A toy-octopus for each premature baby
Doctors of hospital el Hospital General de Alicante will apply the experience of their colleagues who work in other countries.
From now on every premature baby born in the central hospital of Alicante will have a toy-octopus. 75 volunteers from Noupops project knitted them and gave them to the institution. A toy is soft, it can be washed, it is made due to the strict instruction approved by doctors.
It turns out that a babies that are born on the 7th and 8th month of pregnancy term intuitively search for the umbilical cord which was their constant companion in their mothers abdomens during the entire pregnancy period. Having been born before 9 months term these children continue looking for the “rope” which they were connected to their mothers with. Its presence comforts many premature babies, so while staying at the hospital during first days of their lives babies intuitively try to find the umbilical cord and unconsciously pull the silicone tubules of the droppers. As a result, they might pull them out and hurt themselves.
Long legs of a toy-octopus might become an imitation of the umbilical cord, thought a Danish father of a premature baby in 2013, and he was right: being supervised by doctors his baby began to pull a toy-octopus “legs” instead of the tubules of a dropper.
The idea was studied and approved by doctors in Denmark, and then doctors of other countries applied their experience. It was confirmed that while pulling or touching toy-octopus «leggs» babies calm down, their heartbeat and respiration improve, the level of oxygen in their blood increases, etc. Specialists recommended the optimal material for making octopuses and the size of a toy (22 cm maximum with toy tentacles included).
At the moment Noupops project has produced and distributed of about 22.000 knitted octopuses to various hospitals in the world. Hospitals of Elda, Torrevieja and El Vinalopo will be next hospitals at Costa Blanca where knitted toy-octopuses will become first toy-friends of premature babies.