A child funeral is a service held to celebrate and commemorate a life that has been lost, especially when the person was an infant. No matter what you choose to call the ceremony – whether it be a funeral, memorial service, wake or celebration of life – it can be a very difficult event to attend, particularly for children. This article aims to help parents, relatives and friends understand what a child funeral is and how they can support a bereaved family. When planning a child funeral it is important to consider the child’s age, understanding and comfort level. A bespoke funeral can be tailored to the child’s wishes and can include a range of activities. Children may want to help plan the service, write their own messages for the person or decorate a casket or other ceremonial item. They may also want to be involved in the ceremony itself or have their own special teddy, doll or toy placed in the coffin or urn. It is important to remember that children are children first and their grief will be expressed in a variety of ways. They will need space to play and outward signs of distress will come and go. It is also important to ensure that they are aware that other people may be grieving differently and it’s okay for them to cry and laugh. If you have a young child, it’s a good idea to appoint one of their older siblings as their ‘funeral buddy’. This person will be able to take them out of the service or distract them if they become restless or overwhelmed. It’s a good idea to talk to your child about the role before the day and discuss how they will know when it is time for their buddy to leave. Talking to your child about the funeral ahead of time can make it easier for them to cope with the experience. It’s a good idea to explain that the body they knew won’t be present and it can’t move, eat or speak anymore. If the funeral is going to be a closed casket, explain that their sibling won’t be able to see them either but they can still be close to them in other ways – for example in a photograph or a video presentation. If the funeral is a cremation you can talk about how their sibling won’t feel cold, pain or fear anymore. If you would like your child to have a say during the service, ask them if they have any music or readings that they would like to share. If they are old enough, ask them to create a tribute for their brother or sister. It’s a good idea to practise any speeches with them in advance so they are prepared. If they are unable to take part, it’s often more helpful for them if someone else reads their tribute to avoid the need for repetition.
Whether your little one will be arriving soon or you’re shopping for the perfect baby shower gift, it’s important to pick clothes that are both comfortable and practical. Babies grow fast, so it’s a good idea to buy items that are budget-friendly and will fit for a long time. Choosing the right fabrics is also important, as newborns tend to have very sensitive skin. Look for soft, hypoallergenic materials such as organic cotton and bamboo fiber. These are also low-maintenance and won’t trap moisture against the skin. One of the best brands for infant clothing is H&M, which offers up a wide range of on-trend styles at very affordable prices. From breezy ruffled rompers to jacquard-knit sweaters, this brand has something for every new parent’s little fashionista. Target is a one-stop shop for practically anything, including baby clothing. They have a wide variety of one-pieces, pajamas and sleepers that come in different weights for changing seasonally. The options include quilted footies, velour-lined cotton onesies, lightweight cotton T-shirts and short sets, and even a fleece alternative. Another great option is Baby Deedee, which makes a line of super soft pajamas that feature peek-a-paw cuffs to avoid self-scratching, and they’re easy to snap from head to toe for quick nappy changes. Another top choice for baby apparel is Hanna Andersson, which comes highly recommended by parents. The company uses 100 percent OEKO-TEX certified organic cotton, which is free of potentially harmful chemicals, and they use recycled materials for outerwear as well. The company’s sleeper gowns are particularly popular, with a design that makes it easy to dress and undress your newborn while keeping them warm. If you’re looking for something a bit more stylish, consider Pact, which uses organic cotton and employs fair trade practices. The brand is a favorite for its cute prints, which aren’t too busy and won’t irritate your baby’s sensitive skin. Pact also has a line of bodysuits and sleepwear that are adorned with simple silhouettes and gentle rainbow hues. It’s a good idea to stock up on some sleepers, or as they are sometimes called, “pajamas.” These are the most convenient and versatile item of newborn clothing, as they take the place of onesie, pants and socks all in one package. They can be used as a cover-up when nursing or feeding, and your baby will be comfortable in them all day long. Lastly, don’t forget to stock up on some newborn hats and accessories. These are a necessity for your baby’s outfits, as they will protect them from the sun and cold. Invest in some hats with brims that shield your little one’s face from the sun, and look for ones with ties that help keep them securely on their heads. Hats and scarves are a great way to add color and personality to your baby’s wardrobe, so don’t be afraid to experiment with some fun designs.
