50+ Things to Say to Someone Who Lost a Baby or Miscarried

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Losing a baby is traumatic, and there are no perfect words to say to someone who has suffered such a tremendous loss. Saying “sorry for your loss” just doesn’t seem quite right when you’re expressing condolences to someone who has lost a child.

Our Picks to Pair with Your Condolences

Jump ahead to these sections:

Instead of worrying about whether your words are perfect, it may be more important for you to be present. Sometimes just being there is the best thing you can do. 

Here are some words you may consider saying to someone who lost an infant or toddler. 

Post-loss tip: If the child that has passed away is an adult child and you are the executor for a deceased loved one, the emotional and technical aspects of handling their unfinished business can be overwhelming without a way to organize your process. We have a post-loss checklist that will help you ensure that your loved one's family, estate, and other affairs are taken care of.

What to Consider When Crafting Your Message

Those who have experienced the death of a child say that it is unlike other types of loss. Remember this as you write a sympathy message to a friend or family member.

Here are some other things to consider when writing a condolence message.

Typically, such a note is addressed to a specific person. 

This follows with an acknowledgment of the death, such as “we were deeply saddened to hear about the loss of your baby.” Most people avoid using the word “death.”

You might follow the acknowledgment with a positive comment about the child. An example of this could be “Sammy had a smile that could light up a room” or “Even though she had a short life, Samantha was loved by many.”

Some people close sympathy notes by offering support or letting the person know that you are thinking of them. Examples include “I’ll always be there for you . . . day or night. Just give me a text, and I’ll come over” or “I’ll text next week to figure out a convenient time when I can deliver a meal.”

You might consider including a carefully-chosen quote about loss or grief. If the person shares your faith, you might want to select and share a passage from the Bible within the message.

Finally, end your message with an appropriate closing, such as “thinking of you,” “with sympathy,” or “with love.”

The sympathy message doesn’t have to be long. After all, you may feel that there’s little you can say to offer solace to your friend. The fact that you took the time to offer condolences will mean a lot to the family in grief. 

Don’t expect a response to your message. In fact, don’t be offended if your friend avoids contact with you for a while. Some people prefer to be alone in their grief. So periodically offer support and connection. But know that they may have a difficult time interacting with others for a while. 

» MORE: Need help with funeral costs? Create a free online memorial to gather donations.

What NOT to Say to Someone Who Lost a Baby

We know you may be nervous about what to say to a friend grieving the loss of a child. While we don’t want to make you more anxious over your encounter with your friend, there are some phrases you may wish to avoid. 

“I know what you are going through.” 

Most counselors advise people to avoid comparing their grief with someone who recently suffered a loss. Saying “I know what you are going through” puts the focus on what happened to you.

While this is generally great advice, your friend may appreciate connecting with another person who went through this specific type of traumatic event. However, instead of implying that you experienced the exact kind of grief, you may simply state, “I miscarried a child three years ago” or “I lost my two-month old baby to SIDS.” Then leave the ball in their court.

“You’re young” and/or “You’ll have more children.”

Statements like these are never helpful. They imply that a child is a commodity that is easily replaced instead of being a unique, separate person. 

“At least you have Jimmy.”

Reminding your friend or family member of their surviving child isn’t helpful. Even if the parents had ten other surviving children, they are still suffering from the death of their baby.

“God has a plan.”

Even if you and the deceased’s parents are people of faith, avoid stating that the child’s death was part of God’s plan. This hurtful statement implies that God wanted the child to die. 

“It was for the best.”

It doesn’t matter what kind of health issue the child experienced. It is never appropriate to imply that the death of a child was “for the best.” Additionally, avoid making a comment like this to pass judgment on the parent’s situation, age, or socioeconomic level.

What to Say to Someone Who Lost a Baby or Toddler

Example of what to say to someone who lost a baby over an image of baby clothes and toys

How do you console someone who is grieving the loss of a baby or toddler? Here are a few phrases to consider, whether you're sending a thoughtful sympathy gift or delivering a case of fresh-cut flowers.

We know that they may sound hollow to a person who went through a traumatic event, but it’s important to try to offer some words of sympathy.

1. “I don’t know what to say.”

Don’t feel as if you need to give a long speech to your friend who lost a baby or toddler. Instead, you may just hug your friend and admit that you don’t know what to say. This honesty may be greatly appreciated.

2. “I’m here to listen.”

The person who lost the child may be going through a wide variety of emotions. Allow him or her to express feelings without judgment. Listen quietly and let him or her share.

3. “I don’t know what to do right now.”

