What is a DockATot Co-sleeper?
DockATot Deluxe and DockATot Grand are engineered with love and care to be comfortable and reliable lounging docks for newborns up to 36 months. You can safely use DockATot for co-sleeping, tummy time, play time, snuggle time, supervised naps, as a changing station, or anytime you really need to put the baby down in a snug and comforting spot. The Grand is a perfect size for toddlers to sleep in at night and is ideal for a smooth transition from the crib to a bed. DockATot is super lightweight and extremely easy to take with you when traveling. DockATot gives your baby a cozy, safe and non-toxic environment for sleep and play.
How Do You Use a DockATot?
My wife and I debated for quite some time about buying a DockATot for our first child just over two years ago. We read all the reviews, listened to the celebrity endorsements and shared all of the Instagram photos which made the trendy co-sleeper look seem like some kind of magic sleeping device. At the time were really having a hard time with out daughter who, in her first four months, would rarely sleep for any length of time without being held.
As first-time parents, we were looking for an answer to our prayers and desperate for anything that proved able to get our little one to sleep. We were using a pack-and-play at our bedside and while the entire setup was convenient for night time feeding it was hardly ideal. Between my snoring, the baby’s restlessness and crying, and my wife poking me in the ribs to roll over or getting out of bed to feed the baby no one was getting any sleep.
We were searching for something…anything…that could provide us with some relief. Even with what seemed like a pretty steep price tag for a co-sleeper, we were seriously looking at the DockATot Deluxe as an option for transitioning our baby girl from our room to her crib. Although the DockATot looked like the perfect solution to create a safe and secure sleeping space inside the crib we ended enduring through the first four sleepless months and started sleep training and night weaning right in the crib all at once.
Don’t get me wrong we are 100% open to trying new essential baby gear and my wife spends hours researching and surfing baby forums seeking out the best advice. We looked at all the baby sleep forums for peoples testimony and after a lot of careful reviews decided we would pull the trigger on a DockATot Deluxe hoping that it would provide a more blissful sleep experience for the entire family. My wife and I were committed to ensuring the next go around was different!
From the first night we arrived home from the hospital we began using the DockATot in our crib right on top of our Newton Baby crib mattress. The goal was to sleep our son in his nursery and in his own crib, from day one! I don’t want to jinx things but so far mission complete. He has been sleeping soundly through the night since night two. In fact, my wife has to wake him for the night time feedings. I know every child is unique but the difference between our two experiences with and without the DockATot is so remarkable that I feel compelled to share.
One thing you must understand is the DockATot is designed as a co-sleeper and lounger and isn’t meant for inside the crib, however, we researched and spoke with multiple families who have first-hand experience using the DockATot and we feel it is a safe place for our baby to sleep until we transition him to the crib mattress proper. The DockATot gives our baby a sweet and cozy little spot inside his crib where he can snuggle up and fall blissfully asleep. I can’t say it is an overnight miracle (because it took us two sessions) but it’s a far cry from the four months of sleepless nights and exhausted days we experienced with our daughter.
What Makes The DockATot Unique From Other Co-Sleepers
We are firm believers of the benefits of properly swaddling your newborn. It makes your baby feel secure, keeps your baby safe and reduces the chance of the startle reflex waking your little sleeper. However, it can be a challenge as your child grows to keep him swaddled, especially if he is a squirmer! One of the really nice benefits of the DockATot for both you and your little one is that if you are not comfortable using a swaddle or your child just won’t tolerate it the cushions are almost like a second cozy little wrap which helps prevent the startle reflex from waking your baby.
The DockATot attempts to recreate the womb along with the all of its creature comforts for a newborn. It is truly a warm and comfortable safe space for your baby to rest. If you are not using a swaddle (we do use a swaddle even in the DockATot and highly recommend that you do as well) your little one is free to move his arms where ever is most comforting for him but still feel the safety of a snug and cushy sleep space.
Another added bonus for the DockATot is it is designed to help reduce the risk of flat head syndrome. No one wants to force their precious babies to wear the therapeutic helmets needed to reverse the flathead syndrome and they are also expensive. To combat the unpleasantness of flathead syndrome head on (see what I did there) the DockATot mattress is made from extremely soft thermo-bonded fiber that relieves the unwanted pressure on the head. Also since the DockATot sides act as a support prop, if you are comfortable with the position for sleep you can rest your precious one on his side or allow him to curl up on one side, all of which are ways to help prevent flat head syndrome.
Obviously, if you are looking to buy a DockATot, you are primarily planning to use it for sleeping, however, do not overlook the other very common situations for which this little wonder can be used as an alternative. It provides a great space for baby to play and lounge in without parents having to worry about harnesses or straps. You can use your DockATot for a comfortable place to do tummy time. We have found allowing our baby boy to rest on top of the rounded bumper can really make our tummy time sessions much less uncomfortable for the little guy especially if he is balking.
One huge selling point for me and one of the DockATots greatest strengths is that it’s extremely portable and lightweight. I know a lot of parents who have had no issues taking one on a plane to help keep their infant calm and blissfully asleep while they travel. During our last trip to Canada to visit my wife’s family, the DockATot was a huge success. WIth our first, we would sleep her in a pack-and-play in the basement but with the new DockATot we had the option of putting it in bed with us or on the floor next to the bed. This was obviously comforting for us but it allowed for him to sleep in the same familiar and cozy environment that he has grown accustomed to at home. Plus, we were able to very conveniently dock baby boy in safe places as we moved around the house which was a huge help during nap times and when the family was all catching up and socializing.
