As she is still shy of 3 months (just barely), it’s hard to quite yet label Maddie Grace as a water baby. But I have big plans for her to be one and want to get her accustomed to water now. She loves bath time, and loves moving around, and I can tell she wants nothing more than to be able to move around on her own. The perfect solution for her? The Otteroo!
I’ll admit it, when I first saw the Otteroo I was confused. Scared. Bewildered. But then I watched a video of a baby using the Otteroo who had the happiest smile on their face. From that point on I was very interested in the product, and wanted to try it out.
The founder of Otteroo, Tiffany, saw a picture of her nephew using a device similar to the Otteroo and saw how he enjoyed it and began giving the floatie to her friends with babies as presents. However, both Tiffany and her friends saw design flaws in those floaties, and were inspired to create something better, and thus the Otteroo was born. Although the concept of the Otteroo is still somewhat new in the United States, it is fairly common in other countries, particularly Asian countries.
The Otteroo is essentially an inflatable ring and goes around your babies neck with a little shelf for your baby to rest their chin on. The plastic is super soft so it is comfortable for baby. For babies under 6 months, it is recommended that you fill up your bathtub with water and let them get accustomed to being in water in the tub. This leads to a seamless transition to the pool/other bodies of water after 6 months. The idea is the have an almost continuous flow from mommy’s tummy to warm bath to pool (the Otterroo can be used by infants up to 35 pounds, when they are big enough for floaties). It is recommended to begin using the Otteroo around 8 weeks of age to make this transition as smooth as possible. Otteroo claims that their product has physical, mental, and emotional developmental benefits, as babies gain a new way to explore movement and build muscle.
The day the Otteroo arrived we tried it out in our bathtub. The directions weren’t hard to follow – just blow up both chambers, which didn’t take long at all, and put on baby. Make sure you fill up the bath tub so baby would be fully emerged if standing in the water, which for us means filling it up as high as the water will go. Once we had it on her neck we gently placed MG in the water and she instantly started smiling. She started kicking her legs and moving her arms and exploring her way around the tub, making her happy noises the whole time. As her mom, it was really rewarding to watch her explore a new way to move and see her enjoy her newly discovered freedom in the tub. We have new used it several times, and each time she seems to just enjoy using the Otteroo more. She does get tired after about 10 minutes of using it though.
We have also used the Otteroo in the pool over the weekend, thinking MG would hate the cold water. However, she seemed to really like swimming around like a little fishy (there’s a video on my Instagram)! I love that we have a way to get her accustomed to swimming now so that it’s something she’s used to by the time she is old enough for swimming lessons.
My concern with the Otteroo before I ordered it was the idea of having something around my babies neck. However, it is approved by pediatricians (a blanket statement so I’m not sure exactly what that means), and made with high grade PVC certified to be lead free and phthalate free. As with ANYTHING that goes around your babies neck, or ANYTHING that involves having your baby around a body of water, SUPERVISE YOUR BABY AT ALL TIMES WHILE USING. That shouldn’t have to be in all caps, but some people don’t get the picture. I see nothing unsafe about using this product when I am in a position to constantly supervise my baby. Maddie Grace seemed comfortable wearing it and it left no marks on her skin when we took it off.Overall, I definitely recommend this product to moms of young babies – we are having lots of fun with it! Think you want to try it out? Save 20% on the Otteroo website now through the end of the month using the code “20CC2014“!
This product was received complimentary for purposes of this review. All opinions in this review are my own and I only recommend products that I truly love.