An interesting technique from Denmark is getting a lot of attention in American NICUs. NBC 30 reported on the use of knitted and crochet octopuses in ventilators.
Premature babies are often connected to ventilators to help them breathe. One of the dangers of using these is the baby grabbing onto the tubes and pulling. There is an instinct in newborns to grasp onto things. They will even do it in the womb to the umbilical cord.
People in Denmark decided to find a way to create a distraction to stop the babies from grabbing the ventilator tubes. They created a pattern that creates an octopus that a baby can grab onto instead. The pattern is large enough to prevent strangulation and choking hazards.
The toy is given to the mother first for a time, then given to the baby. The scent of mom is transferred to the toy this way and gives the baby additional comfort. It also helps them to recognize the safety of mom after they leave the NICU.
Sometimes simple solutions like these are the best ones to help prevent problems with a difficult birth. We hope that this technique catches on in other hospitals. It could save lives.