A Day In the Life With DockATot Co-Sleeper
After using the DockATot for some time now I can honestly say that our baby boy is sleeping great. Can it be 100% attributed to the DockATot or is he just a better sleeper than our daughter. I can say for certain that he likes the DockATot better than our rock-and-play and baby swing that we sometimes use for naps and resting. It is such a different experience from our first child and regardless of whether it is purely the DockATot or some combination of factors my wife and I are overjoyed at how well our little boy sleeps.
He routinely sleeps through the night, waking only when we rouse him for his early morning feeding, then easily falls back asleep for a few more hours. I know how important and effective giving him a consistent sleep space he can grow accustomed to is for both him and our families well being. The DockATot affords us the flexibility to put our baby boy down to sleep anywhere we need, whether it is in his crib, in the family room on the couch, in a hotel bed if traveling or at Grandma’s house visiting. We bring it with us when where ever we go and he always feels right at home. Our DockATot eliminates all of the hassles of figuring out where he will sleep and the typical anxiety a baby may feel when trying to sleep in an unknown environment. Our precious boy sleeps just as well on the go as he does in his nursery and that is a blessing that is impossible to put a price on. I also want to reiterate just how great for play time and hanging out this thing is as well. He’ll usually spend part of his morning playing in the DockATot while we all get ready for the day. Seriously, as a sleeper and lounger the DockATot is amazing!
How Does DockATot Hold Up To the Abuse of a Busy Family On the Move?
From the moment you first open the box and remove the DockATot from its protective wrapping you will be amazed out how plush and luxurious this thing feels. It is very light but is so well built and just feels substantial in your hands. You know by its look and feel that the DockATot is quality and that gives me so much confidence when resting my little one in its cozy shell. It really is getting harder to find true quality items for your baby and nursery, and it was a breath of fresh air to see the premium materials and attention to detail that has gone into making the DockATot.
If you look at their site you will find a style and color to fit any personality or nursery design theme. There are so many cool and unique patterns to choose from although we took the boring route and went with the white!
Obviously one of the most important features is that it is actually safe and then aside from that it is durable which makes the DockATot just is a great fit for our family. It handles everything we can think to throw at it. It even has an adjustable “gate” you can open at one end to allow for greater freedom of movement for your baby’s legs and feet during play or tummy time. The uniquely designed DockATot helps your baby feel like he’s being held without the need for a tight and restricting swaddle.
The absolute best feature, however, is that it’s extremely breathable. You can not put a value on the peace of mind I gain from knowing he isn’t going to suffocate on something in the crib. DockATot is also hypoallergenic and made with premium mesh fabrics that have excellent air permeability The DockATot cover is 100% cotton with a breathable non-toxic fiber filling. In addition to the breathability, it helps to keep our baby boy at the perfect temperature, cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. DockATot has looked at co-sleepers from every angle and put countless hours and resources into the research needed for creating a safe, comfortable microclimate for your baby regardless of your location or home.
You can safely wash the DockATot in your washing machine which is a huge bonus for anything your little one is going to sleep on, Take note, however, that getting the cover back on this thing can really be a team effort. It is not easy to do by yourself which is kind of a pain if you are home alone after a bad diaper blowout. Another minor issue is that even though it is extremely light it is rather bulky for its size and doesn’t collapse so it will require a bit of space to move around when you are on the go. Since the DockATot has a nice firm and hard bottom, there is no real option other than to lay it flat when you travel and will take up about as much space as a large pillow.
Does the DockATot Have an Achilles Heel?
Well as mentioned above my biggest gripe with the DockATot is how difficult it is to clean. With the cover off you can see the co-sleeper breaks down into two pieces, the mattress bed, and the surrounding bumper. The bumper is specifically designed to fit snugly around the bed so yor little one can’t roll out and adults can’t roll in. Although it is the defining safety feature and absolutely necessary it makes it extremely difficult to get the DockATot back into the cover after washing. Like I said there is a huge pain after a late night blow out or if you are alone with your child. There is just no quick or easy way to clean and recover when this happens.
Finally, the DockaTot is not cheap by nearly anyone’s standards. A Deluxe will run you between $165-185 before tax. This is definitely cheaper than a crib, but I seriously doubt most parents are looking at the DockATot as a total crib replacement. So besides the high cost (although I feel the benefits are worth the cost) if you wish to purchase an additional cover you will need to drop another $65-85. This adds up quick for co-sleeper that you might only use for a short time until you transition to a crib.
DockATot in Review
The DockATot has been as marvelous as advertised and I have no doubt that it has helped our baby stay asleep longer, leading to wonderful and blissful stretches of uninterrupted sleep! I feel at peace knowing he is cozy and safe. Although the price is a bit steep I really can not put a value on the health and well being of our child as well as the great sleep gained for our entire family. It’s portable, washable (although difficult to clean) and I’m recommending it to all my pregnant friends and friends with newborns.
Overall, I love our DockATot and can’t stop talking about it. We should have pulled the trigger when we first heard about it with our daughter but I am so glad we did it this time around with our son! I really can not recommend the DockATot enough for anyone with a newborn!