Product Review: Dock-A-Tot

The Dock-A-Tot can be opened at the bottom, allowing your baby to easily transition into a larger crib or bed

The Dock-A-Tot is every parent’s best friend.  It’s a totally breathable lounging station for your baby. It has multiple purposes: it can be used as a place for your baby to sleep/rest, lounge around, play, and to do tummy time.

There are 2 sizes available for the Dock-A-Tot, the Deluxe size which is for babies 0-8 months, and the Grand size, for infants/toddlers 9months to 3 years of age.

The Dock-A-Tot is supposed to also help transition your baby from co-sleeping with parents in their bed, or from a bassinet into their own bed when they grow older. It is also supposed to make your baby feel snugly secure, thus preventing unnecessary wake ups from their natural startle reflexes when they are sleeping. Because of its 100% breathable material from Sweden, it is supposedly completely safe if you have a tummy or side sleeper on your hands. Our son definitely prefers to sleep on his side (rather than his back), so the Dock-A-Tot has been a peace of mind for me, being the paranoid first-time mom that I am.  When the Dock-A-Tot first arrived, my husband put it right up to his face, and smushed his face into it, and took a deep breath.  To both of our amazement, it was indeed fully breathable, and didn’t restrict breathing at all.  After that test, we felt 100% confident that our son would be safe in it.

Because the Dock-A-Tot is supposed to be snug around your baby, preventing them from waking themselves up with their startle reflex, it’s supposed to help your baby sleep longer periods and through the night. I can’t honestly say whether it does or not, because we have been über fortunate that our son has been an awesome sleeper since birth. He sleeps pretty much through the night, with the exception of waking up for feeds every 4 hours or so. Because we haven’t had problems yet with him not sleeping long periods, I can’t say for certain whether the Dock-A-Tot is actually success in helping the little ones sleep longer through the night.

We use our Dock-A-Tot in the Halo Bassinest, and it’s a perfect fit, if any parents with the Halo Bassinest Swivel Sleeper are wondering. The Dock-A-Tot can also be used in your own bed if you want to co-sleep but are worried about your baby rolling, or you or your significant other rolling onto the baby.

Overall, it is expensive, I’ll grant you that, but no one said babies were supposed to be cheap. It’s a good product and I would recommend it to anyone having sleep problems with their little ones. Plus, it comes in a sweet-ass grey chevron design with this really nice green zipper trim on it. It would make a great baby shower gift for a close friend or family member if you’re feeling generous.  I would also highly recommend purchasing an extra cover for it, as babies tend to like to spit up when it’s least convenient.  We had a few accidents in the middle of the night where our son spit up into the Dockatot and we had to wash the cover.  We ended up buying an extra cover so we could still use the Dockatot when this happened, but in hindsight I wish we bought it all together to save on the shipping.

*As an update, our son is now 6 months old, 15lbs 6oz and is 26″ long.  He still fits wonderfully in the Deluxe size.

For a discount, click this link Here, and you’ll be given a 10% off code on your purchase! Hope you enjoy your Dock-A-Tot as much as we do! Here is the full link if you want to copy and paste it in your browser: http://dockatot.refr.cc/BBGJHL9

Our son, Linden, enjoying his Dock-A-Tot

Linden chilling in his Dock-A-Tot

The Dock-A-Tot pictured in our Halo Bassinet Swivel Sleeper

16 thoughts

  1. Hi – the instructions which come with the dock a tot (aka sleepyhead – the Europe name) clearly state that it is to be unbuckled during use for safety reasons – an important piece of info I think you might have missed.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks Jennifer for adding that piece of info! I’m not sure if it needs to be unbuckled for the Deluxe version as well, as it states that it must be unbuckled for safety reasons on the Grand. I will try to contact Dock A Tot and find out from them. Thanks!

