This site contains affiliate links, meaning that we earn a small commission for purchases made through our site. We only recommend products we personally use, love, or have thoroughly vetted.
While we often think of rainbows as fun ways to add colorful whimsy to a party, they can take on a much deeper significance when you’re talking to a pregnant mother or planning a baby shower. A rainbow baby is a child born after miscarriage, stillbirth, infant loss, or other fertility-related trauma. And while preparing for a rainbow baby may seem exciting, it’s really a mixed bag of emotions.
Pregnancy after miscarriage, stillbirth, or neonatal death can leave you feeling incredibly vulnerable. You are excited…and yet…terrified. So what do you do when your loved ones want to throw you a baby shower?
Whether or not they want a rainbow baby shower is a question that every parent will probably answer differently.
Some parents want to celebrate the upcoming birth of their rainbow baby with a huge shower. Others are afraid to celebrate at all.
The pregnancy anxiety and fear that surrounds pregnancy after miscarriage or loss can make it feel difficult to want to celebrate a rainbow baby, so some parents prefer to prepare for the arrival of a rainbow baby quietly–perhaps with a small shower or gathering of friends.
Other parents even choose to celebrate the arrival of a rainbow baby after the birth to help alleviate the stress of attention and well-wishes before the baby is born.
However you choose to celebrate your rainbow baby is valid! And if decide not to mark the occasion, that’s okay, too. And if you’ve found this article because you want to throw a friend or loved one a rainbow baby shower, PLEASE make sure you talk to them about their comfort level with you doing this before you start planning!
Our ideas for a rainbow baby shower can be applied to any way of celebrating: a big shindig, a small party, or a celebration after the birth of your precious and longed-for baby. Let’s start planning!
Why Are Baby Showers Rainbow-Themed?
Baby shower themes are common, but a rainbow color theme is extra special. The theme of the rainbow baby shower pays homage to the concept of the rainbow baby, the rainbow after the “storm” of a traumatic experience like pregnancy or infant loss.
Celebrating a rainbow baby shower is not only a way to memorialize the little ones you’ve lost, but it also allows you to recognize the joy and excitement for everything the future holds.
Rainbows, in Biblical tradition, signify the hope that God gave humanity after the great flood. In non-biblical tradition, rainbows offer viewers a beautiful sight after a storm.
However you choose to interpret them, rainbows are an important symbol in the pregnancy loss community. They offer hope to those who are grieving and hope that brighter days are ahead.
While many families keep their losses private, others are very open about their experiences. If those families are feeling joy about having a rainbow baby, they may have done a rainbow baby announcement, or they may want to have a special rainbow-themed shower to celebrate.
Again, we can’t stress enough how important it is that you don’t just assume someone wants a rainbow shower.
While the idea of recognizing a past lost while you honor new life is a beautiful thing, it might not be for every expectant mother. Always confirm that a mom wants a rainbow-themed baby shower before throwing one.
How to Host a Rainbow Baby Shower
If you’re hosting a rainbow baby shower for friends or loved ones, it’s important that you make sure their wishes are honored. Have an open discussion with the parents and make sure you are both on the same page about what they want.
If they don’t want a big party, please don’t throw one. Instead, host an intimate dinner party with people who are familiar with their loss and with whom they are comfortable.
If they don’t want any kind of attention surrounding the birth of a rainbow baby, find a way to fly under the radar, such as raising money from their friends and family for an Amazon or Etsy gift card. Target and Uber Eats gift cards are also a great way to show that you care without hosting a big event.
Remember: this event is not about you–the planner–it’s about the expecting parents and their wishes.
Honoring Past Losses
If the rainbow baby parents are comfortable with an actual baby shower, make sure to ask if they want a table or area dedicated to honoring their past loss(es).
Some ways to honor losses include:
- Frame ultrasounds or photos of their child. We especially love this sweet memorial frame.
- Have a card writing station so guests can write letters to the new parents acknowledging their lost child(ren).
- Light a personalized candle to represent the lost child.
Having a table or area dedicated to acknowledging the child that came before is a great way to remind the parents that their child is still present even as a new baby is on the way.
If you need other ideas for remembering a loss, miscarriage memorials are great way to show that you care about the parents’ past loss(es).
Preparing for a Rainbow Baby Shower: Everything You Need to Make it Special
Now that you’ve decided what kind of shower you want to host and whether or not you will memorialize the losses that came before the rainbow baby, it’s important to pay close attention to the details!
