Who is Octopus For A Preemie?

Premature babies are extremely vulnerable, especially during the first few days and weeks of their lives and most have to face many difficult struggles before they are well enough to be allowed home with their families.  Being born too early into a world of tubes and incubators is very traumatic for these babies and this is where the octopus come in. 

The introduction of the octopus has had a very positive effect as a calming aid to the NICU babies who have received them.  The tentacles replicate the umbilical cord, which the babies hold onto in the womb, and holding them seems to help relieve their stress, making them feel safe during their time in the incubator.  With the tentacles to hold, babies are much less likely to pull out tubes and essential monitoring equipment cables that are attached to their bodies.  Parents also benefit indirectly because when they see how much calmer their baby is, their anxiety levels reduce too.




The Octopus For A Preemie UK project began in August 2016 and in the early days there were only 4 members crocheting octopus to supply a monthly quota to 1 hospital unit.  Their membership is now over 23,000 and they supply over 2000 octopus to more than 70 NICU throughout the UK every month, which is an incredible achievement in a fairly short space of time. Even with this huge achievement, the charity is pushing to do more and more with the hope to help as many preemies as possible!


The octopus are made from 100% cotton yarn and filled with high quality filling that can be washed at 60 degrees to ensure infection control.  Individual countries have their own criteria for acceptable octopus donations and the charity have adapted the original Danish patterns, following advice from British Trading Standards, to ensure that all donations comply with recommendations for size restrictions and quality control.


How we can help?
Octopus for a preemie need a constant supply of octopus from volunteers to help meet the monthly targets so that eventually they can supply donations to all the NICU babies who need them in UK hospitals. If you enjoy crocheting or knitting you can source the correct materials and make the octopus from the pattern provided in the files section of the Facebook group. Every NICU baby receives their own octopus, which has been lovingly made and donated by a member of the UK group. The donations are then sent to a local coordinator to be quality checked, before being individually packaged, with a care leaflet for the parent. You can check who your local coordinator is by asking on the Facebook group here.


Don't worry though, if you don't fancy crocheting or knitting there are many other ways to contribute to such a great cause. You can donate funds or the materials the help make the octopus, no matter how much every little helps! Donations will go towards providing materials, packaging, printing and helping to spread the word about these fantastic little octopuses. For more information on donating please see here.


Here at Love2Sleep we offer Octopus For A Preemie a special code for members to get discount on our ball fibre stuffing, which can be used to fill the octopus. As our fibre filling meets all the strict safety regulations it is perfect for making them - the shape retention is second to none with millions of balls that are machine washable, giving a cleaner, safer and healthier environment.





Let's work together to help a great group of people reach their goals in helping families all across the UK!


For more information on how to get involved, please visit the Octopus For A Preemie website here.

There is even a lovely Facebook support group that you can take a look at too!




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