You might have heard of rainbow babies — babies born after pregnancy or infant loss — and sunshine babies — children born before the loss of a brother or sister to miscarriage or stillbirth — but you probably haven't heard about purple butterfly babies. These babies are born in multiple births where one or more of their siblings didn't survive, and these special babies are part of a very specific type of loss that's often overlooked.
A purple butterfly, often found on the side of a baby's crib in a hospital or NICU, is a special symbol created by UK mom Millie Smith to honor Skye — the twin daughter she lost just hours after her birth in 2016. Smith wanted to let people at the hospital know that Callie, her daughter who survived, was part of a set of twins. As Babble reports, Smith's purple butterfly has gone on to adorn cribs and bassinets in hospitals worldwide to let staff and visitors know that those babies lost a twin sister or brother, and to help raise awareness and sensitivity about this specific type of pregnancy and infant loss.
Since starting the Skye High Foundation to raise money for crib stickers in 2016, Smith's purple butterflies have become a way for families to honor their purple butterfly babies and remember the siblings who passed. There’s definitely no a wrong way to grieve the loss of a pregnancy or baby, or to honor your purple butterfly baby who survived, but if you are in need of inspiration, here are some ideas from parents who’ve been there: