What is a Rainbow Baby?

Double Rainbow
Double Rainbow

In some circles, a baby born to families after the loss of a child are referred to as a “Rainbow Baby.” The idea is that the baby is like a rainbow after a storm.

“Rainbow Babies” is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. It means that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds.

Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.


11 thoughts on “What is a Rainbow Baby?

  1. Wow – I’ve never head that term before but I love it! I lost my Joshua at 9 mos old. I thought we were done, but then we got a call about our daughter and she truly has been a rainbow after the storm!

  2. Emma, I just wanted to say that I am so sorry to read your story, and my heart hurts for your loss. Thanks so much for your comment about letting go after your miscarriage … what a beautiful image, letting go of the balloon to represent your loss. I think that my lost babies are some of the hardest things I’ve had to let go of, too … and in many ways, I know I will never let go of them at all.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your babies too. I think it’s the feeling of sadness of losing our baby that’s been so hard to let go. She’ll always have a special place in my heart though:)

  3. I had not heard this term before. I like it. I guess all of my children were Rainbow babies. I have three boys and had a miscarriage before each of them. We would discuss the future in terms like “If the baby comes”, rather than most people’s “when the baby comes.” Have you read the book “Heaven is for Real”? It makes me think about meeting those unborn babies in heaven someday.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your losses 🙁 A friend of mine actually gave me the book “Heaven is for Real”, but I have yet to read it! I really want to; I read an article about the book and the part about the little boy meeting his unborn sibling resonated with me.

  4. Wow. I suffered my loss in 2000, volunteered as a facilitator for a pregnancy and infant loss support group for 2 years, worked part-time for a pregnancy and infant loss non-profit organization for 2 years, and I have never heard the term Rainbow Baby. I LOVE it! So beautiful. When we adopted my son in 2004, I found a plaque at a little gift shop the day before bringing him home. It had a rainbow and it said “At last the rain stopped and the sun shone bright and with the world all was right.” I broke down in tears in the store as I remembered my sweet Gabriel in heaven and imagined bringing my new “Rainbow baby” home to the nursery that should have been four years prior.

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