FAQ

What is Otteroo

Otteroo makes your baby’s transition from mommy’s tummy to bath to pool fun and easy. Our floatie, which can be used as early as 8 weeks old, works with water’s buoyancy to support early motor development in your baby while encouraging exploration. Your baby will love the sense of freedom and independence he gets from being able to move his arms and legs and body without the restrictive force of gravity that he may feel on land.  It is a great way to start building your baby’s lifelong love of the water.

You should only buy an Otteroo directly from Otteroo.com or from an authorized reseller. We strongly recommend that our customers do not purchase from eBay, Craig’s list, Facebook listings and other unauthorized sellers as we are not able to ensure the quality of the product and important reading materials and communications may be lost in the reselling of the product. Otteroo is made with the highest quality materials but as with all inflatable devices, there will be some normal wearing down of the product. Even if the Otteroo looks perfectly fine, we highly discourage purchasing a pre-loved Otteroo. Infants are more sensitive to discomfort and new experiences than adults and we would want your future swimming champion to have the best possible introduction to water!

Infants spend the first year of their lives struggling to work against gravity. The Otteroo neck floatie makes it possible for babies to take advantage of water’s buoyancy to move their arms, body and legs more freely when they can still barely lift their head, arms or torso off of the floor. Movement fuels development especially during the first year of a baby’s life. The Otteroo floatie opens up new channels of mobility and learning that is simply not possible without water’s support. For updates on developmental insights, please check out Otto’s blog.

Otteroo is not a swim aid nor a personal flotation or life saving device. Otteroo is a toy and should only be used when a parent is at an arm’s length from the baby and has his/her eyes on the baby at all times while using the Otteroo, or anytime their baby is near a body of water.

However, in the context of swimming, many studies have shown the benefits of early water play. Even though the American Academic of Pediatrics does not recommend formal swim lessons until children are at least four years old, the water familiarity and love of water that the Otteroo floatie encourages may make this transition to the pool easier when the time comes.

We have had a lot of positive feedback from parents of babies and toddlers with special needs and have also spoken with occupational and physical therapists who have incorporated the Otteroo into their aquatic therapy sessions. However, because every child and situation is unique, please talk to your baby’s pediatrician or therapist first to make sure that Otteroo will be a safe and positive addition to your baby’s daily bath, pool time and therapy sessions.

The Otteroo is made with high grade PVC that is thicker and more durable than the industry standard. It has been certified by a United States Consumer Product Safety Commission-accredited lab to be lead-free and phthalates-free (DBP, BBP, DEHP, DINP, DNOP, DIDP). We also only print on the inner surfaces of the floatie so that your baby will not risk ingesting it.

The Otteroo floatie is not a US Coast Guard approved floatation device because it does not fall within the category of flotation devices examined by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The USCG only offers approval for flotation devices that are required on vessels such as recreational boats or for boating-related activities (such as fishing, water skiing, canoeing, and kayaking).

Yes, Otteroo’s products are protected by one or more of the following patents:

U.S. Patent No. 9,248,888
U.S. Patent No. D703,285
Other Patents pending

Orders and Shipping

Orders placed by noon Eastern Standard Time will be shipped the same day, Monday-Friday, excluding holidays.

For domestic orders, we ship either using USPS First Class or Priority, which takes an estimated 2-5 business days depending on the shipping location. You will receive a confirmation email once your order is on its way!

We ship all over the United States and we ship internationally using USPS First Class International. However, at this time, we are unable to ship to certain countries because of their unreliable postal systems. To see a list of the current countries we do ship to, please go through the checkout process and see the drop down list for country under “shipping address.”

Once your order is on its way, a shipping confirmation email will be sent to you with tracking info included!

This varies country by country. To confirm, please contact your local customs office for more information. You may be subject to import taxes, customs duties and fees levied by the recipient country. Otteroo has no control over these charges or what amount they may be. As the customer, you are responsible for complying with the customs laws of your country. Note that if clearance procedures are necessary, this may cause a delay in your delivery.

Please email us with your order information at hello@otteroo.com and our customer service team will assist you with this.

When and Where to Use the Otteroo

They should!

