This Might Be The Most Controversial Post Ever- I Love The Otteroo


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.

If you’d like to get one for a baby you love, no need to go to the spa. Otteroo is offering 20% off now through July 31, 2014 with code 20BR2014

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  1. Hi! I looked on the website but couldn’t find it. Is there a max weight for it? My daughter is 26 lbs 8oz, but I think she might enjoy it!

  2. Okay, totally getting it. You’ve sold me. Do you know how much easier my life would be taking something little like this with me to the pool instead of the giant float I carry now?! Excited.

  3. @MrsMinor813 on

    Love this (after getting over my own conflicted first reaction!). Is it just for babies up to a year? I know the weight limit is 35lbs, but the site only talks about “babies” and that it’s good until they can use other water floaties/life jackets.

  4. Armonía Rdgz Marin on

    HI Jill. I was wanting one as soon as you posted this for my 8 month old, she loooooooooves the water, BUT it says the code is not activated yet. Do you know how soon it will work? I can’t wait to get it for this summer

  5. Aimee Matarese Hanlon on

    Those have been used in the special needs world for a long time. Waterways is a company making a similar one that I had looked into a few years ago. They are great for the child with low tone who can’t hold their head up against gravity!

  6. Tanya Camilleri on

    I had one of these rings to review with my little one a while ago. I have to say she loved it! Left no marks, she couldn’t slip through and she loved splashing about. Had a few weird looks at swimming pools followed by questions then noticed a few more appearing.

  7. Christine Robinson on

    Firstly: this post is perfection 🙂 Secondly: Thoughts on using it for and “older” child? Wondering if anyone has experience using it with and 18ish month old. My guy loves to “swim” and float so wondering if I should give this a shot…

  8. LOL- I am glad you mentioned the handles cause that is the first thing I wondered? do they expect you to lift the baby out of the pool with those? surely not !?!?

    I still remember my floating child safety incident. I must have been about 4 (circa 1979)- it was in the Atlantic. it was a floater thing that you sit in, and it has a square styrofoam float encircling you that keeps you upright. a big (i guess ??) Florida wave came through and flipped me over. so I was dangling upside down in this thing. my parents freaked out, flipped me back over and I was laughing and saying “again! again!” so apparently i thought it was fun at the time. but….. I’ve had nightmares about giant waves from time to time…

  9. got mine today! Baby Rabies sold me on the idea I had to try it. My daughter loved it! she is 12 weeks and just shy of 11 lbs. had no issues and she was swimming away in the tub!

  10. While the photos make my heart skip a beat, this gadget does help with the “my kid can’t swim and i’m tired of holding him in the pool phase.” Appreciate your candor on this one. xo

  11. So your post totally worked and I bought one! We have a pool and I thought it would be a while until I was comfortable taking our 6 mth old in. But he loves the water and the Otteroo convinced me to give it a shot. Turns out he freakin loves this thing! Thanks for the recommendation!

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  13. We have a similar ring from! We got it for my almost 2 yr old son who is low tone on the recommendation of our pt bc water therapy is pretty hard to beat! Super safe and fun!
    And I love the ‘mainstream’ attention this is getting bc it makes me feel less like the special needs standout at the pool 🙂

  14. Tricia Miller on

    Oh my god, I just bought one because it popped up in MY newsfeed! Rigby is so using the shit outta this thing.

  15. Melissa Whithorn on

    I so want one to let my little one play around in the bathtub and my friend’s pool. I was a little worried about it, but I watched the video on the website and read your product review. Thanks for making me feel comfortable about it.

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  19. Lindsey Eckert on

    I purchased a Swimava for my baby (when she was still a baby 4 years ago lol) and got so many concerned comments from mommy friends. But my daughter loved it and so does my now 10 month old son. I wish we still had our old claw foot tub, the new tub is just not deep enough 🙁

  20. Laurel Justine on

    There is a little boy who is 4 now and suffered a severe head injury when he was hit on the head by a falling tree branch at the age of 2. He was at a daycare center in Georgia, and the kids went out to see the ice-covered trees. It happened in an instant and he went from a normal little boy to a severely injured child. He can no longer talk or walk. The family uses a similar product to allow their son to swim. Because of this float, he is able to independently float around the pool, and it is one of the few activities he is able to participate in with his family. It has given them some normalicy. The mom is constantly explaining that the float isn’t strangling or hurting him, and she even posted a video explaining how it works and showing herself using it. It’s a great product 🙂

    If you’re interested in reading the little boy’s story:

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  24. I can’t believe I’m just discovering these! I’m bummed that summer is almost over here because my son would have loved this and he’ll be too big next year. He LOVES being in the water. Has since he was about three weeks old.

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