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  3. This is super helpful – thank you! My 6-week old baby only sleeps on top of me or my husband and hates his bassinest, so I’m hoping that the dock-a-tot will help him sleep for a couple hours (or more) without being on us. I didn’t know that it would fit inside the bassinest (pictured above), so I’ll try that in addition to co-sleeping with the dock-a-tot. Hopefully it works!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Donna! Glad to hear you found the review helpful. It definitely fits in the Halo Bassinest. We normally put our son in the Bassinest (with the dockatot in it), and he sleeps from 10pm-4am and then he wakes up for a feed. We then move the dock to our bed (and co-sleep) from about 4:30am-8:30am. We love it! Good luck, and use the link http://dockatot.refr.cc/BBGJHL9 to get 10% off 🙂

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  4. Ok, so I’ve contacted the wonderful customer service staff at Dock A Tot, and here is what they had to say:
    “Only the Grand needs to be unbuckled. The clip at the footend is intended to be used for easy portability and storing and must remain unbuckled during use. However, the Deluxe can remain buckled but should be unbuckled once the baby starts to roll over.”

    Hope this clears things up! Thanks again, Jennifer for bringing this to my attention!

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  5. This is dangerous. I am a mother and a physician and I would never put my child in here. It increases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Nothing is worth your child’s death.

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    • Thanks for your comment. I respect your opinion 100%. My blog review is based on my personal experience with the product. In our case, the first day we brought our newborn home from the hospital, he had rolled over (from his back when we placed him in the bassinet) to his stomach and was laying face down. I was terrified of him sleeping in this manner on a regular bassinet mattress, and the Dock-a-tot was a product that was fully breathable, that I felt was the lesser of two evils for my son. I figured if he was going to keep rolling onto his stomach, it would be safer for him to be in a 100% breathable bed than in the plasticky mattress that comes with a bassinet. As a first-time-mom, I had no idea newborns could roll over like that from day one, so I didn’t actually discover or use this product until our son was about 3 months old. Again, this is just my personal opinion, and I respect your opinion and comment.

      Lastly, for people who choose to co-sleep (sleep with their babies in their bed), the Dock-a-tot is probably better to have them sleeping on than just in a bed with the two parents.

      SIDS happens without the Dock-a-tot as well, and I have yet to hear about a case where a baby sleeping in the Dock has died of SIDS (I’m not saying it cannot happen, or it isn’t happened), just saying I haven’t heard of a case yet.

      Thanks again for your comment. I think its important for parents to do their own research and decide on what is best for their family, and you bring up a good and important issue.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi I’m a first time mom and I am considering purchasing a dock a tot. Can you please explain how this is dangerous and how it increases the risk of sids?

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      • It doesn’t increase the risk of SIDS…her comment doesn’t even make sense. They don’t even know what causes SIDS since the number of SIDS deaths, not suffocation, has flatlined for the last decade after the back-to-sleep campaign reduced the initial numbers significantly.

        The Dock is breathable, we have one and I can put my face on it and breathe through it. It’s not super soft where your kids face could sink in, like memory foam or something. My daughter is 8 months and has slept in it for naps and bedtime (in our bed next to us, gasp!) since birth. She does roll over and sleep on her side and sometimes tummy. Her airway is never obstructed any more than sleeping on a regular mattress would do. It also does not off gas and is oeko-tex certified, phthalate free, and is higher rated than most baby mattresses. Try not to stress, congratulations on your new baby 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • It actually does not increase the risk of SIDS. SIDS by definition is not suffocation, which is presumably what you’re implying is the danger of the product? Otherwise I’m not sure what part about a Dock-A-Tot increases SIDS risk…since it’s not formula feeding you child, denying the kid of vaccines, forcing child onto stomach/side, smoking or whatever else the current risk factors are for SIDS (I say that because it changes and the infant deaths from SIDS, not suffocation, has not changed in the last decade). I’d be more concerned about the cheap, off gassing mattresses people place their kids on, the fact babies are swaddled so much so that they sleep longer/deeper at night, and the decrease in breast feeding. Most of the recommendations for safe sleeping are to prevent suffocation deaths (ie, no bumpers, blankets, loveys, soft mattresses, etc).

      Please don’t come on here and try to freak people out for no reason.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hi Jessica,
        Thanks so much for your input. I completely agree with you, but don’t want to put down anyone’s comments and opinions since everyone is entitled to their own. The comment about the increase in SIDS supposedly came from a “nurse”, and I would have thought that they should know the difference between SIDS and asphyxiation.

