One hospital in Dorset, England has stumbled upon an unusual way of making tiny premature babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) feel safe and comforted: by giving them a tiny handmade octopus to curl up with.
According to Poole Hospital, where the practice of pairing preemies with crocheted cephalopods has become an ongoing ritual, these cuddly crafts do more than just calm the babies.
The idea originally hails from Denmark where Aarhus University Hospital has suggested that the creatures can actually help smaller babies grow and thrive. A spokesperson for Poole hospital stated that the decision to introduce the crocheted crafts to patients wasn’t based on published scientific research but contact with other hospitals who had found they made a noticeable difference to their little patients.
But it can’t be just any toy. It must be an octopus.
So why these sea creatures exactly? The design of the crocheted tentacles gives the babies something to hold and…