How to Organise a Child Funeral

A child funeral is a way to honour the life of a baby or child who has died. It is an opportunity to say goodbye in a way that feels right to the family. This can help children and their parents come to terms with the death and find ways to move forward in their lives.

If the decision is to have a ceremony for your child it’s important that you talk to them about what will happen and answer their questions in a way that they understand. It’s also important to give them the option to choose if they want to attend or not. Children are still children first and they may decide on the day of the funeral that it is too difficult or that they would like to leave early. This is completely normal. If they choose to stay and are upset it’s helpful to have a trusted adult with them who can comfort them and take them out of the setting for breaks.

When a child decides to go to the service they will probably be very interested in what will happen and will have many questions. If possible, allow them to visit the funeral home and other venues before the event so that they know what to expect. This can make them feel more comfortable and it gives them an opportunity to express their feelings before the services begin. It can be useful to explain that other people will be sad and happy, that it’s ok to cry, and that there will be times when they might laugh too.

Depending on your child’s age and personality you may wish to involve them in the planning of the funeral or memorialisation ceremony. For very young children, this might include deciding how they would like to be dressed for the funeral and choosing photos or other items to put in their coffin or on display. For older children, they might like to write a poem or letter for their sibling or choose music to play during the ceremony. It is also possible to arrange a memory book where friends and family can record their memories of your child.

You may choose to have a small ceremony at the funeral home or other venue to say goodbye to your child in the presence of close family and friends before arranging for their burial or cremation. You will need to discuss this with your funeral director or celebrant.

For a full religious service, it’s a good idea to invite your child’s friends and siblings to join in the ceremony. This can be a very moving experience for everyone involved and it can be comforting for your child to know that they have their family members and friends with them.

Some families prefer to have their child or baby buried or cremated within their own family cemetery or garden. This allows them to have a private farewell that can be a very healing experience. It is important to discuss this with your funeral director or celebrant and to ask them to provide a personalised ceremony.