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Baby with SMA Finds Movement with Otteroo

Jessica Biggerstaff saw the Otteroo online when she was pregnant but was initially apprehensive about buying one. Five days after the birth of her son, Waylon, a geneticist told her and her husband that their son had SMA type 1. Among other things, the condition made Waylon weak and gave him poor muscle tone. This convinced Jessica that she would not buy an Otteroo because she didn’t think her son was strong enough for it. So, what changed her mind? Jessica explains.

What convinced you to get an Otteroo?

Cure SMA sent a care package, and the Otteroo was in it. I was still kind of leery about it. Then I kept watching the videos and I was thinking, ‘We have to do this.’ I put him in there thinking he’s not going to move, but once he was in, all of the sudden I saw him moving his legs! He was moving them so much, I literally started crying. I sent the video to his occupational therapist, and she was amazed too. She told us that we needed to start doing it every single night.

So, have you?

We’ve actually made the Otteroo a nightly routine, and he will be in it for 20 to 30 minutes. Sometimes he even cries when we take him out of it. When he sees it, he gets so excited. It’s crazy how he just loves it; loves being in water.

It’s amazing seeing him move. I take videos all the time, and you can see just within a month how much more movement he’s gotten with it in the water and outside the water as well.

So, now you’ve changed your opinion of the Otteroo?

If it wasn’t for the SMA care package, I honestly don’t know if I ever would have even ordered it, just because I was so scared since he is a weaker baby. I thought his head was going to fall through it. But thank God we got it because it’s amazing seeing him move. I take videos all the time, and you can see just within a month how much more movement he’s gotten with it in the water and outside the water as well.

What changes have you noticed?

At first when we put him in it, it was more just slow kicks, like gradually slow. And just day by day he had more kicks and they were straighter. Initially, he was kind of frog-legged. Now, they’re straighter kicks and they’re to the point where he is getting so strong his feet are coming out of the water.

 

What does he like to do in the tub?

Now, he’s learning to move his arms with it as well and learning, ‘oh hey, I can turn my body with this too.’ He’s starting to turn his body in the tub as well.

I’ll push him up against the end of the tub, and he’ll kick off. When I see him move, I say, ‘Holy cow!’

How do you know he likes being in the Otteroo?

When we’re warming up the water, you can just see this smile on his face because he already hears the bath water going. Then we go to get the Otteroo, and as soon as we put him in it and put him in the tub, he’s got the biggest smile on his face.

My advice to parents having doubts with kids that have low muscle tone, the Otteroo does wonders! Seeing the smile on his face and seeing him so happy, it’s incredible. 

How does he react when he comes out?

The more we do it, the more he gets upset when we take him out of it. There were a few times we took him out of it, and he’s crying to the point he won’t even look at me. He won’t even make eye contact when he cries because he just wants to keep it on.

What do you want other parents to know about the Otteroo?

My advice to parents having doubts with kids that have low muscle tone, the Otteroo does wonders! Seeing the smile on his face and seeing him so happy, it’s incredible. He’ll talk away, smile, and so I strongly recommend it for those who are second guessing it. Because, like I said, I was constantly second guessing it when I saw it, and I wish I would’ve got it sooner than the two months. It was just one of my fears because he’s a floppy kid, I just didn’t think it was best. But then when I got one in my SMA care package, I decided to try it out. So I definitely would recommend it to anybody, even if their kid doesn’t have a disability, to get their kid moving and interactive in the water is great.

Julie Forbes