Choosing what clothes to dress your deceased loved one in is an important part of the funeral process. But if your relative didn’t specify their burial outfit choice in a will or they have lost or gained a lot of weight since death, traditional suit and dress clothing may not fit or be comfortable enough. In that case, a burial gown may be an appropriate option. Burial gowns, also known as shrouds, are designed to fit over a body that has a high neckline and long sleeves. Typically, they have drawstrings across the back to accommodate any size adjustments made during the postmortem period. They are available from some non-funeral wear suppliers and some clothing retailers. They also work well if the body has been subjected to medical procedures or a prolonged illness that resulted in weight changes. Some families prefer to dress their loved ones in clothes they would have worn if they were still alive, especially when the loved one was young and death was unexpected. This allows friends and family members to memorialize the individual in a way that feels right to them. In many cultures, a person is buried in the clothes they were wearing at the time of their death. This is because the outfits are viewed as respectful and are often a good representation of the personality and character of the deceased. Traditionally, suits and dresses have been the most common choice for burial clothes. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. Some people are buried in jeans and a shirt or a sweater. In some cases, religious beliefs can dictate the type of clothing your loved one is buried in. For example, some Catholics believe that a woman should be dressed in a white gown because it symbolizes purity. It’s also possible to have an entirely new set of clothing made for a deceased baby. There are charities and companies that create handmade baby funeral clothes. For example, Wisconsin resident Hazel Jones uses her home workshop to cut down formal gowns and sew them into garments for babies that have died too soon. She has created an entire line of baby Angel Gowns, along with caps and diapers for the tiniest preemies, to help ease the grief of bereaved parents who have lost their little ones. What about shoes? Some loved ones want their dead friends and family members to be buried with the shoes they always wore. While there is nothing wrong with this, some feel that it’s too much of a reminder of mortality and the loss of their life. Ultimately, it’s up to the family to decide whether or not their loved one should be wearing shoes in their casket. During the postmortem process, bodily fluids and environmental elements can soiled the clothing that is left on the body. For this reason, funeral directors generally prefer that your loved one is buried in undergarments as well. This keeps the outfit looking neat and tidy, and it prevents anything from spilling over onto the body.
Many brides choose to preserve their wedding dress as a keepsake or hand it down to the next generation. But others would rather see it hit the dance floor a second time. Fortunately, there are a number of charities that accept gown donations. The organizations offer a variety of benefits, including the joy of giving and possibly a tax deduction (though that is more difficult now because of new COVID-19 guidelines). Additionally, donated dresses can help fill closets for those who can’t afford to purchase a new one. Angel Gowns: The nonprofit organization, based in Oneida, N.Y., is a great option for brides in the Capital District who want to give their gown a second life. The group supports families who lose an infant, offering support resources and mentoring programs as well as specially-made gowns and garments for the baby’s final journey. To donate, contact the organization through its website. Brides for a Cause: The organization sells donated dresses at its retail stores to raise funds for breast cancer early detection and awareness programs. It also supports a number of women-focused charities nationwide, including the Loveland Foundation, Dressember, Joyful Heart Foundation and Girls Who Code. Donated dresses designed within five years are accepted. Prom Dresses for Kids: The organization has locations throughout the country and takes in prom dresses as well as flower girl dresses and accessories. The items are sold at a discount and proceeds benefit youth mentoring, outreach events and professional counseling for survivors of sexual assault. To donate, visit the organization’s website to find a location near you. KEMP Hospice: The UK charity accepts wedding dresses to sell in its dedicated Bridal Room at its Coventry Street store. The money raised goes back into the community to help local people living with a life-limiting illness and their families. Dresses are sold for a minimum of £150, with the best sellers being displayed in the shop window. Wedding dresses aren’t the only items the organization accepts: It also accepts veils, hats, shoes and jewelry. The organization outfits military and first responder brides for free at its Operation Wedding Gown events twice a year. Brides wishing to donate can fill out an online form and are contacted with further instructions only if their dresses meet the organization’s acceptance criteria. The charity has outlets across the country, but it’s best to call ahead to make sure your local Salvation Army accepts gowns and if they have a specific drop-off schedule. To save the charity volunteers’ time, it’s a good idea to label the box with helpful information like its size and brand/designer name, as well as the year it was purchased and its original price. This will help expedite the process and prevent confusion. The organization also provides tips for preparing and packing your dress for donation, so it arrives in perfect condition. It’s especially important to use a sturdy, durable bag or suitcase to protect the gown from any damage during transit.
