So hold me, Mom...in your long arms
February 15, 2017 9:08 AM   Subscribe

In November, Poole Hospital in Dorset, England, announced in a press release that its preemies were seeing beneficial effects from simply cuddling a crocheted octopus. Daniel Lockyer, matron of neonatal services at the hospital, said moms and dads are thrilled to see their preemies find comfort with the little aquatic pals. The idea originated with the Danish Octo Project (which offers a pattern).
posted by Johnny Wallflower (39 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
I feel I would see beneficial effects from simply cuddling a crocheted octopus, and I'm 43. This story is really cheering me up today -- thanks!
posted by heurtebise at 9:13 AM on February 15 [21 favorites]


This is an excellent way to get the very young to embrace our coming cephalopod overlords.

(Seriously, though, it's a sweet story.)
posted by tully_monster at 9:18 AM on February 15 [10 favorites]


Adorable and I agree with ^^^
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 9:18 AM on February 15


CONCLUSIONS

Further research is needed to determine whether other adorable crocheted animals provide similar benefits.

Further research is discouraged if it attempts to determine whether quotidian items other than crocheted animals (for example, chunks of cinderblock) provide similar benefits, because who fucking cares and what's your problem anyway, asshole?
posted by radicalawyer at 9:24 AM on February 15 [8 favorites]


“Normally they would be in the womb and would play with the umbilical cord so the octopuses make them feel grounded and safe.”
Ohhhh, okay. That makes sense.
posted by Etrigan at 9:27 AM on February 15


My mum lives in Denmark and is heavily involved in the Octo project - it's benefited her on a personal level as well as she has made new friends across the country and gets a lot out of organising local crafters in her small community. It's supernice talking to her about it.
posted by kariebookish at 9:29 AM on February 15 [21 favorites]


In your crocheted arms...
Your tentacled arms...
Ah.
Ah-Aaahh...
Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha.
posted by SansPoint at 9:36 AM on February 15 [11 favorites]


Definitely appreciate the title, thank you.
posted by flatluigi at 9:39 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


My daughter had a knot in her umbilical cord, thankfully with no ill effects. Now it makes sense - she was crocheting it to make an octopus.
posted by waving at 9:39 AM on February 15 [30 favorites]


THIS IS SO GOOD!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 9:47 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


I am SO GLAD this isn't an obituary post after reading the title.
posted by spacewrench at 9:53 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


+5 points for the post title! #laurieandersonforlife
posted by hippybear at 9:57 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


This is definitely my happy thought for the day! Thank you, Johnny!
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:13 AM on February 15


What is the difference between the UK and US crochet patterns? I don't know crochet so I can't read either of them.
posted by antiwiggle at 10:18 AM on February 15


What is the difference between the UK and US crochet patterns?

Different terminology for stitches
posted by buildmyworld at 10:26 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Like, in the UK the single stitch is called the boot, while in the US it's called the trunk.
posted by hippybear at 10:28 AM on February 15 [25 favorites]


Thank you buildmyworld and hippybear. You learn something new every day.
posted by antiwiggle at 10:37 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


This religious indoctrination has got to stop. First the booklets, now they're targeting preemies? I don't care how many of the founding fathers were members of the Black Brotherhood, this is a secular democracy! I'd note that Jefferson's personal copy of the Necronomicon specifically excised all references to the Elder Gods (to better focus on the moral lessons of the work).
posted by leotrotsky at 10:38 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


O supermom.
posted by benzenedream at 10:44 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


My wrists hurt just looking at the pattern, though it is well written.

I love that the hospital was willing to try it, and so glad they've seen good results.
posted by monopas at 10:58 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


So hold me, Mom, in your long arms
Your cephalopodic arms. Your mollusca arms.
In your octopoid arms.

posted by The Hamms Bear at 10:59 AM on February 15 [6 favorites]


So I assume this is only good for preemies in NICU and not other newborns because the NICU preemies are being monitored 24/7? Other babies aren't supposed to have anything but a fitted sheet in the bed to prevent SIDS, (not to mention strangulation if we're talking umbilical cord substitutes) so presumably trying this with a non-NICU baby might make them happy and calm but isn't recommended for safety reasons?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:30 AM on February 15


"Normally they would be in the womb and would play with the umbilical cord so the octopuses make them feel grounded and safe."

so does that suggest the self-suffocation game some children play may have its beginning before birth?

