Infant neck floats: Ridiculous or genius?

August 26th, 2015 Posted by Misc No Comment yet


Joanna Venditti

posted in Mom Stories

Recently, I saw a product review come up in my Facebook news feed that made me look twice. It was for Otteroo’s infant neck float device. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but this was the first time I had ever seen or heard of anything like this.

After doing a little research, I found out that these doughnut-shaped baby flotation devices are very popular in places like Asia and the UK. They are often used in baby spas, (also a new concept to me), as a relaxing form of hydrotherapy.

Baby Spa

Babies enjoying some relaxing hydrotherapy at BabySPA in Singapore

Looking at the photos in this review, I couldn’t decide if I was horrified or in awe. One thing was for sure, I was intrigued and wanted to try these floats on my one-year-old twins.

Once I was able to get my hands on a pair of Otteroo flotation devices for my daughters to try, I immediately started inspecting the clever design. I realized when blowing up the float, that there is a spot to cradle the baby’s chin, which made a lot of sense.

I was convinced that my outgoing twin, Everly, would love the freedom, and immediately figure out how to propel herself around the pool by kicking. My daughter Mia, on the other hand, can be a little more reserved and shy so I assumed she may not like the float. My husband and many family members were on stand-by as we prepared for my girls’ maiden voyage. I was a little nervous that something terrible was going to happen, like a baby slipping through the hole into the water below.

We placed the floats around each of my girls’ necks, securing them at the back with clasps and it was time to place them in the water. We slowly lowered Mia and Everly into the water and let go. There they were, bobbing in the pool. Nobody was drowning, nobody was being strangled and nobody was slipping down into the water below. Both babies were leisurely and independently floating.

Twins trying infant neck floats

Suddenly, Everly, the twin I thought would love this experience started thrashing and fussing, wanting to physically control what was happening. We immediately removed her float, and decided this wasn’t her cup of tea. But there was her sister, Mia, floating with a grin across her face, stretching from ear to ear. I guess her personality is just placid enough to relax into the neck float experience. We all giggled and watched in awe, as Mia let her limbs go limp and move with the rhythm of the waves in the pool.

Baby floating in Otteroo

So, what do I think of infant neck floats? I think they’re a pretty genius and original concept. Like any other flotation device, I would always supervise my child very closely while using it. I just have one question: When will one be invented for adults to enjoy?

You can watch a video of our first experience trying the Otteroos here.

Note: there was a recent recall of the Otteroo float on July 1, 2015 due to a faulty seam that can leak air and deflate the device. No babies have been harmed. The devices recalled were sold between January 2014 through July 2014. 



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