Buying a gift after a baby is born is supposed to be an exciting adventure to celebrate a happy milestone. However, if the baby is stillborn, choosing a gift becomes a sad and difficult experience. Memorial gifts help a grieving family remember the life they lost.
Have a piece of jewellery made with the baby's birthstone for the grieving parents. Custom jewellery is available at many jewellery stores. Have one stone for the baby and one for each parent on either side. If there are other children in the family, include them as well. Lockets or charm bracelets are another idea.
Baby books and scrapbooks help families remember the milestones of a child. Since the life of this child ended abruptly, the parents will not have an opportunity to make a scrapbook of the child's life. If you are close with the family, ask them for pictures of the pregnancy, ultrasound photos, scraps from the blanket used to wrap the baby in at the hospital, medical bands and the death certificate. Use these items to make a scrapbook of the child. Include any bit of mementos that help remind the family of the good times. Or, make a memory box. Similar to the scrapbook, place all the special items into a special wooden box with a memorial plaque on it.
If you are skilled at sewing, make the family a memory quilt. Ask the parents for clothing, blankets or burp cloths from the child. Cut them into squares and design a quilt from it. The finished product helps remind the family of the dreams they had for their child.
Purchase a Star
Star registries give you the opportunity to purchase a star and have it named after the lost child. For some parents, it will be as if their child is looking down on them from above and may bring them peace.
Design a Stuffed Animal
There are companies that give you the opportunity to design your own stuffed animal. Choose an animal design that matches the nursery theme of the baby or a favourite animal of the family. For example, Remember Me Bear allows you to send a scrap of fabric in to have a bear made (see Resources). This could be an baby outfit, blanket or a piece of bedding. Another example is Build-A-Bear Workshop. Choose the animal you wish to build. Then, along with the little plush heart they give you to put inside, include another special item to represent the child, such as a lock of hair, a baby bracelet or a piece of a baby blanket.
Families who have a home garden will appreciate a memorial stone or memorial bench for the garden. Or consider purchasing a tree for the family to add to their garden. Choose a young tree so as it grows, the family has the positive reminder of a child growing up.