You may feel compelled to offer suggestions to set things right. It would be a mistake to try to provide solutions to a grieving parent right now. Never say, “You’ll be able to have another baby.” Do not suggest that the baby’s death “was God’s plan.” Let the hurting parents grieve.

4. “A life need not be long-lived for it to have been meaningful.” — Unknown 

Consider sharing this quote with a person who lost a child. This phrase explains to a parent that his or her child’s life was meaningful even though it was short.

You may want to consider other baby loss quotes to share with a hurting mom or dad. Instead of reading them to the parent, consider sharing them through a letter or text so he or she can revisit the sentiments at different stages of the grieving process.

5. “I will be praying for you.”

If the person who lost a child believes in a higher power, he or she may appreciate your prayers. Keep in mind that this devastating loss may cause your loved ones to question their beliefs. Some people become angry when they lose a young child. Be prepared for this kind of reaction.

6. “I’m here for you.”

This open-ended statement allows a grieving person to express how you may be of help. Perhaps the heartbroken parent will ask you to assist in funeral planning.

Maybe your friend or loved one will ask you to take care of his or her other children. Maybe your friend will not be able to respond.

If you're looking for a quote instead, read our guide on quotes about babies for more.

What to Say to Someone Who Lost a Stillborn Baby

What do you say to someone who lost a baby at birth? Again, this is one of the most traumatic things a person can experience. Your friend or family member may have a decorated nursery waiting but will have to go home empty-handed and with a broken heart. 

7. “Can I bring you a meal?”

Your friend is grieving the death of a family member. He or she will probably not be able to concentrate on life’s more mundane activities for quite a while. Take care of some of those tasks by providing a meal. Or, if you aren't nearby, you can always send them a pretty package full of snacks, like this gourmet charcuterie and cheese box.

8. “I know how much you loved this baby. I’m so sorry for your loss.”

You may be the type of person who wants to do something for a person who is grieving, but it’s also important to offer comforting words as well. In addition to providing a meal, this quote allows you to acknowledge a loved one’s grief. 

9. “Remember to be kind to yourself. Give yourself time to heal and grieve.”

When a woman gives birth to a stillborn child, she still has to recover physically from labor and delivery. Remind your friend to take things slow for her physical and mental health.

10. “Our entire family grieves with you.”

Tell your friend that you’re also grieving the loss of the child. Sometimes parents feel isolated in their heartbreak, especially if the child who was lost never had a chance to experience life outside of the womb.

Remind your friend that you share in her grief — it may make her feel less alone.

11. “You and _______ are in my heart.”

If the stillborn baby had a name, make sure to use it when talking about the infant. Saying the name may help the parent know that you understand he or she grieves the loss of a real person.

12. “I love you, and I’m so sorry you are going through this pain.”

Don’t try to use flowery words. Don’t feel as if you need to give long speeches. Instead, simply speak from the heart. 

What to Say to Someone Who Miscarried

Example of what to say to someone who miscarried over an image of a teddy bear

You may or may not know when someone miscarries. If you do know that a woman recently lost a child, here are some things you might consider saying.

13. “I’m so sorry for your loss.”

A person often says, “I’m sorry for your loss,” to a person who lost a husband, parent, or grandparent. Why wouldn’t you say the same thing to someone who miscarried a child? The grieving process is the same, so one should treat it the same way.

14. “I know you are hurting right now.”

You may consider sharing your own experiences when offering condolences for a miscarriage. Do this carefully. Instead of saying, “I know exactly how you feel,” say, “I also lost a baby.”

Instead of saying, “I got over it, so you will, too,” say, “I know you are hurting right now.”

15. “What can I do for you?”

You may want to make specific suggestions on how you could help the grieving parent during this time of grief.

For example, you might want to ask if the parents want you to share the news with others in their inner circle of friends and family.

16. “Here is the information for a support group for grieving parents.”

Your friends may benefit from attending a support group for people who have miscarried. Search online for a group in your area.

17. “Remember, you are not alone.”

Don’t allow your friend to feel isolated in her grief. Remind her that you will be there for her to talk about the loss. Also, remember that the father may also be affected deeply by the loss of the child as well.

18. “It’s okay that you don’t feel okay.”

Let your friend know that her feelings are valid, no matter what they are. Let her express her emotions. Be open when she shares them with you.

She may feel anger as well as sadness. She may feel frightened and heartbroken. Don’t discount any of her emotions. 

What to Text or Message Someone Who Lost a Baby

Different people grieve differently. And individuals grieve differently depending on the situation. 

This means that some parents who have lost a child may be encouraged when surrounded by those who love them. However, other people may simply want to be left alone with their grief.