One of my favorite things about baby showers (and weddings) is how personal and intimate they can be. Every shower can reflect the unique interests of the people being celebrated–what’s not to love about that??
If you’re hosting a baby shower the personalized nature of it is also the fact that this rainbow baby is much, much longed for. Have fun celebrating that!
Rainbow Baby Shower Invitations
One of the first things you’ll need to do when organizing a shower is to choose the perfect invitations.
The invitations set the tone for the shower and let guests know crucial details about when and where it will be held. One great thing about a rainbow baby shower theme is that it’s a very gender-neutral baby shower, so you can pick what you like and run with it.
These invitations are specific to the theme of rainbows, and we adore them!
This would be great for a girl rainbow baby (if acknowledging gender is your thing). The simplicity and colors are super sweet, and of course, you can customize it with all the details for the shower.
And even if gender-neutral is more your vibe, these colors are super sweet and muted.
This is actually a customizable, downloadable bundle that includes an invitation, book request, and diaper raffle.
We love this kit because it’s super sweet and can give your guests the option to personalize their gift by giving you something you want (the book request), and the diaper raffle is always a fun shower game!
If the parents are really comfortable with the rainbow theme, this invitation is perfect! The bright rainbow set against the black backdrop emphasizes the beauty of the rainbow after the storm.
It also has a book request and diaper raffle cards to accompany the brightly colored invitations.
This sweet, colorful invitation would be a great one for any rainbow baby shower, and it reminds the parents of the upcoming joy after loss.
It also has a super fun glitter look and comes in packs of 10 with white envelopes included, so if you hate printables and are looking for something you don’t have to print and send, this is a good go-to.
This is another printable one you can edit yourself and either print at home or send to a printing shop. We love the muted colors and the sweet little sunshine peaking out from under the rainbow.
As you click through the pictures for this invitation, you’ll see that there are also other party decorations with the same theme that you can choose to print and buy, so you can keep your shower cute and cohesive!
If the parents are keeping the gender a surprise (or if they are gender-free parenting), this rainbow baby invitation will be perfect!
This option also allows you to send your information for both the invitations and the envelopes (you won’t have to address them!), and the reviews are fantastic!
Rainbow Baby Shower Decorations
Your choice of invitations for your rainbow baby shower will set the tone for the overall look of the event. You might event want to use a similar color scheme to the invitations you’ve chosen for party decorations.
For instance, if you’ve chosen an invitation with muted pastel colors, then you’ll want to make sure that the balloons, candles, tablecloths, and any other decor matches.
Here are some great suggestions for you to choose from as you plan the shower:
Complete with banners, cake toppers, balloons, and more! Fitting the rainbow theme but with a pink and gold color palette, we love the soft simplicity of these decorations.
This beautiful set of rainbow baby shower decorations is perfect for any mom who doesn’t want the bright aesthetic but is still looking for the rainbow theme.
Create a grand entryway, an impressive photo backdrop, or a gorgeous cake table display with this impressive (and beautiful) rainbow balloon arch.
Balloon arches are huge at baby showers right now, and this one incorporates the rainbow theme without overdoing it by being bright and colorful.
Photo backdrops are so much fun at baby showers! This precious one is the perfect place for mom to pose with her village surrounding her.
We especially love that this cloth is ever-so-versatile. You can even use it as a tablecloth!
Want to give your guests something fun to take home? These party favor bags are ADORABLE and will hold anything you choose to send them home with after the rainbow baby shower has ended.
Party favor ideas include: bags of Skittles (taste the rainbow); cute little “thank you for coming” candles with a rainbow theme; and soaps (see #6).
Balloon garlands take a little bit more work than paper tassels or rainbow-felt ball garlands, but boy, do they make a statement! Balloon garlands are gorgeous, and they make a great place for the new parents to take photos with people who have come to celebrate with them.
The great thing about this particular kit is that it comes in several sets of rainbow colors (muted, bright, etc), so you can match it to your shower color scheme.
If you’re looking for a non-traditional favor for the rainbow party favor bags above, look no further! These cute, customizable soaps will be adored by all your shower guests.
These come in a pack of 15-100, so keep that in mind when you order them.
These labels are a great way to personalize your drink offerings. Peel and stick them onto a regular water bottle, and suddenly even the water at your rainbow baby shower is festive! If you’re like me and slightly neurotic about everything matching/being perfect at events you host, I can’t recommend these enough.
It’s fun to put them out on your drinks table and see the personalization at work!
Having your dinnerware match your party theme is super cute and also a fun way to mix the theme with functionality. Pair these napkins with matching Rainbow paper plates and Rainbow paper cups, and you’re good to go!
