When I lost my baby early in gestation, burying her was not an option. Even though the physical act of her loss was extremely tangible, the fact that I never got to see or hold my baby made the loss feel intangible. I struggled to find ways I could memorialize my child and create a legacy from her short life. I needed some physical reminders around me that she lived, even though her life was brief.
Like grief, creating memories and legacies is extremely personal. What feels right to one couple might feel completely wrong to another. I’ve compiled a list of 50 creative ways you can memorialize your baby to help you choose what is right for you.
However you choose to memorialize your child, my hope and prayer is that you are surrounded with love, community and support as you mourn.
- Light a candle.
- Find a scent or perfume that reminds you of your baby, and where it when you want to think of them.
- Plant a flower or tree.
- Name your baby, no matter how early your baby passed or if you know the gender.
- Name a star after your child.
- Donate to a charity in their name.
- Do a random act of kindness.
- Ask others to do the same.
- Plan a memorial service.
- Wear this necklace of your baby’s heartbeat (you will need an ultrasound photo for them to create).
- Create a dedicated space in your home and display your baby’s photos and items.
- Have a memorial bear created from your baby’s clothes.
- Use your baby’s clothes or blankets to make a quilt.
- Get a weighted stuffed animal, like a Molly Bear, in the same weight as your baby.
- Get a tattoo of your baby’s footprints, heartbeat, word or symbol that is significant to you.
- Wear your baby’s name.
- Listen to a song that reminds you of your baby. Cry if you feel the urge while listening on repeat.
- Order a custom hand-drawn portrait that includes your whole family, including your baby gone too soon.
- Keep your baby’s worn clothes in sealed Ziploc to help preserve their smell.
- Create jewelry from your breastmilk, placenta, baby’s hair or ashes.
- Take family pictures and include your baby’s items or photo, or ask the photographer to edit in a shadow of your child at the age they should be.
- Create a baby book.
- Write letters to your baby.
- Share your birth story.
- Have your child’s photo age-progressed to see what they would look like now.
- Do a balloon release.
- Have a butterfly release.
- Light a lantern.
- Start a foundation or non-profit in your child’s name.
- Add your child’s name the memorial lighthouse for children.
- Donate children’s books to your local library in honor of your child.
- Raise funds for your child’s cause.
- Attend a remembrance walk.
- Create comfort items or baskets for families experiencing loss at your hospital.
- Create a blog or website dedicated to your baby.
- If you are able, create a mold from your child’s hands or feet.
- Wear your child’s birthstone (choose either loss month or month of the due date — there is no wrong way to do this.)
- Create a memory box.
- Wear your baby’s colors — perhaps the color scheme of the nursery, baby shower or pregnancy announcement.
- Purchase items with your baby’s monogram.
- Preserve or press the flowers you received after your loss.
- Give your baby an ornament and hang a stocking for them each Christmas.
- Write your child’s name in the sand.
- Order a graphic with your child’s name.
- Participate in a grief photo challenge, like this one from CarlyMarie.
- Celebrate on their birthdays or due dates.
- Create a collage from the sympathy cards you received.
- Donate your breastmilk to another baby in need.
- Observe Pregnancy Loss Awareness Day on October 15th each year and have your child’s name spoken during this online remembrance ceremony.
What have you done to memorialize your baby? Share below or in the comments . . .
Photo Credit: Annie Spratt at Unsplash
Rachel Lewis is a foster, adoptive and birth mom. She lost her second baby she named Olivia to a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, and had 4 miscarriages in the following 4 years. On the journey to becoming a family, she gave birth twice (once to a rainbow), adopted a precious daughter and fostered and released a darling son after a year and a half. When she’s not chauffeuring her kids around, you can find her shopping at Trader Joe’s, drinking coffee, or writing about her journey as a mom at www.TheLewisNote.com. Follow her on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/Thelewisnote. And join her online support group for bereaved and infertile mamas at Brave Mamas, https://www.facebook.com/groups/1657136001012257/