Like Otteroo, lifeguards are committed to protecting children’s safety; however, this sometimes means that they are quick to reject the new and the unfamiliar regardless of how safe and beneficial it may be when used properly.

If a lifeguard or another vocal, opinionated parent confronts you, we recommend you show the guard and the pool manager the Otteroo website and our ABC7 interview: http://abc7news.com/shopping/7-on-your-side-is-the-Otteroo-safe/396371/. Mention that Otteroo is a pediatrician-approved product. It may also help to stress that Otteroo is only to be used when a parent is within arm’s reach of the child and the parent should never take their eyes off the baby while in it.

As always, with anything baby related, it is better to be safe and follow the local rules that are probably there for good reason, rather than winning an argument.

This depends on your baby’s height. The first time or two, fill the bathtub with enough water so that her feet barely touch the bottom of the tub when she is fully upright. Being able to touch the tub floor with her feet provides her with a sense of security while getting familiar with the floatie. It also gives her the depth needed for her to bounce-walk around the tub as if she’s walking on the moon.

However, as your baby becomes more active, stronger and bigger, it becomes very important that there is enough water so that when she kicks off the bottom, she does not kick too hard. Doing so might cause her to flip over or repetitive forceful pushing against the tub wall can wear down the floatie. You can prevent too forceful a kick by making sure that her feet only barely touch the floor when her legs are straight.

NO! Do not use the Otteroo floatie in turbulent or flowing waters such as an ocean, river or lake. Use only in a controlled water environment. Otteroo is not a life saving device and should not to be used when there is any risk of parental separation or any unexpected occurrences. DO NOT allow the baby to be splashed on, tipped over, or be hit by unexpected objects or other younger children playing or jumping into the water.

We recommend a slightly lower temperature than your baby’s regular bath, especially when they really start kicking, splashing and moving around. The movements will raise their body temperature quickly so cooler water will help them not get too flushed.

Otteroo can be used at any time of day! Many parents have told us that they incorporate Otteroo into their regular bath time routine, which tends to be in the late afternoon and early evening.

Why? Otteroo encourages moving and promises quite a lot of fun and prompts giggles! This light “exercise” and happy laughter are good triggers for your baby to eat and sleep better!

We recommend that you always start using the Otteroo in a bathtub because it is a familiar environment for your baby. Make sure your baby is completely comfortable in the Otteroo before making the transition to the pool. You can always put cooler water in the bath if it is summer time! When you do make the switch, be sure that the pool water is warm enough for your baby, too.

Usage

Your baby can start using the Otteroo at just 8 weeks old as long as he/she weighs 9 pounds or more. We actually recommend that they start at 8 weeks old (if they are weight-ready) because the earlier they start becoming familiar with the water, the less they resist it afterward. Babies also tend to be pretty open to trying new things and experiences until they reach the 5-6 month mark when they start to reject new objects and experiences that are not familiar to them. Getting the floatie around your baby’s neck will be more readily accepted before this cut off month!

That said, once they start and they love it, they should be able to comfortably use the Otteroo until they weigh 35 pounds. This is the average (50th percentile) weight of a 3 year old. All babies vary in their pace of growth so please use your best judgment in terms of when your baby has reached their comfort limit with their Otteroo.

Make sure that you inflate both the top and bottom air inlets. The floatie should feel firm once inflated but the two circular openings near the buckles should remain flexible so that the floatie can spread outwards for easier placement around the baby’s neck. If properly inflated, your finger should NOT easily slip in between the baby’s neck and inner rim of the floatie.

When placed properly, the baby’s chin should be cradled on the cushioned chin rest. The Otteroo should feel snug and comfortable around the baby’s neck. If your baby starts to cry or fuss, it could be a sign that the floatie is not positioned properly or the baby isn’t in the mood for something new today. When in doubt, always take the Otteroo off and try again later.

Every baby is unique and every day is a different experience. Babies usually want to stay in the Otteroo for an average of 15 minutes, but there is no time limit. Please use your best judgment and consult your pediatrician if unsure. You should always stay in arm’s reach of your baby and keep your eyes glued on them while they are in the Otteroo. No exceptions.

