Give them a name that’s just as meaningful as they are.
Having a rainbow baby is so special, but it also brings an immeasurable amount of emotion to a parent. For those who aren't familiar, a rainbow baby is an infant born after the loss of a previous baby due to miscarriage or stillbirth. Miscarriage in particular is an extremely common type of pregnancy loss, and there are many moms out there who know what it means to have a rainbow baby, even if they don’t speak about it publicly. Oftentimes, rainbow baby names become a very significant part of the pregnancy journey after a big loss.
Many parents will admit that not all of the emotions that go hand-in-hand with a rainbow baby are positive ones (and that’s totally fine). In addition to the joy that comes with having a baby after a loss, there is also often fear, doubt, anxiety, or guilt. It’s important to remember that bringing a new life into the world after losing a baby does not mean you’re taking away from a previous loss or grieving incorrectly. Instead, a rainbow baby can carry on the love parents will always have for the baby they lost, while truly creating a feeling of beauty after the storm.
With any pregnancy — but especially one as riddled with emotion as a rainbow pregnancy — there are many significant milestones that often hold a deep meaning. One of these can be finding the right name to honor both your rainbow baby and your broader experience. Below is a list of meaningful name ideas that signify hope, happiness, blessings, miracles, and more.
Names that indicate blessings
Amariah has Hebrew origins and means “promised by God.” It was once a name reserved for priests because of its meaning, but now it’s a beautiful name for rainbow babies.
Irdina means “pride,” which is popularly associated with the rainbow. With Arabic, Indian, and Muslim roots, it also means “our honor” and “virtue,” which is perfect for a rainbow baby as surely they are seen as virtuous and a blessing to the family.
Adom is an African name that means "God's blessing." The Egyptian meaning of the name also means "help from the gods." Sometimes a rainbow baby feels so special, like there must have been some sort of divine intervention.
Angela is a name associated with French, Spanish, Italian, American, Greek, and Latin meanings — all of which translate to "angel" or "messenger of God." This name is both spiritual and popular, and if you want a slight variant you could opt for Angelina (and buy all the Angelina Ballerina books).
Beatrix means "blessed." It's also a name largely associated with the creator of Peter Rabbit and one of the Queens of The Netherlands.
Benedict is a Latin name meaning "blessed.” It's also the name of the Italian saint Benedict of Nursia who founded the Benedictine order of monks and nuns. It’s a strong name many people associate with Benedict Cumberbatch or Benedict Arnold, and Ben is an easy nickname.
Bennett is the medieval form of the name "blessed.” It’s often seen as a combination of the names Beckett and Benjamin, but it stands beautifully on its own and can work for either sex. Ben or Bene make great nicknames, and if you and your partner are Tony Bennett fans, this could be a great choice.
Grace means "grace from God," and is an English baby name derived from the Latin word "gratia." This one-syllable name is gaining in popularity with some families choosing the variation of Grayson for girl or boy. The beautiful and classic names Hannah and Anne also translate to Grace.
Gia, a beautiful Italian name, means “God’s gracious gift,” which we love. While you can just name your baby Gia, it could also be short for Gianna or Giovanna.
Gwyneth, a name of Welsh origin, means "blessed, happy.” You may not be able to hear this name without thinking of the Goop creator and actor, Gwyneth Paltrow, but she’s not a bad person with whom to share a namesake. Gwyn or Gwyndolin are also lovely variations on the same.
Theodore is a Greek name that means “gift of God,” and again, this really does describe your miracle baby. Let’s not also forget that Teddy is just the cutest nickname for a little one, which is certainly a nice perk. Theodora is the beautiful female version of this name.
Winifred (or Winnie for short) is a Welsh name that means "blessed peacemaking." It has a calming, soft sound to it, and Winn makes a beautiful name for either sex. Be prepared to get tons of Winnie The Pooh memorabilia as baby gifts, which isn’t such a bad trade off for such a strong name.
Names that mean ‘miracle’
Mireille is a French name meaning “miracle,” “to admire,” and “prosperous.” This is such a great name for a rainbow baby as your admiration for them will never run out.
Aaron is a name associated with the words lofty, exalted, and high mountain. According to She Knows, Aaron was the first high priest of the Israelites, remembered for the miraculous blossoming of his staff. Having a rainbow baby may feel like no small feat, and Aaron is the perfect name to commemorate this milestone.
Amari is an American name that means "miracle of God." Although it was originally thought of as a male name, it is now also used for females as well.
