11 Ideas for a Baby Memorial
Losing a baby is one of the worst things that can happen to a parent. On top dealing with a terrible loss, parents are generally expected to plan a memorial, and most memorial resources are focused on adults. If you’ve recently lost a baby or infant, here are some ways you can memorialize your baby and bring a sense of remembrance and peace to your mind.
1. Plant a tree in their name
When you plant a tree in someone’s memory, it can be a living and long lasting memorial. Depending on the species, trees can live for anywhere from a hundred years to over a few thousand years. Additionally, planting trees helps the environment immensely by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and providing oxygen to all living things. You have the option of planting your own tree that’s near you or planting a tree via a service. Trees planted with a service, such as Arbor Day Foundation, are generally planted in national forests. Planting a tree in honor of your baby also gives you a peaceful and permanent place to visit and feel close to them. With time, your planted tree will grow and exist as a living memorial to your baby.
2. Name a star after them
You’re likely familiar with the names of many galaxies or constellations, even if you don’t know the history behind the names. Naming stars and constellations after people has been a tradition and practice that started as early as 1922. Many of those who choose to name a star after a loved one find peace, comfort, and joy knowing that they can walk out into the night, look up at the sky, and point out the star that was officially named after their loved one. When you choose to name a star, certain services also guarantee that the only stars available for naming are those that are visible to the naked eye, meaning that you’ll be able to see the star you’ve chosen for your baby. These names are also registered in international registries that allow you to locate and retrieve your star record at any time. If you’d like to, you also have the option of naming constellations and binary stars, depending on the service.
3. Create a garden in their honor
Memorial gardens serve as places of remembrance and peace that loved ones can visit, tend to, and decorate as they see fit. Starting a memorial garden for your baby gives you a physical place to remember your baby and for others to honor your loss. Memorial gardens are often decorated with memorabilia, painted rocks and stones, and can include flat markers with engraving that let others know the purpose of the memorial garden.
4. Commission a portrait
Parents may not have had time to take as many photographs and pictures of their new child as they would have liked to, or the photos that were taken may be too painful for parents to look at. An alternative to photographs is to commission a piece of artwork from an artist of your baby. Artists can work with you and your family to create a piece of art that will allow you to remember your baby in a way that speaks to you.
5. Create a shadow box
A shadow box is a box that holds a specific set of items (usually following a theme) that has a glass front so that people can see the contents inside. Creating a shadow box for your baby allows you to store objects and display items that you’d like to remember your baby by. Shadow boxes are available at most craft stores and are completely customizable; you can paint your shadow box in colors you like and include any mementos from your child’s life that you find special. Some items that could be included in a baby memorial shadow box would include onesies, hospital gowns or wristbands, pregnancy tests, clothes, toys, or other trinkets and keepsakes you deem special.
6. Create a memorial website
Creating a memorial website is a great way to memorialize your baby online. Memorial websites stay up indefinitely, remind those visiting of special anniversaries, have unlimited space for memories and photos, and are easily shareable to and accessible by your community. Having a single place for your loved ones to remember your baby and support you and yours during such a difficult time can be healing for many parents, who often feel alone after losing a baby.
7. Decorate or paint your baby’s castings
Most hospitals take imprints of a baby’s foot after they’re born as a method of recordkeeping. If you are able to, have casts of your baby’s hands and feet done in the hospital. Casts are usually made out of plaster and become sturdy keepsakes parents can use to remember their baby by. These casts can also be decorated, painted, and stored alongside other keepsakes you’ve made. If you’re unable to get a cast of your baby’s hands and feet, you may want to check with your hospital to see if it’s possible to get a copy of the baby’s foot imprints which you can then turn into a piece of art.
8. Write letters to your baby
Many families find writing to be an effective and comforting outlet for their grief and loss, especially for the loss of a baby. You can write letters to your baby including any content you see fit. Some parents may prefer to write short stories to their baby, letting them know what they would’ve done or would be doing with them if they were still with them; other parents like to write letters to their baby on specific anniversaries or special occasions. You’ll also be able to go back and read your letters to your baby whenever you want to.
9. Wear memorial jewelry
There are many different types of memorial products out there to help you memorialize your baby. Some of the most common ones include many different types of jewelry, including cremation jewelry. If you had your baby cremated, you can find cremation jewelry that lets you store some of your baby’s ashes inside a small vessel that’s attached to your jewelry of choice. If your baby wasn’t cremated, you can use a lock of hair in place of cremains. You can also have cremains turned into diamonds if you prefer to have your baby memorialized in that manner. Aside from jewelry, you can have Shutterfly albums created if you have photographs from your pregnancy and time spent with your baby; you can create a scrapbook on your own time, including favorite stories and mementos; you can look into memorial products such as benches and stones.
10. Get a tattoo
Tattoos last a lifetime and are often used to remember lost loved ones. Popular tattoo choices when it comes to memorialization are portraits, names, and symbols. If you’re interested in having your baby’s portrait tattooed, you should make sure you do your research on tattoo artists in your area that specialize in portraits. Since tattoos are permanent, it’s important to make sure you’re getting exactly what you want. You can also choose to have your baby’s name tattooed or a symbol or scene that reminds you of your baby. Some may also choose to have a quote or short sentence that they remember their baby by.
11. Sew a quilt
Baby blankets and quilts are common for many parents, who want to give their baby a method of self-soothing. If you have baby blankets your baby used, or pieces of clothing your baby wore, you can turn these items into a quilt. Quilting involves sewing these pieces of clothing and mementos together to form a larger, patchwork quilt. This is a great way to memorialize your baby, keep their items close, and have something tactile and close that you can use to remember them by.
If you’re looking for support or for help after losing your baby, you can find other parents and families to connect with on the Grief Support forums.