I received the DockATot for free in exchange for this blog post. All opinions are my own.
Disclaimer to the disclaimer: We were planning on purchasing the DockATot anyways, regardless of this blog post. This is a product we can honestly recommend and I’m excited to give you my full review. I would buy it again and again!
If there’s one product I’ve gotten a million questions about, it’s the DockATot. And now that I’ve used it for 7 weeks, I’m ready to give my review! Spoiler alert if you don’t feel like reading to the end: we LOVE it!
The DockATot was one of those new products I discovered within the past year or so, and wish that it has been around when I first had A back in 2015. I was a little skeptical of all the praise it kept receiving all over social media, but after giving it a fair shot myself, I can now see why it’s so popular! I will say though, I was a little unsure at how much of a “need” it would actually be, but I hope my review will show you why we most definitely now consider it a “need” in our household – a baby registry must have for sure!
So the DockATot in its simplest form, is a breathable co-sleeper and portable lounger. We aren’t really a co-sleeping family, so in our case, we put it in our pack ‘n play after we moved him out of the rock ‘n play, which we kept in the corner of our bedroom for the first 5 or 6 weeks. (We have a queen size bed, so even if we wanted to co-sleep with it, it would be a bit of a tight squeeze for how we prefer to sleep!) I also really wanted to use it as both a safe haven away from rowdy big sister and as a way to help ease him into his crib upstairs. It provides a cozy, womb like environment, and with the firm base and raised sides, it’s perfect for tummy time, naps, nighttime sleep, or just playtime in general. It’s super lightweight so you can travel with it, move it easily from room to room, or haul it across town to grandma’s house! We’ve already gotten so much use out of it it’s ridiculous. And it may or may not already be covered in spit-up. (That just means it’s been properly christened, right?)
With A, we used the Boppy Lounger, and honestly, she outgrew it in like two seconds. I mean not really, but she definitely did not fit on it for very long. This time around, I knew the DockATot would grow with B longer and would be a safer place for him all around. With the Boppy Lounger, I was always a little worried A would slide off it, as there are no real sides to it. And, it doesn’t really contain or protect baby, like the DockATot does. The DockATot Deluxe+ is actually suitable for babies 0-8 months!
The DockATot comes in tons of different unique designs, all of which can easily be zipped off and washed. We opted for the basic pristine white, although I personally also love Mod Pod and Dream Weaver! You can also order toy arches that can attach over the top of the Dock that are super cute – kind of like those play mats that have toys dangling from them.
As far as how much time B has spent in the Dock…I would probably say he’s spent A LOT of time in it! From day one, we’d put him in it while we all sat on the couch, and it was the perfect safe place for him to nap or chill out while A ran wild around him. There were also several mornings where I’d pull the Dock up on the bed with me after Adam went to work and I’d put B in there to take his early morning nap while I laid next to him and drank my morning coffee. (Or also napped!) Currently, he’s been adjusting to life in his big boy crib so we’ve been putting the Dock in his crib for at least one nap a day, and again at bedtime, as of this past week!
Has it magically improved our sleep? Did it make our baby sleep through the night instantly? Is it a cure all for sleep deprived parents? No. I would not say it’s a miracle worker because I think good sleep is the product of a solid routine, and a little bit of luck, and not necessarily a result of what the baby is sleeping in. Of course, some babies will sleep better in certain places, just like some babies like being swaddled and some don’t. A was a bomb diggity sleeper from day one and she slept in our rock ‘n play for the first 3 weeks of her life, then she went straight to her crib cold turkey and never turned back. If we’d had the DockATot back then, would she have slept even better? No idea. But, I will say that I think what the DockATot does is provide a soothing environment, that sets the baby up for success. It is a fantastic tool for parents to use to help establish a solid foundation for future sleeping habits. And, based on our experience, our baby likes it, which does happen to translate into more sleep for all of us.
So is it worth the price tag?
Yes. 1,000 times yes. It is my favorite new-to-us item we’ve used with B, and I am so happy we found it! Whether you intend to use it solely for sleep, or just for lounging and playtime, I highly recommend it. It’s the perfect safe little nook for baby, especially if you’ve got older siblings or even a pet running around!
Because I know someone will ask, here’s our current sleep routine at 7 weeks old…I’ll typically try to make sure I nurse B before the whole bedtime routine starts around 5 or 6pm. Then bath time is usually between 7 – 7:30pm, then I try to start nursing him one last time around 8 or 8:30pm, right after he’s settled back down after his bath. After he feeds, he’s usually down by 9 or 9:30pm, but it just depends. Some nights he’s wide awake for much longer and I end up feeding him one more time briefly before officially putting him down. Most recently though, he’s been waking up around 3am, then again around 6am, and the day starts over. I would say this has been our routine for the past 3 or 4 weeks. Pretty much since around 3 weeks when we stopped waking him for feeds, he’s been waking up just once in the early morning hours, then again around 6am, which I think has just been a luck thing. The first 3 weeks or so, he’d do more of a midnight, 2 am, 5 am wake up schedule though because I was still establishing my milk supply and waking him up. I’m more than ok with just this one early morning feed though, and I know just like all phases with babies, it will most likely change as soon as I get comfortable with it! Like I mentioned further up, we kept him in the rock ‘n play for the first 3 weeks right next to the bed, but because I didn’t want him to get used to the rocking, we started putting him in the DockATot in the pack ‘n play, and it worked like a charm. B LOVES his DockATot! We also usually swaddle him in our Ollie Swaddle, which is a perfect compliment to the DockATot! More on the Ollie in a future post!
Do you have a DockATot? Would you try it? Do you like the idea of a safe lounger for baby?