Ayah is an Arabic name meaning "miracle". This name has a gorgeous smooth sound, and can also be spelled “Aya” which has a slightly different meaning, “colorful or bird.” This uncommon and unexpected name is perfect for rainbow babies who often feel like a true miracle or an answer to your prayers.
Dorothea is a German name meaning "gift of God.” It’s a beautiful variation on Dorothy. This name is beautiful on its own, or it can be shortened to Dot or Dottie. Plus, if you name your daughter Dorothea, she’ll share a name with famed photographer Dorothea Lange.
Eliana means "my God has answered.” While this name is Hebrew in origin, it’s a very multicultural choice and is used in Israel, Spain, Portugal, Russia and Italy. This rhythmic name is an elegant and feminine choice, especially if you feel like your rainbow baby was a long-awaited answered prayer.
Jonathan is a Hebrew name meaning "Jehovah has given" or "given of God.” It's a name that's commonly associated with the author of Gulliver's Travels (Jonathan Swift), and the name also maintains biblical roots. Some may choose to shorten this name to Jon, though the name sounds strong on its own, too.
Matthew (or Matthias) is from the Hebrew name "Matityahu," which means "Gift from God." The name has been popular since the 1960s and there won’t be anyone in your life that doesn’t “get” this name. If you’re looking for a slightly less popular variation, you could try going with the French version, Matteo instead (which sometimes gets shortened to Teo).
Mira is a name with the Latin meaning "wonderful" and "marvelous." Some see it as a shortened version of the word "miracle." Another definition tied to the name Mira from the American and Hebrew meaning is "bitter," which can also be associated with the bittersweet feeling of a rainbow baby.
Nathan (or Nathaniel) means "gift of God” and is originally a Hebrew name, though now it is used across many cultures. Its biblical roots also mean "giving" or "rewarded." Many Nathans end up going by the short nickname Nate, and this name may capture the gift of having a rainbow baby.
Samuel is a Hebrew name that means "asked of God" or "heard by God," and is a meaningful and precise name for anyone who feels like their baby was a gift. The feminine version of this name is Samantha, and both names can be shortened to Sam.
Names that mean ‘thankful’
Ewan is an Irish name symbolizing that “God is gracious.” Alternative meanings include “youth” and “warrior,” which will always remind you that your baby is forever a fighter. Ewan is also the name of actor Ewan McGregor, so any Star Wars fans may be especially interested in this name.
Shakira is a name you may recognize the name thanks to famous Colombian singer Shakira, but you may not have realized the meaning. The name stems from the Arabic word shukran, which means grateful or thankful to God. The name can also be Shakir or Shaquira, both of which have the same meaning.
Zendaya is another name you’re probably familiar with thanks to Hollywood, this one also has a meaning similar to thankful. In Shona, the language of the people of Zimbabwe, Zendaya means “to give thanks.”
Jeanne is a popular name that means “God is gracious.” It’s also associated with Joan of Arc (in French, her name is Jeanne D’Arc), and it’s a Celtic-Gaelic name. If you like the meaning behind it and you want a name for a boy, Jeanne is the female variation of the French name Jean.
Donatello is an Italian name that means “given” or “gift from God.” Donatello sounds so regal and is a really lovely way to honor Italian heritage. And if you want this name for a girl, Donatella works – just like the designer.
Hannie is a unique girl’s name of Hebrew origin. It means “He (God) has favored me,” which is also along the same lines as “thankful.” Hannie is another version of the girl’s name Hannah, and it’s so sweet and adorable.
Shiloh is a biblical name that’s particularly appropriate for religious parents, but works for anyone. The meaning isn’t exactly “thankful,” but it’s pretty close. The name has Hebrew origins and means “tranquil,” “abundance,” and “His gift.” It’s very spiritual, serene, and sweet. While Shiloh is often used as a girl’s name, it’s actually a good gender-neutral option.
Jayden is a Hebrew name that means “thankful.” This name seems to be growing in popularity and is a nice twist on Aiden or Jason. It works for either boys or girls. If you prefer older names, the name Jadon is an alternative that appears in the Old Testament of the Bible.
Aissa has a few different meanings and origins, all of which are similar to “thankful.” The Arabic/Muslim version of the name means “wonderful” and “grateful,” which is basically synonymous to “thankful.” It can also have Hebrew origins and mean “God saves.”
Picking your rainbow baby’s name can feel extra special, and that’s why it can be so nice to choose a name that has a deeper meaning connected to how you feel about your little one. Whether you opt for a name that means hope, rainbow, or thankful, there are so many beautiful and spiritual options, and you really can’t pick a wrong one.
This article was originally published on