Baby With Congenital Muscular Dystrophy Gains Strength Using Otteroo

“Get him in the pool,” recommended Clive’s doctor. After a week of using the Otteroo, a baby with congenital muscular dystrophy gains strength.

Clive loved it so much he spent hours each day in the pool. And Clive’s parents noticed huge changes.

When Clive was 7 months old, he was diagnosed with congenital muscular dystrophy. His doctor recommended getting him in the water to help increase his low muscle tone. Clive’s mom, Kelly, took him to swim lessons, but she had to hold him the entire time. That’s when she remembered seeing the Otteroo from before Clive’s birth. She bought one and brought it on vacation. Clive loved it so much he spent hours each day in the pool. And Clive’s parents noticed huge changes.

What made you purchase the Otteroo?

We wanted him to have some independent play where he’s not on his back and no one’s holding him. We bought the Otteroo right before we left for vacation where we’re at right now. We put him in it maybe within 30 minutes of getting here, and we have him in it maybe two to three hours a day. He absolutely loves it. We’re like, “We need to take you out of the water so your skin doesn’t get wrinkly!”

What does he like about being in the Otteroo?

He’s nine months in a few days, so he wants to do things that a nine-month brain wants to do, but he can’t do it independently, unless someone’s holding him. Even if you’re holding him, it’s not the same, so he just loves to be independent in the pool or in this big bathtub we have here. Yeah, he’s just the happiest he is throughout the day when he’s in the water with the Otteroo playing by himself.

We’ve been here a week, I would say already, even my husband this morning was like, “He moves his arms when he’s not in the pool now with more vigor than he ever has.”

How does he react when he’s in it?

He kicks all the time. The thing about Clive is, I think his arms have a lot lower tone, than the rest of his body. They’re always really slow. We’ve been here a week, I would say already, even my husband this morning was like, “He moves his arms when he’s not in the pool now with more vigor than he ever has.” It has to be because he’d been in that thing for hours a day, kind of working out with his arms more than he does when he’s not in the water.

Wow. You’ve seen improvement in just this week?

Yes. He would never give you any resistance on his arms. They’re very slow, sloth-like movements. He will shake his toys now with a lot more intensity than he ever has. We feel a little bit more resistance when we play with his arms. That is definitely something that happened in the last couple of days.

When you have a child with a disease like this, the biggest thing is he doesn’t have cognitive disability, so he wants to do all these independent things as the months go on. We’re trying to find equipment and products for him that will give him that. It’s not easy to do, especially with a baby, so this was a gem of a find for us.

It’s probably because you have him in there so long. He must love the independent mobility!

That’s the key for him. When you have a child with a disease like this, the biggest thing is he doesn’t have cognitive disability, so he wants to do all these independent things as the months go on. We’re trying to find equipment and products for him that will give him that. It’s not easy to do, especially with a baby, so this was a gem of a find for us.

Julie Forbes

Julie Kroenig Forbes graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She spent the next 10 years working as a news anchor and reporter in various cities, most recently in Nashville, Tennessee. After a few years in Northern California and New York, she now lives in Ohio with her husband and four kids.
Julie Forbes

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