For the families who lose a baby during pregnancy, birth or shortly after, special garments known as angel gowns offer comfort and a way to honor their precious little one. These special outfits are crafted from wedding dresses or prom dresses, and come with a hat, blanket, keepsake charm and heart or cross. The gowns are given free of charge to families who may not have anything to bury their child in. For a group of seamstresses in Minnesota, the project is extremely rewarding. They meet monthly to transform donated dresses and help families in their community. In 2014, Edith Hauer, 69, read about the Angel Gown program at Riley Children’s Health in Indiana and knew she had to do something. A retired nurse and skilled seamstress, she recruited an army of volunteers who meet monthly in the basement of All Saints Lutheran Church in Darwin to turn donated dresses into the final outfits for infants who die during birth or shortly after. Every year, in the United States alone, 626,000 babies are lost during pregnancy, either through still birth or miscarriage. Those losses are often hidden away from the public because of the taboo nature of infant loss, but nonprofit organizations like the ones Hauer oversees have stepped in to shed light on these heartbreaking events. They collect dresses and donate them to hospitals across the country, where grieving families can receive a unique piece of clothing for their unborn baby. Another volunteer who works with the organization, Susan Arnold, says that the gowns help to take some of the pain out of a traumatic experience for parents. She says she feels a particular connection to the work of the group, as her own daughter died in utero. “I know how hard it is for parents to find a way to honor their loss,” she said. The nonprofits are run entirely by volunteers, who make the gowns out of their own clothes or repurposed dresses from thrift shops and garage sales. They also collect donations to purchase the materials needed to create the outfits. Some of the volunteers’ children and grandchildren also get in on the action, sewing hats, blankets and other accessories for each gown. They even sew bells onto each outfit, inspired by the ending of the movie It’s a Wonderful Life, in which Jimmy Stewart’s character gives Clarence the angel wings that will guide him to heaven. Fleury, who founded Angel Gowns of the South Bay in 2018, has been a fabric designer and artist for years, but it’s this type of work that brings out her best skills. Her team of seamstresses, who meet monthly at Waterfront Studios, her home-based studio on San Pedro’s waterfront, focuses on keeping the women uplifted during a labor of love that can be emotionally draining. The organization has received an outpouring of support since its inception, and is currently working on its first annual fundraiser in February. Its upcoming event will include a raffle for a custom-made angel dress, as well as a silent auction and dessert party. The organization plans to provide more than 150 dresses in the next year, but they need donations to keep up with demand.
Children often have unique questions and concerns about death. A child funeral is a special service that honors the life of a child and offers comfort to those who have lost a child. A funeral can be a time to remember the hopes and dreams you had for your child. It is a time to share memories of your child and connect with other people who loved them. A celebration of life ceremony, a memorial service or a graveside service are all ways to remember your child and honor them. Some families choose to arrange a funeral for their infant or child with a funeral home, while others choose to organize the service themselves. In either case, it is important to include your child in the planning process. Talk with them and listen to their questions and concerns. A funeral director can help make suggestions based on the child’s age and comfort level. They can also provide special touches, such as a casket lining or ceremonial shroud made from the child’s favorite blanket, doll bed or sports team jersey; an open or closed casket; a baby or children’s memorial table; or a funeral vehicle decorated with their name, birth date and/or a photo of them. During the visitation period and funeral, it is important to talk with your child about what they will experience. During this conversation, it is appropriate to explain that their sibling is no longer alive and will not come back. It is also helpful to explain that some people have closed caskets and that their sibling will not be able to see them. It is also important to reassure them that their sibling cannot feel cold, pain or fear. If your child wants to view their sibling’s body, it is best to do so with close adult supervision. The viewing may be more difficult for young children and it is normal if they become upset. Some families find it comforting to give the children a snack or beverage during the viewing and to offer them some breaks from the crowd. If you are having a funeral service, it is a good idea to prepare a booklet that lists what will happen in the service for your guests to take with them. This can be a simple handout or a more professional brochure. A point person can be assigned to any child who may need a break during the service. If they leave, it is important to have a trusted adult who can bring them back and be a comfort to them.
