My first octopus

Photo from My Nomad Home

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:

Isn’t he the cutest!

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!

Making friends

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!



18 thoughts on “My first octopus”

  1. Cute octopus. Not sure about the deal you propose – each hospital has it’s own rules. I know locally they are very fussy about what yarn you use for each donation, for one. Nice idea, and I hope your friend’s baby does well and loves their new toy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have wanted to get involved with this project since I first heard about it. The U.S. has a group that has very specific regulations and you have to become a certified crafter. Unfortunately my hand isn’t ready to handle the tiny requirements yet. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As others have said, we have this action in Poland and it’s quite strictly regulated – the yarn which is allowed, the specific pattern which is accepted etc (and not everyone can donate the octopus, only through a certified group). I think there was more freedom at the beginning and the strict requirements appeared later due to the feedback from the hospitals, since preemie babies are extremely delicate and vulnerable, so it’s important not to harm them by accident. I also know that the pattern they use is copyrighted and you cannot crochet the octopus for sale. No idea how it works in the UK though, maybe it’s less strict?
    But in general I think an added bonus is always a good idea and I love buying from sellers who other donate a matching gift to a charity or donate a part of my payment to a good cause etc. It’s awesome that you thought about it!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. In the UK we have rules about yarn etc hence why they might be disallowed but their is a group on FB that does this in the UK for some hospitals and will give you everything you need to know. Someone tagged me in something a while back I will have a look for it and will send you on instagram in the week xx


  5. My son was born 9 weeks and 1 day premature and my friend made him one. Whilst I can’t say it stopped him pulling out his feeding tubes (he had a reputation for this) he certainly loved holding the tentacles. He still does!
    Where I live, currently, there aren’t strict regulations as we only have the 1 hospital and they don’t wash the things donated to the babies, that’s up to the parents. The main thing is that they’re cotton and don’t have random hats or bows. I think that they’re joining the ‘official’ page now, I’m hoping to get involved with this!
    If I’ve read your proposal correctly, you’ll make one octo for every blanket and then send it via the FB group? I think that’s a lovely idea. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your octo is adorable! That is such a good and thoughtful idea to have a buy 1/donate 1 sale. I hope you can find a way to do that. I hope your friend’s baby is okay and is comforted by your cute little octo. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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