I just read about a beautiful new thing that is happening in the world of crochet. A study in Denmark found that premature babies in the NCIU do better when a toy octopus is put into their crib. They love to hold the tentacles because it reminds them of the umbilical cord. I think they might like to lean on the body because it would feel a bit like the placenta too. It has to be shocking for them to be pulled from their cozy environment and put into an incubator by themself.
This idea is catching on, in at least one hospital in England that asked the public to donate crocheted toys for their NCIU. The hospital in the article has since received over 200!
This is inspiring me. I am going to make a handful and take them to my local hospital. I love making things and sharing them with people who both need and love them. After I make the first five I am going to put them on sale in my Etsy shop. For each person who buys one, I will donate a matching one to my hospital.
The original article can be found here.
Photo credits for both photos: Poole Hospital, England
UPDATE ON 02-28-17:
I have made my octopus dolls and contacted my local hospital to see where I could drop them off. Unfortunately they will not accept them because they don’t allow any toys in the incubators. So my toys are going to the Ronald McDonald House in Pensacola, Fl. That way they can still get to someone who will love them in my local community. Honestly I know the parents of the preemies might be staying there, and I am hoping they get the dolls and save them for when the babies are able to have toys.
If you want to make the toys and not worry about finding a hospital to get them to there are Facebook Groups that will accept the toys and send them to hospitals that will accept and need them. The list has groups for 16 different countries.