How does a Crochet Octopus help a premature baby?
You may have heard about hospitals giving premature babies crochet octopus but why do they do this?
The reason behind the Crochet Octopuses is as scientific as it is sweet. Research has shown that the crocheted tentacles remind little ones of their umbilical cords and being inside their mother’s womb. These familiar touch sensations help poorly babies feel safe.
According to the Poole Hospital website, the idea originated in Denmark, where researchers found that preemies who cuddled up with these cute octopuses in their incubators had more regular heartbeats, better breathing, and higher levels of oxygen in their blood. Not only that, but these babies were also less likely to pull out their monitors and tubes.
How do you make a crochet octopus?
Crochet is a handicraft in which yarn is made up into a textured fabric by means of a hooked needle. It takes skill and practice to create things using the crochet technique but if you have the time and the patience, there are plenty of free patterns online.
For safety considerations, please note that 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 and the stuffing should be hypoallergenic.
Where to buy a crochet octopus?
If the idea of making your own is a bit daunting or you need an Octopus Pal in a hurry, you can buy one of our 100% cotton handmade crochet octopus for premature babies. Our Crochet Octopuses are made to order but we do hold limited stock in some colours.
Choose from a range of cute colours and tell us what decoration you’d like on the head, you can choose from a leaf, shell, star or heart shape.
Why don’t our Octopuses have features?
Our Octopuses are designed to be as safe as possible for tiny babies so we don’t include any small parts that could come loose. Our Preemie size octopus are made from a single piece of yarn with no joins so no worries about losing a tentacle*. Features would also interrupt the texture of the soft body and as premature babies vision isn’t fully developed they see with their hands, using their sense of touch to identify their surroundings. According to Science Daily, even premature babies at 33 weeks post-conceptional age, about 2 months before term (40 gestational weeks), are capable of recognizing and distinguishing two objects of different shapes (a prism and a cylinder) with their right or left hands.
This makes the texture and shapes much more important than looks so our Octopus Pals are simple shapes that your baby can feel and touch.
*Our multicoloured octopus are not made from a single yarn but a mixture. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure these toys are safe, adult supervision is advised.