Poole hospital's asking people who can crochet to help make an octopus for premature babies. Here's baby Noah with his. pic.twitter.com/EO5jZuhjaV— BBC Radio Solent (@BBCRadioSolent) November 9, 2016
Incubators can be extremely scary and lonely, but this hospital has figured out an unexpected way to comfort premature babies as they learn to live and breathe on their own. The Poole Hospital in Dorset, England, is offering all babies in the NICU these crocheted octopuses to help with their breathing. You're probably wondering how an octopus could calm a newborn, but the reasoning surprisingly makes perfect sense.
"One of the nurses brought in the octopus and explained about the idea," said a mother whose premature twin girls are currently in the hospital. "The girls absolutely love them. When they are asleep they hold onto the tentacles tightly. Normally they would be in the womb and would play with the umbilical cord so the octopuses make them feel grounded and safe. They really are beautiful."
The idea for these magical octopuses came from research in Denmark and is now being implemented in hospitals all over. The Poole Hospital shared online that the calming effect of the crocheted toy "leads to better breathing and more regular heartbeats as well as higher levels of oxygen in their blood." With babies holding on to these cuddly creatures, they can pull on the tentacles instead of on the tubes and monitors.
The Poole Hospital is asking for all skilled crocheters to help out by making these soothing toys and donating to the maternity unit. The exact pattern can be found here, but it explains that the tentacles cannot be more than 22 centimeters long and they must be made from 100 percent cotton.
We love that these simple sea creatures are helping soothe premature babies all over the world.