There are even matching treat boxes, perfect for your party favor bags if you’re handing those out (side note: these absolutely aren’t a requirement for baby showers, but they are fun).
Make little baby sprinkles everywhere so your shower is extra special. Scatter these sweet little rainbow stars on the gift table or on the food table.
They will add whimsy to any tablescape and are an extremely fast way to decorate a big space–just sprinkle them on any table (cake table, guest table, gift table, etc).
We can’t help it: we love a felt garland! This one is super sweet and has little daisies sprinkled throughout the garland, too. It’s also in muted colors, so if that’s in line with your theme, then you’re in luck!
And if you want more of a traditional rainbow garland, this felt one from Etsy is also adorable!
Rainbow Baby Shower Cake Ideas
One of the most festive parts of any baby shower (and the one I look forward to the most) is the CAKE!
Whether you choose to go with a traditional cake (layered or tier) or cupcakes, this is the one part of the shower that’s sure to please everyone (unless they don’t eat cake, and in that case, are you sure you can trust them??).
Here are some great ideas for making your rainbow baby shower cake or cupcakes extra special:
This personalized cake topper is the perfect choice for any rainbow baby shower. It features a gorgeous pastel rainbow that’s sure to fit most shower themes and styles.
Are you looking for a non-custom option? This gold glitter “Rainbow Baby” cake topper is a great alternative.
I personally love cupcakes at showers–they really cut down on the mess, and instead of having to have someone stand there and cut the cake, you can just let guests help themselves. This 12-piece cupcake topper set includes sunshine, rainbows, and butterflies.
It’s the perfect set for a sweet little rainbow baby!
Let’s say you love to bake and are going to bake the cake yourself, but you aren’t great at fondant (me, either). This fondant cake topper comes personalized for your sweet little one.
It can also be made in various sizes and shades, so it’s perfect whether you choose pastels or primary colors!
Interested in a unique cake topper for a more boho shower? This macrame cake topper is gorgeous, and we can guarantee that it’s not your average rainbow decor.
This Etsy seller also has great reviews, and you can pick and choose from several different colors.
We love this balloon garland cake topper! It would work best for a longer sheet cake because it’s quite large. If you choose this option, you’ll be sure to have a show-stopping cake topper.
Its unusual whimsy is sure to please!
While this one might be a little bit on the hokey side, if your friend or family member is having a little boy, this quippy cake topper is on theme and pretty darn cute. Plus, it’s glittery, and you can order it for cupcake toppers if you’re going that route!
What’s not to love?
We’ve covered invitations, decor, and the cake…now, what’s left?
Well, many people choose to have tables for guests to sit, chat, and eat throughout the shower. If you’d like to decorate those tables, you can’t go wrong with a rainbow centerpiece.
Tissue paper poms have become a party favorite over the past several years. If you’re hosting a rainbow baby shower, your guests are sure to love this rainbow version. Be sure to give yourself enough time to put pom poms together, though!
They can be frustrating if you’re trying to put them together last minute.
These rainbow and sunshine centerpieces are super cute…and super simple! Just open, fluff, and set out one per table on circular tables and two per table for longer, rectangular tables.
They also don’t stand too tall, so your guests can still talk across the table.
If one thing has become clear to me while researching this article, it’s that boho style is definitely a trendy baby shower scheme!
If you’re going for a more boho look, these would look adorable on your gift table or on your dessert table!
Need something to hang in doorways or just to tape on the walls for easy removal later? These rainbow hanging spirals are perfect!
They come in a pack of 42 pieces, so you’ll have plenty to hang around your designated shower space to create an inviting atmosphere!
Rainbow Outfits for Mom
Every mom wants to feel beautiful at her baby shower, and if your mama has selected a rainbow theme, she might really want to celebrate what a miracle this baby is.
There are some amazing dresses out there to help mamas celebrate just this type of occasion. Here are a few of our favorites.
A beautiful, relaxed option that will help mama celebrate her special day without feeling over-the-top or having to dress up too much.
This sleeveless maxi dress is loose-fitting and adorable. It’s described as a “color block tiered” dress, and it’s perfect for a hot summer day!
For the mama who wants to show off a little more skin in a rainbow-themed dress, this one might be for you! We love the soft, pastel color and plunging neckline.
Pro-tip: this dress would also double as a fantastic dress for your maternity photo shoot!
