“Oh my gosh, that looks so scary,” is the first thing that came to mind when Krista Krauss first saw the Otteroo. But, the more she thought about it, the more she thought it could be perfect for her son, Miles, who was diagnosed with a diaphragmatic hernia in utero. Miles was born a month early, spent seven weeks in the NICU and has undergone numerous surgeries.
So, why did you change your mind and decide to buy one?
I clicked on the website, and I saw a video of a baby, I think it was a boy, who was floating around in it. He had some sort of muscular or skeletal disorder. And he was loving it! He was just laughing and having such a great time. Then, I actually read the information about how it works, and why there’s a ring around their neck. And, I thought, “Oh wow. If it could be beneficial for this little boy, I’m sure it could be beneficial for my son Miles, who also has issues and is facing physical and developmental delays.”
What was it like the first time he used it?
Up until that point, he really did not like the water. He didn’t like baths even. He was just never a fan. Maybe his second or third time we tried to bring him in the pool and he just immediately took to it. He was splashing around and wiggling his little body around, and he really liked the range of motion. At that point he was only three months old, so the range of motion I saw him experience was much greater than his range of motion on land. It was really fun to see. I have video of him in it; it was so sweet. He’s smiling and and moving around and wiggling. He loved it. We kept using it, and we started using it in the bathtub as well. And, he then loved the bath.
Have you noticed any physical changes in him since you started using it?
The first time he actually rolled over was in the Otteroo in the bath. The bath’s not quite deep enough, so he’s still kind of laying a little bit. He flipped over to his tummy. And then once he realized he could do it, he kept doing it. He just kept doing these kind of barrel rolls in the bathtub.
After he rolled over in the tub, it was shortly thereafter that he rolled over on land too. Maybe within the next week or two. So I feel like once he experienced it in the tub, and whether it was like, “Oh my gosh, this is a, a thing I can do,” or, “This is so much fun, I should really try to do this more,” it made him work on it. It kind of opened his eyes to the things he was capable of.
And, after you’ve seen them go through so much pain, it’s just, it’s … It makes you feel like, like they’re a typical kid and that everything is gonna be okay.
How does that make you feel?
Oh, it was great. It’s very challenging being a parent of a medically complex child. So, when you can see them, um … Oh gosh, it’s still emotional….
When you can see them experience joy, and smile, and have fun, it’s especially rewarding. And, after you’ve seen them go through so much pain, it’s just, it’s … It makes you feel like, like they’re a typical kid and that everything is gonna be okay. So it was very special seeing him so happy and having so much fun after he had gone through so much.
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