Having time to say hello before you say goodbye can be a very important first step as you try to make sense out of what has happened. We encourage you to request a quiet place where you and other family members can spend as much time with your baby as you need.
Seeing your baby may make his or her death more real and can help you as you grieve. Naming your baby can help you view your baby as part of the family. Involve brothers and sisters if you have other children. Consider grandparents, friends and other family members as well.
Dress and bathe your baby if this fits with your beliefs. Creating foot and hand prints and keeping locks of hair are other ideas. Many parents find it comforting to hold and rock the baby.
Often times when a young babies dies suddenly and unexpectedly parents and family find themselves wishing there were more photographs of the baby. If it fits with your beliefs, take some time to create additional memories of your baby with family members and others. They can become cherished memories in the years to come.
Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep is a national network of photographers who provide their services free of charge. You can locate a photographer near you at www.nowilaymedowntosleep.org. You can also ask family or friends to take pictures or video. If there were special outfits you were looking forward to dressing your baby in, or other special items, have someone bring them to the hospital.
Do not worry about what others say or think, this is your special time. Quiet your mind and listen to your heart. There are no right or wrong choices.
Last Updated: Jan 6, 2010