Memory Boxes

Memory boxes hold important keepsakes for bereaved parents, e.g. a lock of hair, blankets the baby was wrapped in or similar. Many hospitals and volunteer organizations now offer such boxes to parents who have to face the tragedy of losing a child. The boxes can contain a variety of items and we have collected a list of these items to provide ideas for hospitals or volunteers who intend to start such a memory box program.

Items for the family

  • Kit to take hand / foot prints
  • Kit to take hand / foot moulds
  • Scissors with note to take a lock of hair
  • Details about counselling services specialized on infant loss
  • Information about local support organizations / groups / networks
  • Funeral options (any specialized, local burial places such as Little Spirits Garden, general information on burial vs. cremation, local funeral homes, information which funeral homes waive fees for infant death)
  • General information
  • Online support / networks such as Miss Foundation, October 15, Still Standing Magazine
  • Book list / other media such as documentaries / movies
  • Reminder to take personal items home (measuring tape, clothes, hats, blankets, hospital bracelets) that baby used
  • A nice candle for the family to light on special occasions like birthdays
  • Pen and journal
  • Seeds for planting in remembrance of the child
  • Personal care items such as travel sized deodorant for mom while in hospital
  • Teddy bears
  • Forget Me Not seeds

Items specifically for mothers

  • Regulations / eligibility regarding maternity leave and/or sick leave
  • Information on suppressing lactation and/or donating breast milk
  • Stamping necklace kit
  • How do mothers grieve? Literature / information specifically focusing on normal grief reactions of women

Items specifically for fathers

  • How do fathers grieve? Literature / information specifically focusing on normal grief reactions of men

Items for siblings

  • Smaller boxes for siblings to hold mementos
  • Suggestions for handprints together as family

This list of items is meant to provide ideas which items could be included in a memory box. The box will likely be best received if it has a carefully selected mix of items to not overwhelm the bereaved family. Sometimes it may be suitable to provide contact details for a follow-up and letting bereaved parents know that they can get in touch for other items or suggestions after a little while.