The arrival of a new baby is an exciting time for families. However, it is also a time of many new responsibilities. One of the most important concerns is selecting the right clothing for your little bundle of joy. The wrong fabrics can irritate sensitive skin, cause rashes or even cause dermatitis. The skin of babies is up to five times more delicate than that of adults. It is therefore important to choose clothing made from natural materials, such as cotton. If possible, opt for organic cotton. This is better for the environment and also supports farmers who work under fair conditions. Additionally, organic fabric does not contain harmful pesticides and fertilizers. It is best to purchase clothing that is labeled as organic, or certified OEKO-TEX 100 percent organic. Comfort is another important consideration when choosing baby clothing. Infants spend much of their time sleeping, so they need soft, comfortable garments. Most newborns wear bodysuits and sleepers, which cover their entire bodies except for their feet. These are worn during the day and night, and can be supplemented with bibs for feeding time. In warmer weather, young infants often wear t-shirts or short sleeve dresses, which can be worn with leggings for warmth. For more formal occasions, infants might wear scaled down adult style clothing such as mini-tuxedos. When shopping for baby clothes, it is best to try on a few styles and sizes before making a purchase. Babies grow quickly, and repeated washes can shrink clothing. In addition, some brands run a bit larger than others, so it is wise to buy a slightly bigger size. This allows for a bit of room to grow, and you can always roll up sleeves or pants on the garment if it is too big, as babies tend to have growth spurts from time to time. Babies spend a lot of time in the laundry, so they need durable, washable clothing. Look for fabric that will hold up to poop explosions, spit up and constant machine washing without becoming misshapen or pilling. Also, consider whether the garments are easy to put on and take off. Having to struggle with zippers or buttons while changing your baby can make the experience difficult and stressful. Look for onesies with snaps or zippers that are easily accessible for quick diaper changes. Buying clothes that are both comfortable and stylish is always a good idea. When you are shopping for baby clothes, be sure to look for a wide selection of colors and styles. It is also a good idea to shop in person, as this will allow you to see and feel the clothing before you make a purchase. You can also ask the sales associate for recommendations based on your child’s gender and age, as well as your budget. In addition, you can also find out if the store offers personalization services. This can be a great way to give a special baby gift that will last for years.
When a loved one passes, you may be overwhelmed by the choices available to dress them for their final journey. You may want to choose a suit or dress that reflects your loved one’s style or personality, or you might prefer something more traditional. Some people may even wish to wear jewelry that was sentimental or important to them in life. Many funeral homes have a selection of clothing and jewelry to choose from for your deceased family member. However, if you’re looking for a more personalized look, you can also turn to independent designers who specialize in bespoke burial attire. These artists use a combination of design, anthropology, forensics, fiber science, and more to create outfits for the dead. Burial gowns are designed to fit over a human body, and they usually have high necklines and long sleeves to hide any scarring that could be left from a person’s passing. They are typically made of easily adjustable materials like cotton, wool, linen, or silk. They are also designed to be worn while a person is lying down, with drawstrings and long slits to allow the deceased to be dressed by a mourner or by a funeral director. Designers who focus on clothing the dead can often be found in the art and fashion industries, but they can also come from a variety of other backgrounds. Seattle-based artist Mark Mitchell draws on his background in theatrical costume to create one-of-a-kind, heirloom-style burial ensembles from fine fabrics. His work is exhibited in galleries around the country, and his collection has been featured in several major national museums. For those who have pre-planned their end-of-life, it can be helpful to check to see if they left instructions on what they wanted to wear for their funeral or memorial service. Depending on the person, this may be as simple as checking their closet for an outfit that they had set aside to wear. If your loved ones didn’t leave any specific instructions, it’s a good idea to start by talking with the funeral home about their clothing preferences. They may be able to manipulate an outfit from your closet so that it fits over the corpse, or they might have recommendations on where to purchase burial clothes in the area. Some people choose to bury their loved ones in clothes that they would have worn in daily life, which reflects the value of equality. Others may dress their loved ones in religious or cultural garb that was significant to them. In the past, most people wore dedicated death outfits called “burial shrouds.” Similar to bridal nightwear or wedding dresses, these were sewn by women before their big day and kept until needed. They’re still popular in some cultures and religions, but they aren’t the norm in western society. However, a few artists are reviving this tradition with modern garments that can be worn by both men and women. These are often made from linen or cotton, and they feature drawstrings and long slits so that they can be put on the deceased with ease.
