Hold your memories close by keeping special items and mementos as the treasures they are. Your baby’s life was short but very real, and keepsakes will help you feel bonded as time passes.
Please don’t be afraid to ask for anything that is of significance to you and your baby. You might like to have your baby’s cot card, a lock of hair, their identification bracelet, your identification band, clothing, the eye covers (‘sunnies’) used in NICU, blood pressure band, or the tape used to measure your baby. Some hospitals donate quilts, a teddy and clothing for your baby.
There are many different kinds of keepsake boxes to store precious items connected with your baby. You might like to create or purchase your own box, so that you have a place you can go to on special dates or when you need to connect with your baby with more tangible memories.
You might like to choose or purchase a special personalised urn for your baby, and you can enquire with your funeral director. Ceramic artist Debra Taylor creates elegant handmade porcelain urns of exceptional quality, personalised by your choice of words – a poem, a phrase, a quote, a memory. The ashes are contained within a silk pouch inside the urn.
Teddy Bear Ashes
Some parents have organized to place the ashes of their baby inside a special teddy bear. It has brought great comfort to be able to hold & cuddle this teddy bear to feel close to their baby, rather than displaying their baby’s ashes in an urn.
Before leaving the hospital, you may wish to make hand and foot prints of your baby with an ink pad to place in a keepsake or memento book. It is worthwhile to get a few sets done. 3D castings of your baby’s feet and hands can be arranged, with companies such as Twinkletoes in NSW and ACT offering this beautiful memory making service.
Capturing your baby’s life story and expressing your feelings through these pages can facilitate your grieving and healing. You may also feel a sense of achievement to honour your baby this way. You might like to include your pregnancy photos or information, your baby’s birth details, photos, readings from the funeral, poetry or song lyrics and cards you received.
Keeping your photos displayed in a beautiful album can be a way to connect with the memories of your baby. There are a number of companies that offer a photobook service where your images can be put together in a template style of your choice and printed for you professionally.