The Big Hearts for Tiny Feet Initiative was founded by Amanda Dean in May 2017. Amanda’s son Tristan
was born with CDH (Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia) and had to fight for his life. Although he did pull
through, Amanda found others with the same dreaded diagnosis. Through this, she has walked the road
with several mommies who have sadly lost their precious little ones. The sad reality of their experiences
made her realise there is a great need for better support for mothers whose little ones are born
prematurely or stillborn or who pass away from other complications.
With Amanda being an individual skilled in crafts and wanting to give back out of gratitude, the idea was
born to provide parents with wraps and beanies to create memories with during the last moments they
spend with their little one. Each wrap is made from high-quality fleece, and the edges have a pretty
crochet border and ribbon; each beanie is crocheted and matches the wrap. A matching Keepsake Heart is added, which can be put in the wrap with the baby and be kept as a keepsake afterwards.
The beanies and wraps from the Big Hearts for Tiny Feet Initiative are, for the most part, entirely
manufactured from donated wool, fleece and embellishments. Without these donations, this initiative
would not be possible.
If you would like to make a donation, please fill out the below donation form, or sign up to be a volunteer and help us make these beautiful gifts for parents who have lost.
The idea of treating preemies with cuddles originally comes from Denmark, where specialists found that cuddling crocheted octopus dolls had a calming effect on premature babies. Why an octopus though?
Research shows that the tentacles of a stuffed octopus can comfort babies because it reminds them of the umbilical cord, which makes them feel safe and secure. The health benefits of feeling at ease, protected, and at peace is nothing new to scientists.
Specialists in Denmark reported that when premature babies cuddled their crocheted companions, the patients’ breathing improved, their heart rate regulated, and even oxygen levels in their blood increased, which are basic and critical components of healing and growing. Furthermore, doctors reported that holding on to the arms of the octopus dolls stopped babies from pulling at their monitors and tubes. The hospital now aims to provide every premature baby with a new cuddly creature to hold.
If you would like to support this initiative, please find the pattern for the octopus friends below. Contact us to find out where to send them to. Or feel free to make a donation for wool, needles and to cover shipping costs. Thank you!