Premature Baby with Cerebral Palsy is “Finally Able to Move” with Otteroo

Sometimes, an e-mail lands in our inbox that really moves and inspires us to continue spreading the word on Otteroo’s benefits so at least all parents have the opportunity to decide if they want to try it. Like this one:

My baby was born at 26 [weeks] at 1 lb 14 oz. We face challenges such as global developmental delay, profound deafness, hypotonia and 90-100% chance of cerebral palsy according to our neuro physician. Ariana is 14 months and continues to lack head control. She also has severe reflux and is unable to reach due to her posturing.

Because of the Otteroo, I believe my baby got to enjoy being a ‘normal’ baby for the first time. She didn’t have to worry about sitting up, or trying to lift her head. She got to kick and play … and for that, I thank you.

–Lauren Taylor, Mother of Ariana

We learned more from Lauren about her daughter’s experience in Otteroo.

You said Ariana was about a year old when she first tried Otteroo. How did she respond?

Well, the first time she tried it, she was unsure. We have a pool. It was cold. She has a tendency to flex her limbs in from the cerebral palsy. The first time she tried it, she was not so sure of it. Then, we tried it in the bath tub. She loved it, probably because of the warmer water. She loved it in the bathtub. Now, she loves it. Now we use it in pools, and we use it in the bathtub as well.

You use Otteroo at least once a week now, how does Ariana enjoy it?

Well, in the pool she just hangs out. She’s usually really tense with cerebral palsy. In the pool, she’s relaxed. In the bathtub, she likes to play and try to move around. She can touch the ground, the sides of the bathtub.

Can she only have that kind of mobility in the Otteroo?

There’s no other swimming device that she can use in the water. She can’t sit or hold her head up. It’s truly the only thing we can let her be by herself and try to get around the pool. I put her in about a foot and a half of water and she’ll try to crawl. She’s able to move finally. She can move her legs pretty good in the water. Since she has no trunk support or neck support or arm support, she can’t move on the ground. If I put her in some shallow water, she’ll actually try to move around the pool, which is pretty cool.

Thank you so much for sharing your daughter’s story with us.

It was really great just to see that she was finally able to move around. You can tell that she really wants to move. There’s no other way she was able to move around besides this. I don’t think there’s any other water toy that she can use to move around besides the Otteroo. I looked into different people trying to do knockoff versions, but I would never have bought them. I didn’t feel comfortable buying just a trainer or cheap plastic. I just didn’t know what the manufacturer was. I only feel comfortable buying the Otteroo versus any other brand.

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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