        Again, my review is strictly based on my own opinion, and as I mentioned before, we felt the Dockatot was much safer than a regular crib mattress/bassinet mattress in terms of breathability.

        Thanks for your comment, I couldn’t have said it better!!

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  6. Hi, I came across your review in my sleep deprived state. My baby is 8months old and is wearing 12 month clothes. He rolls and moves so much in is sleep (when alone) and is only sleeping well when I am with him. I hear the delux can be used a lot longer then 9 months since it unbuckles. My question, since you have actually seen this magic device in person, is when babies roll really well and crawl does the Doc A Tot still a magic sleeper tool? 😉 And he’s so close to the 9 month mark I don’t want to have to buy both. (So much money). Would the delux work for quite some time unbuckled or bite the bulett and get the grande? Thanks so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Caitlin,
      Thanks for your comment and your question. Personally, we used the Deluxe model until our son was 1 year old – BUT it definitely goes by size (not necessarily age). Our son is a very small one year old (actually he’s 13 months now). I actually took some pictures of him in the Grand as well as the Deluxe now, but I’m unable to post pictures in the comments section. If you email me at caseyrumley@icloud.com I can send you the pictures so you can better gage the size. I would probably recommend the Grand if your baby is in 12 month clothes. As a reference, our son is 29″ long, 20 lbs 2 oz at 13 months old. He does not fit in the Deluxe anymore. That being said, the Grand is much bigger than we had expected when we purchased it. It is literally almost the size of a crib mattress. We use the Grand now, and we use it more for the peace of mind that it is breathable and safe for our son, rather than what we used the Deluxe for, which was to help him sleep better (since the “cozy” size of the Deluxe helps make the baby feel like they’re in a small space, limiting and arguably eliminating the startle reflex).

      In addition, you mentioned that your baby rolls really well – I would think if thats the case, he would roll right off the “bumper” part of the Dock-A-Tot, which would defeat the purpose entirely. Again, if you email me, I can send you a couple of pictures to see the size of our son in the 2 Dock-A-Tot sizes.

      So, to answer your question, I would assume that the Grand would not be a “magic sleeper tool” since its so big and probably wouldn’t “hug” your baby the way the Deluxe is meant to. That being said though, our son definitely has a better sleep with the Grand in his crib, than if he’s just sleeping directly on the crib mattress without the Dock-A-Tot. He moves and moans quite a bit when he sleeps, and often we will see him on the baby monitor closer to the bumper of the Dock, almost using it as a pillow to prop up his head/neck. He definitely gets a better sleep in the Dock-A-Tot than without one, but I would be cautious to claim it is as necessary as the Deluxe was when he was a baby – the Deluxe for us was a life saver and definitely a magic sleep tool!!

      Please keep in mind, my comment and answer to your question is based on our opinion and direct experience only.

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      • Plush bedding is always a concern in young infants who are unable to role over and get them selves out of a face down position. Being trapped in a face down position or being trapped against thick bedding, fluffy pillow or plush bumpers could result in the babies face ending up in a pocket where CO2 being exhaled by the baby is trapped and rebreathed leading low O2, possible asphyxiation and potential death if not discovered. A baby who is rebreathing CO2 and that has decreasing Blood O2 will be driven into a deep sleep preventing them from crying out and alerting their sleep deprived parents from discovering that there is a potential life threating problem which as we all know can lead to a baby not waking up. There may be many reasons why infants die suddenly, some known, some not. Getting entrapped in bedding is a known problem with the potential for awful consequences that unfortunately do occur every year. Fortunately this one can be prevented.

        FNP

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  7. Hi, Just wanted to point out that the DockATot is not safe for use in bassinets or cribs. As stated in the FAQs on their website…

    “Is DockATot™ suitable for cribs and/or bassinets?

    No, DockATot™ is not intended for use in cribs or bassinets. DockATot™ Grand can only be used in a toddler bed or big kid-sized bed, once the child is at least nine months old, and then only placed at a height that allows the child to safely descend on his own.”
    From: https://dockatot.com/pages/faq

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