'Ooh, I squeeze this thing and .... hello?"
posted by hank at 11:31 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Neat! I wish my preemies had had those. You'd have to be strict about protocol with the things -- they could never leave the NICU, go from preemie to preemie, or be held by someone who hadn't scrubbed in -- but NICUs are all about being strict about protocols.
posted by gurple at 11:37 AM on February 15


This is so sweet.
posted by apricot at 11:37 AM on February 15


they could never leave the NICU

Awww...given that they can't be re-assigned to a new preemie, I'd like to see them go home with the babies, on the understanding that baby can't sleep with them (at least until they're one). It seems like the sort of thing you would want to keep as a sort of keepsake.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 11:42 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I would bet these would work magnitudes better if the tendrils were knit with silk cord. Apparently the umbilical cord has a slippery, silky feel in the womb, which is probably why the tags on clothing really appeal to babies. In my experience, they love to roll them between their fingers and play with them.
posted by erinfern at 11:57 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


...It seems like the sort of thing you would want to keep as a sort of keepsake....

Sorry, I didn't actually mean that the octopuses could never leave the NICU (which is what I said). I meant that they couldn't leave and then come back.
posted by gurple at 12:39 PM on February 15


The British and US stitches are named differently but the crochet chart symbols are the same. My fiancee is a knitter and crocheter (and just opened her own yarn shop) and she has a row of the symbols tattooed down her forearm for this reason. It's symbolic of the universal nature of fiber arts bringing people together.
posted by mikesch at 12:43 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


This is why my life is so screwed up. I was born three months prematurely and not cuddled by a crocheted octopus.
posted by bad grammar at 6:19 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Willing to be corrected, but "preemie" is super-weird, over-cutesy, bad-anime-level lingo to British ears IMHO.

As a former owner/enjoyer of crocheted (finger-puppet) octopodes I entirely endorse this post anyhow.
posted by comealongpole at 6:28 PM on February 15


"Preemie" is the standard term in the US.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:09 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Cabbage Patch Preemies. Apparently, the preemies were born (harvested?) after an early frost in the cabbage patch.

Until now, I'd never considered how weird and creepy it was to market preemie dolls like some sort of cool new feature. But once I considered that, it also came to me that growing orphan babies in your field was a pretty jerky thing for Xavier Roberts to do in the first place, even if he could have grown them all to term.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:38 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I'm an active crochet-er, , but I don't understand the notation of " cotton 8/4 or 8/8 " for the yarn?
posted by ApathyGirl at 7:47 PM on February 15


Lovely such a simple thing can have such power. Now, if we could only cook up a way to apply such solutions to adult life.
posted by Samizdata at 8:44 PM on February 15


My mum lives in Denmark and is heavily involved in the Octo project

Good on your mum. My daughter received a hat to go on her more or less on-time head and it was very touching to think that a stranger was thinking kind thoughts about this new life. New babies and hospitals are unsettling; having a connection - even an ephemeral bit of knitting -- to nice people outside is grounding and sustaining. As for tags: there's a whole tag industry out there. My daughter's first Great Toy was a tag-covered ball. I would never have thought they were viscera simulators....
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:06 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


It would appear that there is no problem on the earth that cannot be addressed by the kindly textile artists. For years there were hand made union banners, and the apilleras made to commemorate the disappeared, and, oh of course, the AIDS quilt. Last month we had pussy hats in the streets, now the baby hugging Kraken... what's next, you needle wielding forces for goodness?
posted by chapps at 12:34 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Reminded me of mefis own (who I see has already posted in thread! *waves eight arms hello at Mrs Pterodactyl*)
posted by sockermom at 5:22 AM on February 16


The French site Petite Pieuvre Sensation Cocon has more info and more photos.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:56 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


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