Rainbow babies often come with a bag of mixed emotions: joy, sorry, and often tremendous anxiety. A baby born to parents who have suffered loss like miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss, is often called a rainbow baby. Here, we’ll focus on the positive aspects of having one of these special little ones. Specifically, we’re telling you our top 10 favorite rainbow baby gifts for mom and baby!
We have written extensively about heavy subjects leading up to rainbow babies like coping with miscarriage, infant loss, and pregnancy after miscarriage. Because of the difficulty of these subjects for many parents, rainbow baby gifts are not always necessary or appropriate.
Some parents don’t like to recall their losses, while others choose not to use the term.
But a rainbow baby gift for mom and baby does 2 special things.
- It honors the losses that came before
- And celebrates the life and hope a new baby brings
If you know parents who have been open about their loss(es), or who refer to their coming or new little one with this phrase, then they’ll love these special rainbow baby gifts!
Why Specifically Give Rainbow Baby Gifts?
I’ve written extensively about the vulnerability of having a rainbow baby after suffering recurrent miscarriages, and about the anxiety that term can cause.
However, many parents, including myself, use this term to celebrate the hope that the new baby brings after the maelstrom of grief surrounding infant loss.
For me, a term reminding Jack that he is the sunshine after a storm might make him feel the need to live up to being that sunshine. As if it’s his job to fill some sort of hole in my heart, or to make up for the lives that were lost before him.
I never want that for him–he is his own, miraculous being, and he is not responsible for healing me.
Undefining Motherhood contributor, Hannah, wrote this beautiful letter to her dear rainbow baby. She lost her first child, Senna, who died sleeping in her womb at 41 weeks. But she never wants her second child, Cyan, to feel responsible for making up for Senna’s loss.
Here’s the thing, though. And I want you to really listen to what I want you to say here.
It is always important to not only acknowledge your loved ones’ past losses, but also to be present for the anxiety AND hope that parents of rainbow babies are feeling.
This is where rainbow baby gifts for mom and baby, and even for dad, can be especially important.
By giving someone a rainbow baby gift, you’re acknowledging their full path, including its new joy.
When Should You Give a Rainbow Baby Gift?
Now that we’ve acknowledged the potentially validating experience of receiving a rainbow baby gift, let’s talk about when to give the such presents.
If you know that your friend or family member has suffered a miscarriage or other form of infant loss, I recommend waiting until well in the third trimester of the pregnancy before giving a rainbow baby gift.
(A) Rainbow Baby Gifts at Baby Showers
Most baby showers are held during the third trimester, so giving a rainbow baby gift as a shower gift is a great idea. Unless, and this is a big unless, the person has not been fully open about their losses.
You don’t want to “out” them in front of people who don’t know.
If the new parents haven’t been vocal about their past loss(es), wait until a private moment to share your rainbow baby gift.
We’ll talk about gifts to give more private parents later in this article.
(B) Gifts After Baby Is Born
If the parents are choosing not to have a shower, they’re probably making this choice for a reason. And that reason is likely anxiety. Many parents with a history of loss fear what could go wrong at any time.
In that case, I recommend waiting until the baby is born.
I had a shower with Jack, but not until the day before I was induced with him, and even then, I was scared to accept the gifts.
But when my friend Kat sent a handmade rainbow quilt a few weeks after Jack’s birth, I felt more loved and fulfilled than I can describe.
It is in this spirit that we provide the following guide to rainbow baby gifts.
Go ahead, loved ones, celebrate this new little rainbow! Follow along as we give you some suggestions for how to do so.
Rainbow Baby Gifts
In this section, we’ll break down different types of gifts to give to parents who are about to have a rainbow baby (or who have recently had one):
- Gifts to give to rainbow baby moms
- Gifts to give to rainbow baby parents who are more private about their losses
- Gifts to give to rainbow baby parents, including things like blankets, clothing, and decor that celebrate the new rainbow baby
Gifts to Give to Rainbow Baby Moms
Not too long ago, I wrote about choosing the most healing gifts for miscarriage. Many of the gifts we suggested in that post are relevant here because they memorialize lost children. So, if you want to go that route, we definitely approve.
BUT! The hope that a rainbow baby brings also deserves to be acknowledged. With that in mind, we’re going to focus here on giving a gift to the mama of a rainbow baby that celebrates this hope.
My favorite rainbow baby gifts come from Etsy. They’re often customizable, you’ll find tons of options, AND you’ll support a small business in the meantime. Win-win. Many of the gift suggestions below come from Etsy.
(1) Miracle Mama T-Shirt
Give mama the gift of a comfy tee that her new rainbow baby can spit up all over. Or that she can wear out and about as she proudly strolls that new baby around.
