Sunday, 29 January 2017

Octopus for a Premature Baby

Premature babies at Poole Hospital in Dorset have been given unlikely bedfellows to keep them feel safe in their incubators: crocheted octopuses.
As local paper the Bournemouth Echo reports, the crafty creatures will now be offered to all infants in the hospital's neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) – and the reason is as scientific as it is sweet...
Research has shown that crocheted tentacles remind little ones of their umbilical cords and being inside their mother's womb, which in turn helps them feel safe.
The idea came from Denmark, where research showed that toy octopuses can calm babies, while squeezing their tentacles led to better breathing, more regular heartbeats and higher levels of oxygen in their blood. The babies were also less likely to pull on their monitors and tubes. 
However ~ Poole Hospital were keen to stress that, for safety considerations, donated octopuses should be made from 100% cotton, so that they can be washed at high temperatures for infection control.
Additionally, tentacles should be no longer than 22cm when extended for safety.
Donations can be sent to the maternity unit reception at Poole Hospital.
You will find an English pattern (which uses American Crochet terms) at ~
I know of several charity groups based in the UK who have taken up this idea and are making cute little octopuses to donate all around the country.
This lovely little octopus was made by Donna Dighton Crooks for the charity group Purple Butterfly - which is a small non profit making knitting / crocheting group whose aim is to donate handmade items to help the families of premature babies & babies born too soon.
'Skittles' - made by Donna Dighton Crooks
If you prefer to knit - you will find a knitting pattern in English for these at ~
There is more information about Spruttegruppen -
who originated The Danish Octo Project at ~
Photo by Spruttegruppen


  1. love this going to try and add this group

  2. Roughly how much yarn to make one octopus?

  3. it's a very helpful article, In my opinion, every mom wanna-be should understand that being pregnant is a miracle, so they will take care their body with a great love and understanding.

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  4. Would you jacket for premature baby's and hats