Sophia was born at 29 weeks and just 1 pounds, 6.6 ounces, and had to spend about 3 months in the NICU where taking warm baths was one of her favorite things. That’s why her mom Jennifer was very excited about trying out the Otteroo MINI with Sophia once she came home.
Now, at 9 pounds, Sophia continues to enjoy her bath time with Otteroo and is even trying different moves in the water that she can’t yet on land.
How was bath time already special for Sophia?
The first time she got a tub bath, she calmed down as soon as she was submerged in the warm water. She laid back and looked around everywhere. I washed her head with a scalp scrubbie and her mouth dropped into a little "O" and she started to fall asleep. No matter how fussy she was, warm tub baths always calmed her.
Why did you get Otteroo?
[Initially] Otteroo did make us hesitate and the concept confuses a lot of people, but it gives the baby a chance to feel warmth, have you close, and also have a taste of independence. Being in the NICU, you and the baby are constantly depending on other people, machines, medications, etc. The Otteroo felt like something we could control and gave her a little control over her own little body.
How did that first Otteroo bath go?
The first time we used Otteroo with Sophia, it was a bit strange. We were hesitant with putting the Otteroo on her, and it was a little tricky figuring out how to do it without stressing her too much. She wasn't happy and cried. I put her in the water and, as soon as she was submerged, she calmed down and started to look around. I moved her slowly in the water. At first, she startled, but once she realized she could move, she started kicking and bopping herself around.
[She] was kicking and propelling herself. Kept flipping belly-down and trying to use legs and hands on bottom of tub to crawl…she has come so far and is so independent and instinctive.
Tell us about the things Sophia has been showing off in the tub!
Turning has been great. She turns side to side and sometimes rolls back and forth. It's only happened during one bath so far, but she flipped from back-down to belly-down on her own and then started making a crawling motion with knees and hands. She hadn't even started rolling yet out of the water, so this shocked me and made me cry at seeing her so free and able to move.
Beyond the freedom of movement, what other benefits have you seen?
The Otteroo acts as exercise for her that lets her use more muscles than if she were just laying down or using a play gym. She usually sleeps really well afterwards because she tires herself out. A traditional baby tub is fine too, but she gets mad when she tries to move around and can't.
What do these bath times mean for your family?
The main thing is Otteroo time is social and/or family time. It lets me play with and talk to her in a different setting while she is usually calm from the water.
We are also knocking out the task of bath time, which lets me get a little extra rest when she goes to sleep after! When her dad is able, he joins us too so we can all spend that time together.