Memory Making

"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

Body Cast

A body cast

A fairly inexpensive way to create an exact mould of a pregnant tummy.

Scan Picture

Scan pictures

The first photos of baby. These can be 2D, 3D or 4D and can also be made into a DVD.


A special trip

Parents can take baby to the beach, a waterfall, watch a sunset, lie under the stars, visit the zoo, attend a concert or show etc. Remind parents to take photos of as a reminder of some special times spent while baby is still alive inside.

Making Memories After Birth



These can be taken during labour as well as after birth. Try to get as many pictures as possible. Suggest parents take pictures of baby's features - a nose, lips, hands, feet, bottom, back, tummy, hair etc. Photos of baby dressed as well as undressed and if it feels right for them, family members can hold baby and have pictures taken. Maybe they would like photos taken of them bathing baby.

For families overcome by grief and pain, the idea of photographing their baby may not immediately occur to them however these next few days are the only time parents have to create their photo album that they can look at for years to come. It is better to have too many photos than not enough.
Heartfelt have over 40 photogrphers NZ wide who donate their time taking photos of your baby. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep also offer this service. Visit their websites to see if there is a photographer in your area.

Hand and Foot Prints

Hand and Foot Prints

Inkless or Ink prints of those gorgeous little hands and feet are a precious momento. A number of hospitals in New Zealand and many of our Sands groups now have access to Inkless hand and footprint kits. These are a fantastic way of taking prints, without damaging that precious and sometimes delicate skin. If you local hospital does not provide these, then please contact your local group or purchase your own directly from Sands Bay of Plenty.

Baby Casting

Hand and Feet Castings

There are some areas of the county that have people who would be very happy to take precious castings of your baby. We hope to create a list on here of casters around the country who would be happy to meet with you to discuss options available.

Wellington - Vicki from Sands Wellington-Hutt Valley
Rodney - Contact Marie from Sands Rodney
Whangarei/Northland - Contact Sue from Sands Whangarei

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.

Memory Box

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.

Other Ideas

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 The Sands Certificate of Life is available for parents whose baby is born at any gestational age.