Ways to Honor and Memorialize Your Baby
Updated: Mar 1
When we lost our baby, I was desperate for a way to memorialize him and remember him. I felt like I had no physical proof that he existed, and that did not feel right to me. I wanted to do something that would be as permanent as he will forever be in our hearts. I chose to get a tattoo because that was the most permanent thing I could think to do. I had always waffled on whether or not I wanted a tattoo because I didn’t think I could ever decide what I would want forever on my body. After our miscarriage, though, I knew that a tattoo was perfect for me. I will never regret having “proof” of our baby tattooed on my body. A tattoo may or may not be right for you, and that is perfectly fine. Hopefully you find this list of suggestion helpful, and perhaps it will help you get the creative juices flowing to come up with your own special memorial.
Talk about your baby by name
I highly encourage you to name your baby, even if you did not yet know the gender. We talk about our baby, Samuel, as another one of our sons. We only knew about him for 4 weeks before we lost him, but he is still very much a part of our family. We keep his memory alive in our hearts by talking about him, and my husband and I consider ourselves to be parents of three boys, not two.
Hold a memorial service
Many of us do not get the opportunity to have a funeral and receive the closure that it can provide. Mourning rituals are an important part of the grieving process.
Have a service with your partner and children in your backyard, or get together with close friends and family to memorialize your child.
Plant a flower or tree
This can easily be incorporated into a memorial service. Rose bushes and Dogwood trees make beautiful memorials, but feel free to choose a favorite plant that grows well in your area.
Purchase a piece of jewelry
A friend of mine made this necklace for me, and I love the reminder of how teeny tiny our sweet baby was. Find it here.
Please note: this is a friend’s Etsy shop. We are not affiliates of this small business, nor do we have any kind of business relationship. Any purchase you make through her shop does not benefit Heard + Held.
Make or buy a Christmas ornament
The organization “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” has their own personalizable ornaments. You can find them here.
Etsy is a great place to find handmade, personalized ornaments, and you know that you are supporting an artist’s small business at the same time! Check out this ceramic floral remembrance ornament.
Or this crochet heart ornament.
You could also get creative and either make one yourself or find one to have custom-made.
Frame a photo or ultrasound picture
Once again, Etsy has a great selection of personalize remembrance photo frames, like this one.
You could display the photo anywhere in your home that you feel comfortable, or you could keep it in a special place and only take it out at certain times.
Get a tattoo
This is the tattoo I have on my arm. My husband designed and drew the tattoo, and it also serves as the inspiration for our logo! I also have our baby’s name tattooed on my rib close to my heart.
Do a Google Images search, start a Pinterest board, or create your own design like we did!
Get a heartbeat painting
If you have the resources, this is a beautiful visual of your little one’s heartbeat. Especially with an early miscarriage, we may not have “proof” that our baby existed, but you can have this made with any clip of an ultrasound heartbeat.
Make a donation in their honor
You could donate to a nonprofit organization that supports pregnancy and infant loss research or awareness, as well as organizations like ours that care for those who are grieving the loss of their baby.
If your child spent time in the NICU, you could make a donation or send a gift to the staff to thank them for their care.
If you are part of a faith community, you can donate to your church or place of worship in honor of your little one.
Have a life-size doll or bear made
This may sound kind of strange, but hear me out. These life-size dolls can be made to the exact length and weight of your newborn or infant. It can be a reminder of what they felt like in your arms, and it allows you to hold them for more than the few minutes you may have gotten with them in the hospital.
Join the Wave of Light on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day
Every year on October 15th, loss families around the world light a candle on their porch at 7 p.m. in their own time zone so that the whole 24-hour period is lit up in remembrance of babies lost around the globe.
Learn more on the Baby Loss Awareness Week website.
Remember them on their birthday or due date
You may choose to do this privately, with your children and partner, or with friends and family. You can host a dinner or even plan a small birthday party.
Write a letter to them on holidays, birthdays, and/or other important dates.
Writing letters can help you feel connected to your little one, even years after their loss. Some parents hang up a stocking for their angel baby at Christmas and fill it with letters and lists of gifts they would have liked to have given.
However you choose to honor your baby, we highly encourage you to do something. It helps to provide closure, and it also keeps you connected to your baby and acknowledges the precious life that was loved and lost.