New parents know the pain of searching for that one product that will let you and your baby finally rest easy. But with all the options available out there – ranging from the bizarre to just plain unsafe – what is the right choice for your baby?
The DockATot may be that ideal fit. It’s a revolutionary, lightweight nest for your baby to sleep, play, and lounge in. But is it worth buying?
Let’s dive in and find out.
- 1 What is a DockATot?
- 2 How Can You Use a DockATot?
- 3 DockATot Pros
- 4 DockATot Cons
- 5 Is a DockATot Worth it?
- 6 Conclusion
What is a DockATot?
The DockATot is a multi-functional little nest that can be used for playing, lounging, cuddling, resting, and sleeping – all in one product. It is a snug lounger specially designed to mimic being inside the womb so that babies feel more comfortable in their environment.
Though it is not meant to be used as a co-sleeper placed in the crib, many parents still choose to use it as one anyway. Most find that their babies seem to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer once they are introduced to the DockATot, as opposed to squirming restlessly around their bassinets or cribs.
Cautious parents, who are worried about the DockATot’s safety, might be relieved to know that this baby pod is made from completely breathable fabrics. This can reduce the risk of your baby falling prey to SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
One aspect that parents seem to love is just how gorgeous the covers for these pods are. They come in a wide variety of colors and patterns that put regular baby pods to shame. These covers are easy to remove and install, and are machine-washable, too!
Since DockATot first launched in the U.S. back in 2015, it has won plenty of awards and has even been endorsed by celebrities like Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Molly Sims – just to name a few.
What Are Suitable Ages for the DockATot?
The DockATot is available in two sizes, each made for babies in different age ranges.
The Deluxe+ model is made for babies 0 to 8 months old, while the Grand Dock model can hold babies 9 to 36 months old.
How Can You Use a DockATot?
Most parents like to use their DockATots as co-sleepers. Co-sleeping is basically when you and your baby sleep close to one another throughout the night.
There are many different co-sleeping methods parents implement, including:
- Sharing your bed with your child.
- The sidecar arrangement, which is when you attach your baby’s crib to one side of your bed. Usually, this means that three sides of the crib are left alone, while the side facing your bed is then lowered or removed completely so that you can easily reach your baby whenever you need to during the night. There are plenty of commercial sidecar cribs available on the market.
- Different beds kept in the same room. This could be through keeping your baby’s bassinet or crib close to your bed (as in the sidecar arrangement) or just somewhere in the same room. If you have a toddler or slightly older child, you could also set up a pallet or bed on the floor right next to your bed.
- Welcoming them in your bed when they need it. If you have given your child their own bedroom, but they come into your bed after waking up from a nightmare or some other reason, then most parents let them co-sleep.
Ultimately, what co-sleeping method you choose to use (if any) depends on both your baby’s and your own personal preference.
You can easily place the DockATot in or right beside your bed, so you and your partner can keep an eye on your baby while they sleep. You can also use the Grand Dock to let your toddler rest on the floor of your bedroom as well.
Many parents also use the DockATot for general lounging, tummy time, diaper changing, helping their child transition to a bigger bed, playing, and even as a temporary place to hold your child while you travel.
Many parents often forget to take their babies’ microclimate, or their immediate surroundings, into consideration when setting up their bed spaces.
Luckily, the 100% hypoallergenic cotton the DockATot is made from does not harbor heat, ensuring that your baby is always sleeping at the optimal temperature.
Faster, Deeper Sleep
As such, most babies find the DockATot extremely comfortable and will often self-settle once placed inside it. Many parents who usually have to rock their babies to sleep are often surprised by how easily their babies drift off in their DockATot.
These babies also seem to sleep in longer blocks throughout the night, which can only spell relief for parents who have to get up early the next morning for work.
Better Tummy Time
DockATots also facilitate tummy time. Despite its inherently silly name, supervising your baby while they crawl around on their stomach can actually help them to develop essential motor skills and neck strength.
Many babies do not like exerting the effort to do this, at first, but the DockATot’s rounded, enclosed sides can help to prop them up and get them moving.
Transitioning to Bigger Beds
Once they start to grow a little older, the pod can also help your toddler transition to a “big kid” bed.
The pod is essentially a soft mattress, while the more rounded edges secure them in place, so they do not have to worry about falling out of bed.
Safe and Clean
The DockATot is also machine washable, Oeko-Tex certified, and has child-safe zippers that your baby will not be able to tug off by accident.
This video goes into more detail on the DockATot.
Parents who are considering the DockATot for their child should know that, while they do provide plenty of benefits, they can also pose certain dangers to your baby if they remain unsupervised.