So, is it appropriate to send a text message to someone who has lost a child? Or is it better to call or visit in person? It depends on who you ask.

As you consider what method would be best for this situation, here are some messages to send to someone who lost a baby.

19. “Are you up for a visit?”

Asking someone if they are “up for a visit” infers that you would understand if the answer is “no.” Don’t be insulted if your friend doesn’t want to be around you during this time. Remember – it’s not about you.

You might consider asking again after a few days or weeks pass. 

20. “I left some flowers at your front door. I’ll give you a call in a few days. Until then, know that I am thinking about you.”

If you know that your friends are the type of people who need to be alone in their grief, respect this. 

21. “I don’t know what to say or what to do.” 

As we mentioned earlier, sometimes it’s better to admit that you are at a loss for words. 

22. “Sending virtual hugs. I’ll give you a real one soon.”

Don’t be offended if your friend doesn’t text you back. Instead, give them time to take care of themselves or other close family members.

23. “No need to reply. I just want you to know that I’m so sorry that you suffered a miscarriage. I love you, and I’m thinking of you and your entire family.”

You may want to remind the person that there’s no need to reply to your message.

What to Say to Someone Who Lost a Baby After a Long Illness

Please do not imply that a family would be relieved that their baby died – even if the child suffered a long illness. Instead, here are some reassuring and loving things to say in sympathy.

24. “You were a wonderful caregiver.”

Being a caregiver is never easy. Every part of your life has to be focused on the health and well-being of your loved one. Being a caregiver is the most selfless of all acts. 

25. “Your baby was loved by many.”

It might help to remind the parent that others are hurting over the death of their child.

26. “Beatrice was a beautiful child.”

Remember, the child had a name that the parents lovingly and purposely chose. Use the name when offering condolences.

27. “Wishing you peace and comfort.”

Whether you are writing a note to accompany the delivery of a plant or signing a sympathy card, this is a beautiful and appropriate statement to write before signing your name. If you are a person of faith, you could also write “praying for peace and comfort.”

28. “Be gentle with each other.”

The loss of a child sometimes destroys relationships. 

29. “One day at a time.”

This phrase is sometimes a helpful reminder for those who experienced a tragedy.

30. “I love you.”

Sometimes the best sympathy message is these three little words.

31. “Grief is something you never really get over, but you put it in a place inside you and deal with it in the way you have to.” – Laura Branigan

Consider sharing this quote with your friend to emphasize that grief is not something you “get through.”

32. “Sorrow makes us all children again – destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest know nothing.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Consider sharing this quote if you have nothing else to say.

33. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” – Reinhold Niebuhr

This famous quote may offer some comfort.

34. “Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love.” – Earl Grollman

We love how Grollman uses the word “necessity” when describing grief. 

35. “Tears are God’s gift to us. Our holy water. They heal us as they flow.” – Rita Schiano

Your friend may look at tears differently if reminded that they are “healing.”

What to Say to Someone Who Lost a Baby Suddenly

While we have attempted to give you the right words to say to someone grieving the loss of a child, we know we have failed in our mission. Sometimes, there are no appropriate words for a situation. 

But, still, we try. So, here are some more words, phrases, and sentences to consider sharing with someone who recently experienced a devastating loss.

36. “You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly – that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.” – Anne Lamott

As much as we appreciate this quote, the final part implies that the hurting parents will some day dance again. But unfortunately, they may not be ready to hear this message.

37. I was shocked and overwhelmed when I heard the news about Haley. Please accept my most heartfelt condolences for your loss.

Again, use the name of the child when offering sympathy.

» Did you know? Caskets can be bought online, without the funeral home markup. Find the perfect casket

38. “Sometimes it’s okay that the only thing you did today was breathe.” — Yumi Sakugawa

We love this quote – especially for grieving parents.

39. You probably didn’t know, but I lost my two-year-old last spring. Please let me know if you would like to attend a support group with me.

While you never want to compare your grief with others, you may have gone through a similar tragic event and could offer insight to the family. Here’s an example of how to provide support.

40. Take all the time you need. I’ll be here when you are ready to talk.

The parents may not feel like interacting with others soon after their loss. Understand these boundaries. Periodically offer support and love.

41. I wish there was something I could do for you right now, but I know there isn’t. Please know that I care for you and your family.

When offering sympathy, you don’t have to speak in formal or flowery phrases. Simple words are best. 

42. I would like to start a scholarship in memory of Jorge. When you are ready to talk about it, let’s discuss the details.

