You may have seen or heard about these preemie octopi. Octopods. Octopussies. Whatever the plural is.
They started off in Denmark, where a study found that babies in incubators did a lot better with an octopus friend – the tentacles remind them of the umbilical cord, and baby can grab onto them instead of pulling at any vital wires. They also help lower baby’s heart rate, provide companionship, and all sorts of other good things.
Of course I wanted to join in straight away. Combining crafts with helping people is one of my favourite things in the world! But at the time there were no UK hospitals accepting the octopoms, so I filed the idea away for later and got on with other things.
Fast forward to this week, and an email went round saying the wife of one of my colleagues had given birth 8 weeks early. Baby was okay, but would be living in an incubator for a wee while.
Ding! went the lightbulb above my head.
Enough time has passed that some Scottish hospitals will now allow an octopus in with incu-babies, and (I figured) even if this particular hospital won’t allow it, baby can still have it when he gets out. So here we have my first ever preemie octopus, Oliver:
I had a brief look over this pattern, decided I didn’t quite like the shape of the body, and went off and did my own thing. I think it turned out pretty well, if I do say so myself!
Oliver will be handed over to his new family next week, so I’ll have to wait and see what they think of him. In the meantime…. I’ve had a thought.
There are a few Etsy shops I like that offer a charity matching option, for example you buy a blanket for yourself and the shop donates a blanket to a hospice.
What do you all think of Quiet Water offering this with preemie octopodes (obviously I will learn the correct plural term before setting it up)? You get a cute little curly wurly octopus and I send one to a hospital that will accept them, to help a little baby feel better.
What do you think? Would you go for Oliver with an added bonus? Let me know in the comments!