The holidays are incredibly hard for families that are missing their baby who died. Loss parents search for ways to include their children and validate their existence. Many families find comfort in creating traditions that include their babies who died. This gift guide offers suggestions for new traditions and gifts to be given to the baby, as well as in their memory. Loss families will treasure these gifts and be so grateful that their babies were remembered, helping them feel less alone during the holidays after pregnancy, infant, and child loss.
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Many families find comfort in hanging a stocking for their baby who died, alongside every other member of their family. The stocking can match the family’s stockings, or it could be something unique and meaningful like this star and moon stocking. This is a beautiful tradition to start after the loss of a baby. Some families leave the stocking empty, and others fill it with letters, small gifts, holiday cards that are sent to their baby, a yearly ornament, and other things that are meaningful to the family.
Another lovely tradition is to get a Christmas ornament each year for your baby who died. It can be so special to hang these on your tree each year. Some families even have their own small Christmas tree where they display the ornaments for their baby who died. This year at PALS, we’re offering this beautiful, customized memorial ornament that is engraved with, “I love you past the moon and miss you beyond the stars. It can be customized with your baby’s name or the year. Orders close on December 10th to ensure holiday delivery, so don’t delay in ordering.
3. Write a letter to the baby who died
In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it can be crucial for loss parents to pause and spend some time connecting with their baby who died. A really meaningful way to do this is by writing a letter to your baby. You can ask your loved ones to write a letter as well. You can share how much you miss your baby, wonder about what they would be doing this year, and tell them about things that have happened throughout the year. These letters can be placed in the baby’s stocking and then kept in a scrapbook or keepsake box after the holidays.
How sweet are these customized pregnancy and infant loss peg dolls from Jen’s Pretty Pegs on Etsy? This would make a precious little gift to place in the baby who died’s stocking and then in their special space in the home. These can be customized with a symbol that is meaningful to the family.
Loss families have so few photos with their babies who died, so artwork that depicts their babies is absolutely treasured. Rachel Miller Creates illustrates absolutely stunning portraits that can be digitally downloaded and printed for the family. They can go in a scrapbook or be framed and hung in the family’s home. Rachel customizes them with items that are meaningful to the family, and they are just so special.
Books to Connect with Baby
6. Some Babies, written by Holly Ann Abel and Illustrated by Ally Chundak
Some Babies is such a sweet book that shares side by side the babies who join us earthside as well as the babies who don’t get to stay. “Some babies rest all snuggled in their mama’s arms. Some babies sleep amongst the brightest of stars.” While the words are simple, gentle, and rhyming poetry, and the illustrations soft and lovely, the meaning behind them is incredibly powerful. It’s inclusivity of living babies and babies who have died is such a gift for loss families. This would be an absolutely perfect book to gift a loss family grieving their baby this holiday season.
7. Dear Star Baby, written by Malcolm Newsome and Illustrated by Kamala Nair
Dear Star Baby is a precious letter written by a child to his unborn baby sibling, as he processes the grief he and his family experience after a miscarriage. He shares his onders, wishes, and sadness after this tremendous loss. The little boy imagines his baby sibling singing and twinkling in the night sky as he sleeps. The book opens at the holidays, making it an extra meaningful holiday gift.
8. In Memory of You: Guided Baby Memorial Journal by Autumn Cohen, Illustrated by Bridget Wallace
Babies who died deserve to have baby books too, but traditional baby books just don’t work. This absolutely lovely guided memorial journal, In Memory of You, was released this year and is already becoming a favorite in the loss community. It’s inclusive and created to give loss parents a space to remember their babies who died. It makes an incredibly thoughtful and meaningful gift.
Make a Donation in their Memory
9. Donate a gift to a child the same age the child would be
Many loss families love donating gifts they choose to holiday gift drives. It can be incredibly meaningful to choose a gift for a child the same age their child would have been and think about, “What would I give?” and what their child might be interested in that year. Family and friends can also make a donation to a gift drive in the baby’s memory, then send a card letting the parents know a donation was made. Toys for Tots is a popular gift drive, but also check your local area for local nonprofits that might be looking for toy and clothing donations at this time of year.
10. Make a Donation to PALS in the Baby’s Memory
Give the gift of hope in memory of the baby who died and to other parents experiencing pregnancy after loss by making a donation to Pregnancy After Loss Support. A donation of $40 (for the 40 weeks of pregnancy after loss) helps us provide support and hope through our Pregnancy After Loss App to individual members during their pregnancy. Donate now, and we will send an email to your loved one letting them know a gift has been made in their baby’s memory.