This leads us to the next section of this article . . . what to do for someone who lost a baby. 

What to Do for Someone Who Lost a Baby

Sometimes it’s easier to do something instead of say something. So here are some ideas of things to do for a family who lost a baby.

43. Provide a meal

If the family is inundated with food, consider giving gift certificates to local restaurants (or chain restaurants available in their area). Also, check to see if there are any dietary restrictions.

44. Plan the funeral meal

If the family is gathering for a service, plan the funeral meal. Coordinate the event, including setting up chairs and tables and cleaning up afterward.

45. Give the surviving siblings a gift

The surviving siblings may feel lost, scared, and sad. Provide them with some comfort items, such as stuffed animals or blankets. You may also want to give the child age-appropriate books about death and grief to help them understand what happened to their brother or sister.

46. Gently remind the parents that they might want a lock of hair or fingerprint

There are a lot of memorial items that can be created using a fingerprint or lock of hair. The parents may not be in the right mind following the death to think about gathering these items. If you are close to the family, you might want to delicately ask if this might be something they would be interested in doing before the body is cremated or buried. 

47. Create a scholarship fund

The family can only use so much food. However, if there are a lot of extended families and community members who wish to help, ask that they donate money to a scholarship fund in honor of the deceased.

48. Donate to an appropriate charity

Many families will ask that the memorial money goes to a specific non-profit group. Consider donating money in memory of the deceased child.

49. Purchase a memorial tree or bench

Consider paying for a memorial tree or bench to be placed at a local park. Ask if you can pay extra for a plaque that includes the child’s name.

50. Help with the logistics for the funeral

Are family members flying in for the funeral? Offer to pick them up from the airport. Pay for hotel rooms or meals leading up to the event.

There’s a lot that needs to be done in the days preceding a funeral. Offer to create a slideshow of photos, find quotes for the program, or find someone to sing.

51. Take care of household tasks

Volunteer to mow a lawn, clean a bathtub, or run a load of laundry. These household tasks may be easily overlooked by families facing tragedy and grief. 

Where Can You Share a Condolence Message?

List of where you can share a condolence message over an image of flowers

We’ve given you some ideas of words to say or phrases to text when someone has lost a child. However, where are you to share these sympathy messages? And when is it most appropriate? Here are some ideas on where and when to share a condolence message with someone who has lost a child.

In-person

If the person decides to have a public funeral service for their child or miscarried baby, try to attend. Having a service or ceremony is a clear indicator that the parent wants to be surrounded by friends and family. This means that you should go if possible.

We know that attending funerals may make you uncomfortable – especially if you have gone through a similar experience. Sometimes people who have lost children make it their mission to help others who are going through the same thing. However, this isn’t for everyone.

If the family decides not to have a public service for their child, you may consider arranging to see the family some other time. Drop by with a meal to offer your condolences or bring a plant and card.

Social media

If your friend or family member shares news about the death through social media, it’s appropriate to use the “comment” section to send messages of sympathy. However, if the information is not spread in this matter, don’t post a message of condolence for all their friends to see. It’s not your news to tell.

Online memorial page

Online memorial pages allow families to inform others about a death and share funeral services details. These pages can be sent through email or text, making them a great way to spread news without Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or other forms of social media. In addition, online memorial pages allow you to manage who receives the notice of the death.

Even though online memorial pages vary depending on the provider, many allow visitors to share messages of condolences on the platform. Some of these websites also make it easier for visitors to send sympathy gifts or make donations on behalf of the family. 

Sympathy cards

You may consider sending a sympathy card to the family. You can purchase religious or secular cards and those specific to the situation.

Some greeting card companies have a “sending” service if you find yourself too busy to complete the process of buying a card and getting it in the mail.

Speak From the Heart

Still struggling with what to say to parents who lost a child? You may consider doing a little research on books to share. There are plenty of books about losing a child. Understand that the parent may not be ready to dive into the text at that moment. A book may be useful as the parents go through the complicated grieving process.

Remember to be careful of the things you say to a parent who just lost a child. Avoid saying, “At least you know that you can get pregnant” to a woman who just miscarried. Don’t say, “You can try again soon” to a woman who delivered a stillborn child. Never say, “This is part of God’s plan” to someone who just lost a toddler. Avoid advising about in-vitro fertilization or adoption. And don’t talk about how life is easier without children. 

Sometimes what you don’t say is more important than what you do say. Don’t try to fill the silence by chatting about inconsequential things. Simply be there for the grieving individual and offer sincere condolences for a child’s loss. 

If you aren't sure words are enough, read our list of comforting gifts for parents who lost a child.

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