Health Canada recently released an advisory warning against letting babies sleep in baby nests or baby pods unsupervised because it puts them at risk of suffocating.
They define a baby nest or baby pod as any portable infant bed that has soft, padded sides (much like the DockATot).
They specifically warn against leaving babies unattended in these nests, even if you happen to be sleeping nearby or you have placed the nest inside a playpen or crib.
This is because soft surfaces like mattresses, couches, and these pods have been proven to increase the risk for suffocation and SIDS when babies are left to their own devices.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (better known as the FDA) released a similar warning in October 2016 against sleep positioners, which are products intended to keep a baby in a specific position while they sleep.
While no DockATot deaths have been reported, the risk for SIDS or suffocation within these nests may be enough reason for more leery parents to steer clear.
Not Intended for Full Sleeping Use
However, Elina Furman, the director of marketing at DockATot, has explained that the DockATot is not intended to be used for babies to sleep in. Rather, this baby nest is meant for supervised lounging and playtime instead.
DockATot’s website has also made it very clear in their FAQ section that their Deluxe model, which is made for babies 1 to 9 months old, is not meant for unsupervised sleep.
Despite all these warnings, both on their website and on the safety label, however, many parents choose to ignore this and use their DockATot as a bed for their young child.
It is always a good idea to check in with your pediatrician about if a DockATot is right for your baby’s sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics states that the safest place for your baby to sleep during the first year of their life is inside a crib, bassinet, or play yard inside your bedroom.
Risks of Co-Sleeping
Parents who wish to co-sleep with their child in the same bed can set up a DockATot beside them, but again, you must consult with your pediatrician about this decision beforehand to see if it is safe for your baby to do so.
If your pediatrician does deem it safe, you will still have to follow DockATot’s safety precautions listed below:
- DO NOT allow your baby to co-sleep with an adult who suffers from any sleep disorders, is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or certain medications, or is obese. Make sure that each adult in the bed is completely aware of the baby’s presence and space within the bed.
- Place the DockATot only on a firm mattress. Be sure the dock remains flat even after the adult(s) get in bed and that the dock is positioned in the center of the bed near the headboard.
- Each side of the dock should be at least 12 inches from each edge of the bed.
- Be sure no pillows or covers of any kind can fall over the dock in the middle of the night. These can end up over your baby’s face and pose a suffocation risk, overheating issues, or an increased risk of SIDS. Each parent should only use the pillow they keep under their heads. In fact, it is best for parents to use separate covers for the time being, to reduce the risk of a shared one accidentally going over your baby’s head.
- Only place your baby on their backs in the dock.
- DO NOT add any blankets or extra padding of any kind under your baby in the dock, as they can become entangled within it and suffocate.
- Keep all cords and strings near your bed away from your baby. These pose an obvious strangulation risk.
- Never leave your baby alone in your bed unsupervised. There could be a chance that your baby might wake up or roll off the bed.
- Never use any of the components of the DockATot separately, as the loose fabrics and parts could present a suffocation hazard.
Of course, the price of a single DockATot might throw some parents off, too.
Depending on the cover pattern you choose, a Deluxe+ DockATot will be in between $195 to upwards of $215 alone. Spare covers are also quite pricy—ranging from $95 to $115.
Many parents will still attest to the bed being worth every penny, but the hefty price is still something to consider before purchasing.
Is a DockATot Worth it?
The DockATot’s sheer versatility as a bed, play area, and lounger all in one may win some parents over. The fact that it is particularly well-made, comfortable, and easy to transport is also another plus for parents constantly on-the-go.
While the plethora of DockATot reviews praising its effectiveness (and how cute your baby will look while resting in it) could be attributed to overblown hype, you have to admit, the sheer number of parents and their babies who love this product are substantial.
Even the most skeptical of parents seem to love this product, so there must be some truth to what they are all claiming. Ultimately, whether or not a DockATot is right for you depends on your preferences.
If you’re looking for something cute and soft to let your baby lounge (but not sleep) in, then go ahead and give this product a try! If you are concerned about the possible dangers, however, then it is perhaps best to skip it.
Here’s a video with more details on the DockATot.
The DockATot is certainly shaping up to be one of the more interesting baby products in recent years. Its amazing versatility, comfort levels, and overall aesthetic certainly make its rather high price tag all the more worth it to some parents.
More safety-conscious parents may be concerned about the possible risks of suffocation and SIDS, and thus skip out on using this product.
So long as you always supervise your baby while they are in this pod and follow all the safety instructions, your baby should be happily playing, lounging, and sleeping away in their DockATot without issue.
So, have you tried or are you willing to try a DockATot?