When Juli Westcott put her infant daughter in an Otteroo, all of her friends said, “You’re a chiropractor… is that thing safe?” Her answer made all of her friends buy one. We talked to Juli Westcott, the President at Natural Advantage Chiropractic in McKinney, Texas, about why she regularly uses the Otteroo with her daughter, Cadence.
When did you first put Cadence in the Otteroo?
When she was about 10 weeks old we decided to give it a try. We filled up the tub, put her in there, and she never fussed with it. She never acted like, “What is this thing?” She just totally loved it. She would flip around, kick, look around; just absolutely loved it.
As a chiropractor, do you worry about the Otteroo straining your daughter’s neck?
I didn’t notice that it was putting any strain. You have the buoyancy of the water already, and then because of the way it is designed with the chin rest, it’s straight up and down, instead of pulling their head backward or forward. It’s much safer for a baby because if you have them even a little bit extended, you can have some issues with the airway being cut off a little bit. But, this is a totally safe position. I watched her; she was completely comfortable, breathing normal, able to move everything around. It’s a totally safe position of the neck, it’s not extending it, or twisting it in any way.
Do you think the Otteroo has any developmental benefits for your daughter?
It really helps with her arm and leg movements. I like it better than putting her in some kind of weird floatie that’s going to change the biomechanics of how their arms and legs move. This just keeps them pretty much in a straight line, and then they can move their arms and legs freely instead of having something impeding that normal movement. I felt like that was healthier for her to be able to have normal motion with this kind of a device. I think, developmentally, it helps them to create their movement patterns quicker because they’re in a weightless environment, but nothing is restricting their motion.
What other advantages do you think the Otteroo gives your daughter?
I noticed she was a lot more comfortable in the water than my other friends’ kids were. She was much more comfortable just being in the water, moving around in the water than their kids were. They noticed that, so they were like, “What is this thing?” I let them try it, and four or five of my friends bought it.
Why do you like the Otteroo better than other infant flotation devices?
I would see her put her face in the water [when in other devices], or lean too far to where the thing could tip over, and you don’t have to worry about that with the Otteroo; because of its circumferential protection, it goes all the way around. That for me was a huge thing, personally.