If you are faced with the death of an infant or small child, purchasing a baby casket is the first step in the long and painful healing process. It is true that there is no greater loss than the death of a baby or child and making his or her final arrangements can be almost as painful as the loss itself. But if you find a trusted funeral home and director, you will be able to select the casket you want with all of the support you need.
About Baby Caskets
Baby caskets are used to bury infants or small children either in the ground, in a burial vault or at times, cremated along with the body. This is the child's final resting place and great care is needed in choosing the correct one.
Standard infant caskets start at 17 inches, although some specialty shops and funeral homes make them even smaller. They are made from a variety of materials including wood and metal or a more natural component commonly found in green burials.
Styles of Caskets Used for Infants
Infant caskets come in a variety of styles and colors, depending on your budget and taste. You can choose from standard styles or have one customized to your liking. Options available include choice of:
- Materials: Semi-metal, metal, wood and biodegradable
- Exterior colors
- Interior colors and fabrics
- Choice of head-cap
Most baby caskets come in white, symbolizing the innocence of the child who died. However, many casket companies offer a variety of soft or traditional colors as well. The lining of the casket, which can be tailored, tufted or ruffled, is what can be customized specifically to your needs. You can choose from:
Where to Purchase a Baby Casket
Typically, these caskets are purchased through a funeral home. Your funeral home director will be able to supply you with catalogs and price lists so you can choose the one you want for your child. However, casket stores are popping up all over, including on the Internet. Many offer next day shipping on standard caskets. Some of the casket stores where you can purchase baby caskets include:
- Perfect Memorials has a selection of metal and wooden child and infant caskets. Overnight shipping is available.
- Casket Gallery offers a large selection of infant caskets in a variety of colors and sizes.
- Best Price Caskets offers a large assortment of baby caskets in many sizes and colors. Same day shipping is available. This store is even open nights and weekends.
A few things to keep in mind when purchasing a casket outside of a funeral home. According to the Federal Trade Commission:
- Funeral homes are not allowed to charge a handling fee if a casket is purchased elsewhere.
- They cannot refuse or ask for a receipt if a casket is purchased elsewhere.
- A disclaimer or waiver must be signed by the family.
- Funeral directors and personnel may not slander the company from where your casket was purchased.
Tips on Choosing a Baby Casket
Many times, you will only have a day or two to select a baby casket. Because of the emotions involved in the entire funeral planning process, you may not remember everything you normally would when selecting a casket. If that is the case, you may want to take a family member or close friend along to help you with the selection and with any contracts that may need to be signed. If you are purchasing a casket ahead of time for a child who is terminally ill, the entire process may be a bit simpler. If this the case, write down any questions or concerns you may think of before you go to the funeral home.
Losing a baby is the worst thing a parent can ever experience. If the burden of grief can be lessened by being knowledgeable about your casket purchase, then your road to healing will be that much smoother.