Rainbow Baby Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Do you know what it means when someone says they have a rainbow baby? Read on to get the scoop on the meaning of rainbow baby.

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You’ve likely seen pictures on social media of an adorable infant wrapped in a rainbow blanket or heard someone mention a “rainbow baby,” but do you know what it means? Not to worry — we’ll tell you. 

In this article, we’re exploring the term rainbow baby to uncover its true meaning, origin, and more. So, if you’ve ever wondered about those colorful baby bumps or why a tiny tot might be considered a “rainbow baby,” keep reading. 

What Is the Definition of Rainbow Baby?

The term “rainbow baby” may sound cheerful and bright, but the truth is that having a rainbow baby may come with a wide spectrum of emotions. You see, a rainbow baby is an infant that is born after a miscarriage, stillbirth, or loss of a previous infant.  

For some expecting parents, a rainbow baby is joyful. For others, it can bring difficult memories to the surface, including grief for the “angel baby” who was lost.   

What Is the Origin of Rainbow Baby?

The history behind our word of the day is a bit fuzzy, but many people believe the term was coined in 2008 among survivors of infant loss. 

That year, “rainbow baby” made an appearance in a book called Our Heartbreaking Choices: Forty-Six Women Share Their Stories of Interrupting a Much-Wanted Pregnancy by Christie Brooks. As women began speaking out about the term, it quickly solidified its place in the English language and was added to the dictionary in 2018.

How Common Are Rainbow Babies?

It’s tough to identify the exact number of rainbow babies born each year. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a miscarriage is estimated to occur in as many as 26 percent of all pregnancies. 

A pregnancy loss can be an extremely upsetting and traumatic event that often manifests into grief, anxiety, and depression. That said, many women who experience a pregnancy loss go on to have children in the future. In fact, it’s estimated that around 85 percent of women who have had one loss and 75 percent of women who have had two losses go on to have successful pregnancies. 

What Is National Rainbow Baby Day?

In honor of all the little ones born after stillbirth, miscarriage, or other neonatal death and their sweet angel siblings, the United States celebrates Rainbow Baby day every year on August 22nd. This special day is a time designated to appreciate the journey you’ve been through and honor the “rainbow” that arrived after the “storm.” 

What Do You Name a Rainbow Baby?

Of course, you can name your sweet miracle anything that your heart desires. If you’re looking for a name with special significance to bestow upon your little ray of hope, you have a plethora of options to choose from.

Rainbow Baby Names for Girls

  • Adora — Latin origin meaning “adored”
  • Amy — Old French origin meaning “beloved”
  • Asha — Meaning “Hope” in Sanskrit and “life” in Swahili
  • Evangeline — Greek origin meaning “bearer of good news”
  • Gwyneth — Welsh girl’s name meaning “blessed”
  • Hope — English origin
  • Imani — Arabic origin meaning “faith”
  • Jenica — Romanian origin meaning “God’s gracious gift”
  • Miriam — Hebrew origin meaning “drop of the sea or beloved”
  • Odelia — Hebrew origin meaning “I will praise the lord”
  • Pandora — Greek origin meaning “all gifted”
  • Raphaela — Italian origin meaning “God has healed”
  • Shauna — Hebrew origin meaning “God is gracious”
  • Vera — Russian origin meaning “faith”
  • Victoria — Latin origin meaning “victorious”
  • Vita — Latin origin meaning “life”

Rainbow Baby Names for Boys

  • Arman — Persian name meaning “wish” or “hope”
  • Bennett — Meaning “blessed”
  • Diarra — West African origin meaning “gift”
  • Felix — Latin origin meaning “happy, fortunate
  • Hari — Sanskrit origin Hindu name meaning “one who takes away (evil)”
  • Ivan — Russian origin meaning “God is gracious”
  • Luca — meaning “bringer of light”
  • Samuel — Hebrew origin meaning “the gift of God”
  • Von — German origin meaning “son of”

Related Terms You Should Know

The world of parenting has its own special language with many words gaining widespread popularity — like the term “rainbow baby.” Other related terms that are starting to become a bit more mainstream include:

  • Sunshine Baby — A baby conceived before you encounter a loss. This may result from the loss of a pregnancy in the first 20 to 24 weeks, a baby who is born without any signs of life at or after 24 weeks of pregnancy, an ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth, or abortion. 
  • Angel Baby — A baby who has passed away at any point in pregnancy or after birth during infancy. 
  • Rainbow Mommy — A mom who has a baby after a pregnancy loss (AKA, rainbow mom or rainbow mama).
  • Double Rainbow Baby — A baby conceived after the loss of two infants. 
  • Golden Baby — A baby born after a rainbow baby (the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow).
  • Unicorn Baby — A baby who is a super sleeper (AKA, a “perfect” baby)


A rainbow baby is a tiny miracle born after the loss of a previous baby due to stillbirth, miscarriage, or death in infancy. This sweet term is given to these precious babies because a rainbow typically follows a storm, providing a ray of hope for what’s to come. 


  1. Pregnancy After Miscarriage | American Pregnancy
  2. Miscarriage – StatPearls | NCBI Bookshelf
  3. Rainbow baby Meaning & Origin | Slang by Dictionary.com