For the mama who wants to keep it super comfy and casual, pair this t-shirt with your favorite skirt or pants! Do you have an older child who will be attending your rainbow baby shower, as well?
This Etsy shop even makes a “Mini” shirt so they can match mom!
Does your rainbow baby have living brothers and sisters who want to get in on the representation? How about your partner? We love these customizable rainbow shirts for the whole family.
They’ll make a great look for your baby shower family photo, too!
These dresses aren’t necessarily rainbow-themed, but there are a lot of primary colors to choose from!
We love the high waist to show off your cute bump, and the fact that while they’re super fashionable, they also look comfy as all get out.
This super fun pink maternity dress from Target would make an adorable outfit for a rainbow baby shower! We love not only the color, but also the cut. It’s got you covered everywhere: the sleeves are down to the elbow, and it hits mid-calf.
Plus, the cinched waist (above the belly) shows off what you’re all here for: the rainbow bump!
Looking for something that has your curves covered? This beautiful soft pink dress with long sleeves has you covered! We love Pink Blush for their epic maternity options for us plus-size mamas! This off-the-shoulder floral number is pretty dang cute for a shower, too.
A solid hued chiffon plus maxi dress featuring long cuffed sleeves with buttons a ci… [More]
Oh, and they even have an entire category on their website for mom-to-be shower dresses!
8. Rainbow Baby Accessories
What rainbow baby shower outfit would be complete without rainbow jewelry??
You can go bold with pieces like these:
- Tiered rainbow earrings
- Rafia hoop earrings
- Long rainbow necklace
- Rainbow gemstone necklace
- Boho braided rainbow earrings
- Rainbow watercolor earrings
- Ombre name bracelet (personalize with your baby’s name)
Or, you can go more subtle with options like these:
- Rainbow Huggie Earrings
- Simple gold rainbow coin necklace
- Simple rainbow crystal necklace
- Clay rainbow earrings
- Rainbow sea glass necklace
- Circle rainbow necklace
- Rainbow link bracelet
What about baby shower gifts for a rainbow baby? While mama will certainly want and need many of the gifts from her baby registry must-haves, some guests might choose to send specific rainbow baby gifts.
Here are a few of our favorite:
1. Rainbow Baby Blankets
Blankets are common baby gifts, but really, it’s hard to have too many. There are so many beautiful rainbow baby blankets available.
We love these rainbow muslin swaddle blankets, which are soft and will get plenty of use while baby is a newborn.
If you want to go for a bigger, softer blanket that baby will use when they’re a bit older, we love this sweet, soft, fuzzy one as a rainbow baby shower gift.
You can also get a personalized one for more of a thoughtful touch!
2. Rainbow Baby Outfits
There are tons of cute rainbow baby outfits out there, so you can easily customize them to the liking of your favorite rainbow mama.
We love this precious rainbow baby gown set because it’s soft, versatile, and doesn’t have any appliqué to rub against baby’s skin. You also can’t go wrong with a basic onesie, like this organic cotton one or this “worth the wait” onesie.
If you want something for a baby boy that’s a little softer in theme, try this Burt’s Bees striped romper.
3. Rainbow Baby Pajamas
What’s softer and cuddlier than a newborn baby? Not much! Except maybe a newborn baby in soft, adorable pajamas. We adore these:
- Long sleeve boho pajamas
- Gender-neutral zip-up pajamas with rainbows
- Newborn gown and cap with a simple rainbow theme
- Knotted infant rainbow sleeper gown
- Nature-themed rainbow three-piece pajama set
Celebrating Rainbow Babies Can Be Difficult
Even if you choose to have a big, blowout celebration for your rainbow baby, many moms feel a sense of guilt over celebrating after they’ve experienced a devastating loss.
Please know that celebrating a rainbow baby isn’t an either/or situation. You can celebrate the birth of your child and also honor your loss in doing so. You are not forgetting one child by having another.
There is no right or wrong way to celebrate a rainbow baby, and you are not taking away from that grief by having a shower.
Any way you look at it, a rainbow baby shower is a beautiful thing if that’s what you choose to have.. And if you’re looking for rainbow baby gifts, we have you covered there, too!
Did you choose to have a rainbow baby shower? If so, what was it like?
Sarah Creel, PhD, holds a PhD in English from Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, BC. When she isn’t editing, Sarah loves to read, travel, and host gatherings at the little cottage she shares with her partner, three cats, and one very silly dog. At Undefining Motherhood, Sarah brings new perspectives by shedding light on nontraditional ways of being a mother. In fact, one of her favorite things in life is being an aunt.