Knitted toy octopuses, donated for premature babies to cuddle, catch on
The idea reportedly originated in Denmark: knitted toy octopuses for babies born prematurely. Babies in neonatal intensive care play with the octopuses the way they would with the umbilical cord if they were still in the womb. Observed health benefits included improved breathing, regular heartbeat and stronger oxygen levels.
“He’s awake just now and playing with the baby octopus. The toy’s tentacles are important, serving as a replacement for the umbilical cord he would be playing with if he were still in the womb.”
Pavlína is a mum whose own son was also born prematurely and is in intensive care at the Olomouc hospital. She says she will later save her son’s crocheted octopus as a memento.
“I’ll save it for him so he’ll have something to remember, from being born early and from his time in intensive care.”
“It was spontaneous, and it caught on in the Czech Republic thanks to the association Nedoklubko. It is a purposeful act. The toys are suitable and the babies like them. Anyone who knits toys for children shows they are thinking of them and that is worth something too.”