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 13 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?
Many parents use this term to celebrate the hope that the new baby brings after the maelstrom of grief surrounding infant loss.
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 such a special gift, you’re acknowledging their full path, including its new joy.
When Should You Give a Rainbow Baby Gift?
If you know 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.
This will allow the parents ample time to prepare emotionally for their new arrival, along with the best hope that baby will actually get to come home with them.
(A) Baby Showers
Most baby showers are held during the third trimester, so these can be great shower gift ideas. 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) 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 such gifts.
Go ahead, loved ones, celebrate this new little rainbow!
Rainbow Baby Gifts for Mom
Loss mamas have been through a lot, and sometimes, we want to acknowledge them specifically. That’s why these gifts focus 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 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 because it’s simple and adorable. Size up to still feel good in it postpartum.
I also have this Miracle Mama t-shirt for myself. Because how adorable is this? If only Jack had the matching one!
(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. And choose something they can tuck away in private space, if they prefer.
Parents can put photos of their baby in these and display them in their home, without necessarily having to explain the significance of the rainbow.
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, they get to post your tiny human on said blanket once a month their first year for family and friends to admire!
Want a blanket that isn’t a milestone blanket?
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!
(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.
Rainbow Baby Photo Sessions
Many families who have a rainbow baby like to do a special photo session.
To do a beautiful rainbow baby photo session, you’ll need a swaddle blanket, and possibly a onesie or a headband. Here are some of our favorite items for rainbow baby photo sessions.
(8) Photo perfect rainbow blanket: This beautiful rainbow wrap blanket can be used as a photo prop or wrapped around baby to achieve the look of the photo at the top of this article. No matter how it’s used, it’s a stunning addition to rainbow baby photo shoot.
(9) Beautiful rainbow outfit: There are tons of gorgeous rainbow baby outfits available, but this is my favorite for newborn photos. Lovely, sweet, and perfectly photographable.
(10) Rainbow baby headband: Lots of people ask us about the headband from the beautiful photo at the top of this image. This one from Blue Stone Sky on Etsy will help you achieve a very similar effect!
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):
(11) Crochet your own rainbow baby blanket
(12) Quilt a rainbow blanket or wall hanging
(13) 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
- Dear rainbow baby, a letter
- What is a rainbow baby + what it’s like to have one
- Quotes about rainbow babies
Articles for Pregnancy
- How tracking fertility changed my life
- Baby registry must haves with PRINTABLE baby registry checklist PDF
- Best postpartum & nursing pajamas for the hospital and home
- Writing a birth plan: the ultimate birthing checklist
- Hospital bag checklist printable
- Labor induction at 37 weeks
Posts for New Parents
- Arden’s misoprostol experience
- Beth’s ectopic pregnancy story
- Katy’s blighted ovum story: what to expect + symptoms
Gifts for Mom
Katy Huie Harrison, PhD, is an author, mom, recurrent miscarriage survivor, & 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 puts too many expectations on women that make womanhood and motherhood 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, Romper, Scary Mommy, Demeter Press’s Motherhood and Social Exclusion, & more.