Let’s get a few facts out of the way first:
1.That is my 10 month old, floating in a pool with an inflatable ring around his neck.
2. He was NOT being strangled by it. It fits comfortably around his chubby head, and doesn’t even leave a mark when you take it off.
3. He was NOT in danger of drowning. While I took these pictures, my friend was right next to him. Just because she’s not in a picture doesn’t mean she wasn’t there. Cropping is magic.
4. I did NOT just drop him in a pool to float by himself while I enjoyed a margarita poolside and checked my phone.
5. He DID enjoy it.
When I saw this product- the Otteroo– pop up in my Facebook newsfeed a few weeks ago, I was immediately struck with many conflicting emotions. So if this is the first time you’ve seen this and you’re like, “Uhhhhhh…. that is… ummmm… cute? But also… WT actual F? That is not natural. CAN HE BREATHE? I don’t know how to feel,” then I’d say that’s a normal reaction.
It’s because I could not make up my mind on how to feel about it, that I had to order one. I didn’t reach out to the company to see if they’d send me one. Nope. Just grabbed my debit card and bought it because I was afraid I’d mostly hate it and end up making fun of it on social media. And that would be awkward.
When we got it, I excitedly filled the tub and blew it up while my husband gave me some serious side eye.
And lo, it was adorable.
Suddenly my emotions stopped feeling woozy, and they were just like, “Okay, this shit is the cutest. Ever.” Because he was loving it, and he was FINE, and he could breathe, and I was RIGHT THERE. I mean, I just had to get over this thing in my head where I was making that floatie out to be, like, a boa constrictor.
I posted about it on my Facebook page, obviously knowing I was going to get mixed reactions. Many had the But That Thing Looks Creepy reaction (which again, totally normal, I think), and many more were super intrigued.
Naturally, some called me a child abuser because People Of The Internet.
Otteroo actually reached out to me after I posted, and they sent me a couple more so Lowell could have an Otteroo pool party with his buds. We went to the pool last night with his tiny bestie and the boys chillaxed to the max in their
rings of death Otteroo neck floaties.
So danger! Much child abuse!
Inches from peril!
Luckily, they survived.
Lowell is really too big to do it in the bath, so we’ll only be able to use it at the pool. Bonus points for the looks of concern on strangers faces.
A lady offered to help us with the boys yesterday as I tried to balance my camera and Lowell on opposite hips while helping my friend. Bless her, she kept trying to put it around his waist, and was very confused when we insisted it go around his neck. Good thing she stuck around long enough to see we were probably not drunk.
I know a lot of you have questions, so here are the answers I think you might be looking for. (Feel free to ask more in the comments.)
OBVIOUSLY this can be a hazard if parents leave their babies in it and walk away. Never, ever leave your baby unattended in water, never be further than arm’s reach no matter what kind of floatie they’re in.
The ring closes securely in the back with two clasps. There is a place for them to rest their chin. If water gets into the ring, it can get out at the back.
Lowell likes it for about 10 minutes. I wouldn’t leave him in it for too long.
I have no idea what the handles are for, but they do come in handy for grabbing the floating baby as he kicks away from you. I’m guessing that’s the proper use. No, I didn’t use them to pick him up out of the water.
Also, this official Otteroo video explains a lot.
Apparently, we are early adopters of the new trend (but I’m told it’s actually an old trend in some Asian countries). A “baby spa” opened in Houston recently, offering babies the chance to float in tubs with neck floaties.