but settling on his name was not an easy decision

By Dave Quinn
April 19, 2017 01:20 PM

Katherine Heigl and her husband Josh Kelley welcomed their son Joshua Bishop Jr. four months ago. And though their new baby is named after his father, settling on his moniker was not an easy decision.

“I couldn’t come up with a name for ages,” the 38-year-old actress confessed on Jimmy Kimmel Live! Tuesday night. “I don’t know why, I just struggled with it. It’s a big thing, and you don’t want to fail this child with the wrong name.”

Heigl, whose new thriller Unforgettable hits theaters Friday, told Jimmy Kimmel that she found out she was having a son 10 weeks into her pregnancy — and only decided on his name before giving birth.

“I think Joshua is a beautiful name. And one night I sort of broached it with [Josh]: ‘How do you feel about a junior?’ ” Heigl explains. “In the past he said, ‘Oh I hate that idea, I would never be that guy.’ [But] I just wasn’t finding something I was responding to. And he was like, ‘Oh I love that, that would mean a lot to me.’ “

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Rather than relief, Heigl felt frustration. “I was like, ‘Well, maybe had I known that nine months ago, I would have had a name sooner!’ ” she jokes.

Naming her son after his father made sense for the actress though — whose two daughters Adalaide Marie Hope, 5, and Naleigh, 8, share names from their mom’s side of the family.

“I did give my middle daughter my middle name, and I named my oldest after my mother and sister,” Heigl says. “That’s why I wanted this one to have Josh’s family — Josh’s name.”

With his name now set, though, the Grey’s Anatomy alum is hopeful her son will stick with it and not go by too much of a nickname. “I don’t want him to be a Joshy. Or a Junior. Or a J.J.,” she said.

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Heigl previously opened up to PEOPLE shortly after Joshua’s birth, discussing how his arrival has affected their new family of five, who reside in Utah.

“This little boy is going to have all these girls fawning over him,” she admitted, adding, “We’re at the point where we’re really obsessed with him!”

“With a newborn, you’re forced to be still … and you have this beautiful reason to do that.”