Premature Baby Octopus Crochet Patterns Octo Project
the octo or crochet octopus is a crochet toy that serves its purpose in comforting premature babies born too soon whilst they being cared for in special care baby units at maternity hospitals. where can you get one from ? these are often made by volunteers who can crochet or knit, donating them to their own local maternity unit when needed.
A big hit in 2017 came with the crochet premature baby octopus. the idea originated in Denmark research showed that it helps to calm premature babies in the nicu. the crochet octopus had a soothing effect on these premature babies. regulated heart beats and increased oxygen levels in their blood.
You may be thinking how does this toy octopus do this for a premature baby is it the feel of the crochet wool? is it the smell of their mum as its passed to baby to grab ? no its by holding the long legs called tentacles that makes a big difference to these premature infants. it reminds them of their umbilical cord whilst they were in their mothers womb.It also helps them feel safe and secure. the babies were also less likely to pull out their tubes.
a hospital in poole in ensuring all premature babies in their care get one of these octopuses. donations were offered in knitted crochet octopuses but due to the health and safety reasons it was advised that if anybody decided to make one they should be made from 100% cotton so they can be washed at high temperatures. that way the risk of infection to these poorly babies in the neonatal intensive care units is kept to a minimum. Also the tentacles or legs should be no more than 11cm (a safer option than 18cm plus stretches to 22 max) due to an entanglement issue that could arise.
Since the story was published in a newspaper lots of appeals have been made to get these made for other premature babies in hospitals all over the uk. bliss the premature baby charity are not involved in this project and therefore cannot distribute them on your behalf if you feel this is something you want to get involved with too.
the best thing to do is contact your local maternity unit and ask the neonatal unit can they make use of some if you arranged it for them . they will then tell you what requirements they need to be made of to maintain their own hosptial's policy on health and safety, for premature babies in their care.
here is the Denmark's pattern of the premature baby octopus if you want to take a look at it in PDF format.
lots of people have know decided its a good idea to make one of these octopuses for premature babies and have designed their own patterns,easily available on ebay. some don't have the twisted tentacles that resemble the umbilical cord so its up to you if you decide you just want to try to creating one for your own children at home just to play with instead.
a group of volunteers started making these crochet octopuses fro the premature baby in 2013 made from premium cotton and crochet they are practical and so cute too.Since then it has been a project that is now known of all over the world. many charities are making them and donating them to their local neonatal units far and wide. the pattern can be used free of charge but its not a money making profit scheme, but to started to help these premature babies that are so tiny thrive better.
Q1. can I make one for my own premature baby?
A 1. yes make sure the hospital know about it and keep measurement tentacles maximum of 11cm its much safer and use 100% cotton knitting crochet wool. you may find you'd like a few to wash and take in so baby has a new colour designed by yourself making it personal with fun loving coloured crochet wool.
Q2. can I get a few volunteers together to make the octopuses for our local maternity hospital ?
yes get the details from the hospital first before getting the volunteers together it would be a shame to start making them only for the hospital to refuse them.Do not use second hand wool, use inner poly filling stuffing that complies with ‘EN71-3’. use very tight tight crochet stitches.make sure there are no holes that a micro premature baby finger can poke through the toy.
Q3. can I make the premature baby octopuses and sell them will there be a problem ?
although the idea and pattern idea came from the volunteers from Denmark octo project group. they don't object to them being sold but it would be better to be used for non profit use.as it is classed as a toy you must comply with all CE marks the uk law states on making hand made toys. this guide will help you click here
Q4. id love to get involved with project octo making these tiny and adorable octopuses how can I make them different yet safe any ideas please ?
oh yes there are many different ways you can make these crochet octopuses different to each other.
here are just a few ideas to get you started.add a crochet hat to the top of the head on a slant sew very firmly in place, adding a bow made from the same crochet wool in a different colour at the top of its head.add a bow under the neck stitch firmly in place. make different eye expressions sleeping, awake .add eye lashes to making little girly girly ones.Ive even seen little crochet dummies in the mouths of sleeping ones so sweet.doing rainbow legs makes a difference too use colours that work together for the best effect.
ebay has flooded the market with them now, all sellers making different ones you will find the prices vary such as from £6.00 up to £19.99. youll also pay postage but the ones that are really nicely made are the ones at £19.99.patterns also for sale n ebay too now prices range from 2.49 second hand.
other octopus creations crochet out there to buy for yourself ....
youll be surprised what else I found on ebay as I looked for these octopuses... adult octopus facemasks lots in bright colours and dark black ones, it must be by watching pirates of the Caribbean that has made an impact in sellers on ebay having these for one to own. They look so strange with wriggly tentacles streaming down the face as its worn with 2 eye holes at the top.