"Those we have held in our arms for a little while, we hold in our hearts forever"
It is very important to make as many memories as possible of your baby, your time together will be short, and those hours or days together will go very fast. Here are some great ideas from other parents who have experienced the loss of a baby.
“One of the most valuable pieces of advice given to me was from my midwife. She visited the night before I was induced to have Ellie and told me how our time with Ellie would be so short. We needed to cram in as many memories as we could and cherish all the time we had with her. We needed to CREATE memories.” - Erin
Making Memories During Pregnancy
Making Memories After Birth
Other Ideas and Tips for Creating Memories
Clothing & Blankets
Keep an item of their clothing, or a blanket. The hospital or funeral director can put items in a ziplock bag to preserve that 'baby smell' for you as well! Make sure you are VERY clear about which items are to be buried/cremated and which are to be returned to you. Removing blankets/garments to keep can be hard to do, so the funeral director can do this for you, but be very clear about what you want to keep.
In New Zealand, most crematoriums require baby to be appropriately dressed to be cremated, so you can't keep all of their clothes unless you provide something else for them to be changed into.
Another idea is to put an item of baby's clothing onto a soft toy to keep
Create a memory blanket or quilt... You can turn baby clothes into patchwork quilts, or knit squares to join together.
Start creating a memory box. Anything that has come into contact with baby can be something to treasure and keep in the memory box. Things like cutting a lock of hair, baby's hospital name band, cot card, umbilical cord clamp, any clothes baby may have worn, a nappy or a blanket.
Many Sands groups provide a memory box to put keepsakes in. Inside these are two teddies - one to go with baby (to burial or cremation) and one for a parent to keep close.
Creating a Scent
Create a scent when you're around baby. For example a drop of lavender oil on their blanket, or your favourite perfume. Once baby is gone, you will always remember them when you smell that familiar scent
Cremation and Ashes
If you choose cremation you could select something special to contain your baby's ashes. There are many lovely urns on the market specifically for babies... from hearts, to ceramic teddies or a nice box. You can even get a soft toy that holds ashes in the back. You can also get cremation jewellery which holds a small amount of ashes in a necklace pendant or bracelet so you can keep baby with you.
Provide a book for people to write their condolences in
Create a Photobook - Daily deal sites regularly have cheap printing deals.
If baby was born after 20 completed weeks, or weighed more than 400g or was born alive, parents can apply for a birth certificate from www.bdm.govt.nz. The Sands Certificate of Life is available for parents whose baby is born at any gestational age.