Experiencing a stillbirth is one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through. As time passes, you’ll find new ways to heal, move forward, and find meaning. One thing that will always stay with you is the memory of your baby.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- How Can You Celebrate or Remember a Stillborn Baby’s Birthday?
- What Should You Say on a Stillborn Baby’s Birthday?
- Memorial or Grief Gift Ideas for Parents on a Stillborn Baby’s Birthday
This memory is even stronger or more present on your stillborn’s birthday. This day can bring up feelings of grief, longing, deep love, reverence, and so much more.
Although they’re no longer with you, you can still celebrate their spirit and the impact they had on your life on the day of their birth.
If you’re wondering just how to honor your baby’s memory, we’ve got some ideas for you.
How Can You Celebrate or Remember a Stillborn Baby’s Birthday?
Celebrating and remembering a stillborn baby’s birthday provides families with not only the chance to honor the life that was lived but also create a healing experience for themselves.
On this day, you can create new traditions that you can practice each year as a way to come back to this feeling of remembrance. This celebration can be as big or as intimate as you want.
Different families will need different things in order to best support themselves and celebrate their little one.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Celebrate somewhere peaceful and meaningful
Is there somewhere that you went a lot during your or your partner’s pregnancy? Maybe there’s a park nearby that has meaning or a restaurant that you craved while you were pregnant. Or there could be a place you went after the stillbirth that brought you peace.
This can of course be a place in your own home or a family member’s home, too. Where will you feel the most supported and at peace celebrating?
2. Create a stillbirth memory box
Some people create a stillbirth or miscarriage memory box as a way to keep memories of the child they lost. It doesn’t matter how long after the death you create one. Creating one on your stillborn’s birthday is a heartfelt way to celebrate.
What do you put in a stillbirth memory box? You can add hospital bracelets, letters and journal entries, photos and ultrasounds, hand or footprints, mementos you’ve held on to like swaddling blankets or hats, and newborn clothes.
3. Nurture the parents
If you’re the parent, today is a day to nurture yourself. If you’re a loved one, it’s time to nurture the parent.
After carrying around the grief of losing their baby for a year or longer, parents deserve every ounce of nurturing they can get.
This could look like:
- Watching their other children or pets for the day
- Stocking their fridge with snacks and homemade meals
- Giving them a massage gift certificate
- Hiring a professional house cleaner or gardener
4. Create a memorial video
Friends or family of the parents can create a memorial video celebrating what an awesome job the parents are doing at living their lives.
You can talk about their strength and resilience, the impact of watching their journey, and what they mean to you. You can even collect videos from other loved ones and compile them together.
5. Create a new tradition
The anniversary of a death is a day to honor cultural or familial traditions and create new ones that are meaningful to you.
You may go somewhere in particular, like a body of water or a special restaurant, or light a special candle, get a special cake, or have a delicious meal.
Whatever it is, all that matters is that it’s meaningful to you and your family.
6. Get a tattoo
If you’re thinking about getting a tattoo in your baby’s honor, this is a meaningful day to do so. The tattoo could be your baby’s name, birthday, a flower, or something else that symbolizes them.
If tattoos aren’t for you, you can instead get a piece of commemorative jewelry and have it personalized.
7. Give back
Giving back your time or resources is a great way to honor a life. You can volunteer at a local organization or shelter, or find mutual aid funds to support.
There may also be a specific cause that you want to support on this day. It could be to support research towards a medical condition that your baby had or an organization that supports people after a stillbirth, like International Stillbirth Alliance, The Compassionate Friends, or March of Dimes.
8. Plant a tree
Trees give constant support through the gift of oxygen and show connection through their intricate root systems.
Planting a tree is a meaningful way to celebrate the birthday of a stillborn. This could be a fruit tree that continues to provide for the family, a tree that blossoms beautiful flowers, or another tree that is significant to the family.
If you have no space to plant a tree, you can also plant a tree in memory of someone with organizations like A Living Tribute.
9. Remembrance arts and crafts
Arts and crafts are a way for the whole family to gather together and create something to honor the loss of your baby. Pinterest is full of arts and crafts ideas for stillborn birthdays.
Here are some you can try:
- Get some clay and let everyone create their own tribute
- Create fairy dust necklaces
- Create a garden shrine
- DIY commemorative jewelry
It doesn’t just have to be a complicated craft. You can make music together, cook together, garden together, or just be in each other’s company.
What Should You Say on a Stillborn Baby’s Birthday?
It can be difficult to decide what to say to someone on the birthday of their stillborn, or as a parent, to find the right words to honor your baby.
As a loved one, what matters is that you’re still showing up and that you’re there for the parents and the memory of the baby. Here are some ideas of what to say.
1. In loving memory
There are so many different ways to say “In loving memory”. Although so simple, this phrase holds in it the power of memories and the love we have for those we have lost.
This may read “In loving memory of the child of (insert parent’s name)” or “In loving memory of (baby’s name)”.
2. Read a poem
You may want to write a poem about the baby or for the parents or siblings that honors their journey.
Another option is to read a death anniversary poem like one of these:
"Stillbirth” by Laure-Anne Bosselaar
“On My First Son” by Ben Jonson
“Dirge” by William Shakespeare
3. Talk about your journey
If you’re the parent of a stillborn baby, you can honor their life by talking about the impact they had on you.
What did they teach you about living, dying, and being a parent? How did they change your idea of love? What have you learned in your journey of healing after their death? What would you like them to know?
There’s no right or wrong thing to say. Speak from the heart, and allow the words to pour through you. You can always say it in a poem or song, if that works better for you!
Memorial or Grief Gift Ideas for Parents on a Stillborn Baby’s Birthday
If you’re attending a stillborn’s birthday celebration, you may want to find gifts that celebrate the baby’s life or that focus on the parents and their needs. Here are some stillborn gift ideas.
1. Personalized memorial items
Parents of a stillborn baby will greatly appreciate personalized items that help commemorate the loss of their child.
With so many great gifts you can personalize, Etsy is a great place to search, while also supporting small businesses.
You can get your loved ones personalized jewelry, a wind chime, mugs and household items, a commemorative plaque, a decorative plate, or something else!
Flowers are an incredible way to show someone you care about them. They uplift the spirit and bring beauty and joy when you see them. Some popular baby funeral flowers are baby’s breath, daffodils, and roses.
You may also want to consider something that lasts longer than a bouquet of flowers like a houseplant (an orchid is a good choice) or memorial plant for their yard.
3. Self care basket
Parents need support, especially on the birthday of their stillborn. A self-care basket shows that you’re remembering the needs of the parents and what they need on this day.
Some things you can include in your self-care basket are fuzzy socks, bath bombs, positive affirmation cards, books, massage oils, snacks, and treats.
How to Honor a Stillborn Baby’s Birthday: Eight Ideas
On this difficult day, you deserve celebration, community, peace, and space to honor your baby in a way that feels meaningful to you.
Everyone will approach their stillborn’s birthday differently. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate when it comes to honoring the life of your lost little one.