Let’s talk about the Otteroo; the baby neck float.
Yes. Neck float.
Trust me, it may look weird, potentially slightly concerning when you first look at it, but this thing is flat-out awesome. You may raise an eyebrow at this, but this float allows for full-body submersion. Full body submersion is a big deal for us with our son’s arthrogryposis. While still not having very much movement in his arms, the Otteroo, while allowing his body to be fully submerged, gave him a sense of weightlessness in the water, allowing even the slightest movements of his arms to be noticeable.
The Otteroo isn’t for everyone, and you’ll need a rather deep, large bathtub or pool to properly utilize it.
- HG Loves it: While every baby is different, and some will love this float while others will not, our little water baby couldn’t get enough of floating in the water. No doubt enjoying floating and taking any strain off his little joints.
- Not uncomfortable: While it looks like it would be, the directions that come with the Otteroo suggest you put the float on around your next first, to show your baby it is safe. While HG is still too young to likely pay that much attention, I, of course, still put it around my neck. While it was slightly weird having something like that around my neck, it was in no way uncomfortable. Never once has the baby boy acted as if he was in discomfort in any way.
- Looks ridiculous: Seriously, how can you not love how ridiculous this thing looks? I mean, it’s ridiculously cute but still ridiculous. The only thing more ridiculous may be the number of photos and videos we took the first night we tried it out.
- Great for therapy: Our son has arthrogryposis, which isn’t a secret here or on the blog. He is in some form of therapy at least four times a week. While we still try to let him be a baby at home, there are still exercise and stretches we have to do. When he was floating in the tub, with his entire body submerged and unimpeded, you could see in his eyes he had a sense of relief and freedom he hadn’t had before. HG has always been a water baby, from the first time we could get him into the tub. Once he was floating and his entire body was free and free to move, it was a whole new thing for him.
Less than positives
So yes, I admit, I may be just a bit biased regarding how great this float is. Frankly, I feel it is perfect for my son, so I’m not seeing the negatives, however, I can see a few aspects some people may frown their nose down regarding.
- Cannot be used universally: Not everyone can take advantage of the Otteroo. You’ll need a large enough tub that will allow your child to float (fortunately we do) or have access to a pool. That’s not something everyone has.
- Not for newborns: When we first learned about the Otteroo, our son was not yet old enough for it, so we held off on ordering one. The neck float itself is not meant for newborns, but for babies that are at least 8 weeks of age.
While the Otteroo isn’t something I would suggest as an every day or every bath item, it’s something worth looking at if you want your baby to have a bit of freedom in the water. In no way should you leave your baby unattended, that should go without saying, but the Otteroo gives your baby the chance to engage with and in water under their own power and on their terms.
In our case, we will use the Otteroo multiple times a week as an added supplement to our son’s therapies. Between his contractures, dislocated hip, and worked joints and muscles, our baby boy deserves a chance to just float in the water and relax. Otteroo gives him that opportunity.