Of course! Your baby will let you know when they are not in the mood or need a bit of a break from the daily Otteroo routine. You can use it daily, or as often or little as your baby wishes. Just keep in mind that active babies tend to get hot in the bath so keep the temperature cooler or get them out if you think they are over heating from all the excitement and movement!

Otteroo is made with the highest quality materials but as with all inflatable devices, there will be some normal wearing down of the product. Even if the Otteroo looks perfectly fine, we highly recommend replacing a well-worn one with a new version. Infants are more sensitive to discomfort and new experiences than adults and we would want your future swimming champion to have the best possible introduction to water!

There are some things you can do get your little one used to it:

1. Inflate the Otteroo, and let him touch and feel it on land.
2. If he is not opposed to playing with the Otteroo, try to wear it yourself to show him that it can be worn around the neck.
3. Try placing it gently around his neck so he can get used to the feel of having it around his neck on land.

Also, we have noticed that at times, babies are shocked when they are first dipped into the pool because of the colder water temperature – and it’s not so much about the Otteroo. So we strongly suggest that parents acclimate the babies to the pool temperature for a few minutes before putting the Otteroo on; that way they don’t associate Otteroo with the temperature shock.

Many parents have told us that offering a pacifier while using the Otteroo can stop teething babies from biting into the plastic but unfortunately, there is not much else that you can do to stop a baby from biting everything! In this case, we must reiterate the importance of doing a bubble test before each use and making sure no air is escaping from any ….bite marks!

IMMEDIATELY STOP using the Otteroo on your baby if for any reason you cannot keep it inflated.

There could be a couple of reasons why the Otteroo may be deflating. First check to make sure that each of the two valves, on top and bottom, are completely closed and then pushed in all the way into the floatie to lock the inlet. If you have done that but are still having issues with deflation, there may be a tear somewhere that’s invisible to the eyes. In this case, please email us at hello@otteroo.com or call us at (415) 236-5388 so we can speak with you directly to assess the situation.

We recommend you do the bubble test because often times the tears are so tiny that they’re invisible to our eyes and we cannot hear the air escaping either. Wear and tear is expected in inflatables like the Otteroo and may be caused by the way the Otteroo is stored, extent of wear, or during transport between the bath and the pool or on vacation. As with any inflatable product, please stop using your Otteroo immediately when you detect a tear and do not attempt to fix it yourself.

Most of our parents tell us that their baby’s initial reaction to floating independently is one of confused awe but every baby is different. Some babies only take a few seconds to get accustomed to floating on their own while others may take one or two sessions before they start easing up and enjoying the experience. Some babies, especially those past the 5-6 month mark, may cry the first time because it is an unusual sensation and foreign object to them and by then, they have learned to fear what they are not used to. Or, they simply might not be in the mood for something new that day. In this case, don’t force it. Wait a few minutes or till the next bath time to try again and see how it goes! No matter, once they get over this hurdle, they will start to discover all the things that they can do and start having fun.

Ultimately, almost all babies end up loving their daily Otteroo time so don’t get too discouraged if your first experience is not picture perfect! You can always try when you feel her mood and the timing is right!

If you want to take your baby to the pool, we highly recommend that you first get the baby accustomed to using the Otteroo in the familiar, warm setting that is your tub. Also make sure the water is just the right temperature (please click here for information on temperature).

Return and Exchanges

We are happy to accept returns within 30 days of purchase. Please email us at hello@otteroo.com to initiate a return. All items must be returned in their original packaging, unused and in resalable condition. Items are to be returned at customer’s expense and original shipping charges are not refundable. There will also be a $5 restocking fee deducted for each item. Please provide proof of purchase. Refunds are issued to the original credit card on file.

Warranty

Otteroo warrants that its products are free of defects in materials or workmanship for one (1) year from the date of purchase (proof of purchase required). This limited warranty applies to the original purchaser of the product provided 1) that the product was purchased from otteroo.com or an authorized distributor/retailer and 2) is returned at the customer’s expense. Any product falling under this warranty period will be replaced at Otteroo’s discretion. Otteroo retains the right to determine whether the claim is valid and whether damage is caused by non-manufacturing issues, misuse, improper care and/or negligence, wear and tear due to normal use, overuse, and use for commercial purposes or other than personal home use. Please email hello@otteroo.com to make a warranty claim.