We love this one from Etsy because it’s simple, adorable, and unisex, which means that you can size up and still feel good in it postpartum.
I also just ordered this Miracle Mama t-shirt for myself. Because how adorable is this?
(2) Custom Jewelry
A sweet, simple rainbow necklace with the new baby’s name is a great way to give mama something that she can wear everyday to remind her of the hope and joy that her new baby brings. We love these.
Gifts to Give to Parents who are More Private about their Loss(es)
Not everyone is vocal about miscarriage and infant loss, and that’s okay. Some couples choose to memorialize their losses in a private way, or to not talk about them outside of their own relationship.
We honor that choice here, as everyone grieves differently.
If you are aware of the fact that your loved ones are having a rainbow baby, but they aren’t necessarily advertising the fact that the new baby is a rainbow, your gift can still be thoughtful.
It’s still a good idea to acknowledge past losses and honor the new life they are bringing into the world. Just don’t give a rainbow baby gift publicly.
(3) Rainbow baby picture frames
Picture frames are a great gift for rainbow parents who are more private about their loss(es). We love all of these from Etsy, and this sweet one from Amazon. Parents can put photos of their rainbow baby in these, and display them in their home, without necessarily having to explain the significance of the rainbow.
(4) Rainbow baby blankets
A tasteful throw blanket is a great gift for parents who don’t want to make a statement about loss, but who might need a quiet moment to grieve and remember.
This one is gorgeous, would fit in with most home decor, and would keep the new rainbow baby parents warm on the couch on sleepless nights.
More Gifts for Rainbow Baby Parents
Here are more gift ideas for rainbow baby parents. These are the gifts you could take to a baby shower (provided that the parents are open about the fact that the new baby is a “rainbow”). These gifts center on the baby herself, and in our opinion, they’re all pretty damn adorable!
(5) Rainbow Baby Milestone Blanket
A milestone blanket is the sweetest way for parents to remind themselves all year long that this child has brought joy after hardship. Plus, you get to post your tiny human on said blanket once a month their first year for family and friends to admire!
(6) Rainbow baby print
This customizable print is a sweet and understated gift for baby’s nursery. Plus, parents can keep it hanging for a long, long time to remind them of the gift of their baby’s life.
(7) Rainbow baby ornaments
This customizable ornament is such a lovely keepsake if you celebrate Christmas, but it would also make a sweet charm for the nursery.
There are all sorts of rainbow blankets available on Etsy, but we personally love this one if you are able to spend a little more money on a quality, handmade item. Its muted tones and gorgeous pattern would make the perfect memorable addition to any nursery.
I would’ve wrapped Jack in this rainbow baby swaddle blanket all the time if I’d had one!
DIY Rainbow Baby Gifts
Of course, if you are into knitting or crocheting, a DIY gift packs a ton of thoughtfulness! Here are a couple of great ideas and patterns for you (you crafty person, you):
(8) Crochet your own rainbow baby blanket
(9) Quilt a rainbow blanket or wall hanging
(10) Throw a rainbow-themed shower for the new parents!
As you can see, the internet is chock full of good ideas for celebrating a new rainbow baby.
What was your favorite rainbow baby gift? Tell us about it in the comments!
A baby born to parents who have suffered loss like miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss
Why should I buy a rainbow baby gift?
To honor the losses that came before and celebrate the life and hope a new baby brings
How do I know if it’s appropriate to buy a rainbow baby gift?
If the parents have been open with you about their previous losses, then it is appropriate to be a gift that honors that loss and their new child.
When should I give a rainbow baby gift?
Wait until the third trimester, or give at a rainbow baby shower if the parents have been open about their previous losses. You can also wait until the baby is born.
Other Posts About Rainbow Babies
Other Posts About Pregnancy After Miscarriage
Gifts for Mom
- What to buy a new mom for herself
- New mom care package ideas
- Gifts for a new mom from husband
- Best postpartum pajamas
- The ultimate postpartum recovery kit
Posts About Miscarriage
Katy Huie Harrison, PhD, is an author, toddler mom, and owner of Undefining Motherhood. She lives in Atlanta with her husband (affectionately known on the internet as “Husband,”) son (Jack), and dog (Charlotte). She believes our society has historically placed too many expectations on women, defining womanhood and motherhood in a way that is restrictive. Her goal is to shift the paradigm about what it means to be a woman and mother, giving all women a greater sense of agency over their own lives. You can find Katy and her work featured in places like CNN’s Headline News, Scary Mommy, Motherhood and Social Exclusion, and various other podcasts and websites.