Newborns grow very fast, so it’s important to register for a lot of clothes that will fit well. When it comes to baby clothing, there are a lot of different brands that sell high-quality and stylish options. From everyday essentials like newborn bodysuits and footie pajamas to special occasion wear including tulle skirts and tuxedo suits, there’s something for every budget and style. One of the most common mistakes that new parents make is purchasing baby clothing too small. Babies are so incredibly small that they often grow out of their clothing almost overnight, and buying too small can lead to expensive returns. So, to prevent this from happening, it’s best to purchase clothes that are slightly bigger than what you think your newborn will need, and then just roll up the sleeves or pants as needed. Another tip is to shop by weight, not age. Babies are so tiny that their age doesn’t mean much, and it can be difficult for new parents to determine what size their infant is, especially when shopping online. Instead, many brands list their size based on weight rather than age, so that shoppers can avoid a lot of confusion. Lastly, it’s a good idea to buy season-appropriate clothes, and be sure to consider your geographical climate when making your purchases. The weather in Southern California will likely be very different than the weather in New York, so it’s important to purchase clothing that is appropriate for your area. When it comes to swaddling your newborn, it’s a great idea to invest in some muslin blankets. These are lightweight cotton cloths that can be draped over your newborn to help keep them warm without overheating, and they are very soft and gentle on your baby’s skin. Muslin blankets also make excellent gifts for new moms and babies, and you can even find ones with adorable designs and phrases to celebrate a new baby. Some of the most popular brands of baby clothes include Carter’s basic onesies and Old Navy’s trendy styles and prints, but there are a lot of other choices out there too. The Posh Peanut collection, for example, is made with bamboo and features a number of thoughtful details that make it stand out from the rest. For example, they have gender-neutral bodysuits that have lap shoulders and snaps for easy diaper changes, plush sleeper gowns with peek-a-paw cuffs to avoid self-scratching, and stunning prints that make them perfect for newborn pictures. Another brand that gets high marks from parents is Pehr, which makes ethically manufactured clothing using recycled materials. They use organic and GOTS-certified cotton, which means they’re free of any potentially hazardous chemicals. Their line of rompers, dresses, and overalls is designed in Canada and ethically made in India, and they ship via recycled paper and vinyl-free packaging. They also give back through their Good+ Foundation to support low-income families.
When someone dies, their loved ones often choose clothing to dress them in for the funeral service. They can either select clothes they’ve worn in life or purchase new outfits that reflect the deceased’s personality and interests. It’s common for older people to choose a more formal outfit while younger people may opt for less formal attire that speaks to their personality and lifestyle. For example, if Grandma was a dedicated baker or Dad was a fisherman a pair of fishing pants and an embroidered hat might be perfect. In many cultures, including those of the Christian faith, it’s a tradition to dress the dead in clothing that was worn in life. It’s also a way to help loved ones grieve in a way that’s personal and unique to the individual. However, there are situations when the person’s own clothing isn’t appropriate for burial. This is due to the fact that the body may have lost or gained weight and because of the stiffness caused by rigor mortis. For these scenarios, funeral directors often provide a selection of burial gowns for families to choose from. These are typically made of light-weight cotton or linen and are designed to drape over the body, allowing for easy movement. They are also designed to be comfortable and soft against the skin, which helps comfort loved ones who are grieving. Another benefit of burial gowns is that they are designed to be easily put on, either by a funeral director or by the loved ones of the deceased. This is an important consideration because dressing a deceased person can be emotionally and physically challenging. It’s also important that the garment is lightweight to make it as stress-free as possible. The selection of burial apparel can be overwhelming for some loved ones, but there are ways to narrow down the options. A great place to start is by checking if the person left any instructions on their death wishes. Whether it’s in a will or a note, this will give you clues as to their preference. Aside from checking for specific instructions, loved ones can also check their closet to see if they have an outfit that they’ve set aside for just such a time as this. It’s common for people to do this when they realize that they are getting closer to their end-of-life and have been trying to prepare accordingly. Other sources of burial clothes can be found through non-profit agencies and stores that specialize in infants, like Beverly Duckett. She crafts tiny burial gowns for the infants who never come home from the hospital, as well as a variety of other custom angel gowns for grieving parents who are struggling to find peace with their loss. It’s a labor of love that gives some relief to the countless grieving parents who must cope with a premature loss. In her bright second-floor sewing room, Duckett’s work offers hope and comfort to families as they deal with a difficult situation.