Preemies are finding comfort in the arms of these gorgeous octopus teddies

Premature babies are so vulnerable when they first arrive into the world. In fact, they are so fragile, many parents are not allowed to even touch them. 

So as a way to help comfort the tiny baby, they are given an octopus teddy, which has been carefully and lovingly knitted by volunteers all over the country. 

But what is it about these little bears that are so comforting? 

Well, the arms of the octopus replicate the umbilical cord, which the tiny tot will sometimes hold in the womb, thus creating a safe and calm environment.

They also reduce the risk of the baby pulling at the medical wires and tubes.

The idea for the little octopals, as they are sometimes known as, first started in Denmark, but it has spread to over 17 countries, thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who crochet and knit the little pals. 

Last year, the Rotunda Hospital launched their 'Tentacles for Tinies' initiative, calling for volunteers to knit and crochet these octopus bears to help comfort premature babies at the Dublin hospital.

If you head over to their website, you'll be able download the crochet pattern so you too can make your own little octopus and send it in. 

There is also a Facebook page dedicated to gathering together as many of these teddies as possible for babies in hospitals all over Ireland: Octopus for a Preemie.

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