When I first got pregnant I spent hours and hours of research on baby items. I came across the DockATot being endorsed by many celebrities and bloggers on Instagram as the “greatest baby item of all time” and a “miracle for sleep”. I was intrigued so I went to YouTube and watched hours of reviews. I came to the conclusion that I NEEDED it. Mr. D has always been a really good sleeper. Right from day one he really only woke once or twice in the night, but I was more concerned with his naps during the day as well as transitioning to his crib after 6 months.
What is a DockATot?
If you are new to the baby world, the DockATot is a bed like cushion for babies with raised edges around it, meant for lounging, resting, crib transitioning, tummy time etc. On the website, it is described as:
“… a multi-functional lounging, playing, chilling, resting and snuggling dock you can take anywhere. … ”
Many parents started using it to co-sleep, as the raised edges act as a barrier between baby and parents. I wasn’t interested in co-sleeping, the thought was never appealing to me but I wanted it more for crib transitioning and napping to be specific. Early on, baby D liked to be held when he napped, so I was looking for a transition from my arms to crib for nap times.
It is said to allow babies to feel calmer and cozy by being surrounded by the raised edges, which supposedly mimics the mother’s womb.
There are two different sizes for the DockATot: Deluxe (0-8 months) and Grand (up to 36 months). I found this annoying and frustrating because all babies are different sizes regardless of their age. My son is very long for his age so for us I couldn’t figure out if buying the Deluxe would be worth it for us when he was already 5 months old because I knew he’d outgrow it very quickly, but I was worried the Grand would be too big.
I did some digging to see if I could find any other sizing information because I couldn’t fathom spending that much money if he’d outgrow it in a month… Under the FAQ section on the DockATot website, it states the Deluxe is intended for babies 5-22lbs and the clasp at the bottom can be unclipped for longer babies. It also states that some parents have used the Deluxe up to 12 months of age because it provides a snug feeling for the baby. I thought ok awesome, maybe he can use it for 7 or so months, that’s ok then. So I was about to order the Deluxe when my best friend posted a picture of her newborn baby girl in the Deluxe, who was only 6 pounds and I thought "boy does that ever look tiny". Damn, back to confusion and frustration, going back and forth between do I get the smaller or bigger one? At this time, Mr. D was already 5 months old, and a good 10lbs heavier then my friend's newborn so, I had a sinking feeling it was just going to be too small for him. The more I spoke with my friend, the more I realized the Deluxe would have been a waste of money for us. I knew the Grand would be slightly too big for him, but it seemed like a better investment for him to grow into (if you need any more clarification on sizing, I found a YouTube review where she explained the DockATot Deluxe was roughly a foot wide and only two feet long, whereas the DockATot Grand was two feet wide and four feet long.)
After going back and forth between taking the plunge and buying one, I finally opted to buy the DockATot Grand for Baby D.
I am SO thankful I opted to buy the Grand instead of the Deluxe. Although it was slightly big for him at the time, I just know the Deluxe would have been way too small. At least I know he has plenty of room to grow into it, and not have outgrown it in a month. At 5 months old, he was only about 17 pounds, but he was roughly 26 inches long.
Being just a couple of pillows and some fabric, it can’t cost that much right? I know, I thought the same thing but boy was I ever wrong. These miracle sleepers will run you a hefty penny.
DockATot Deluxe (0-8 months): roughly $200.00*
DockATot Deluxe covers: $75.00+*
DockATot Grand (9-36 months): $300.00+*
DockATot Grand covers: $110.00+* *pricing in Canadian
I did some research into WHY they cost so much, and the DockATot website doesn’t provide much of an explanation other then it is made in Europe up to their specific safety protocol and it is like no other item on the market. It puts great emphasis on the design and intricate fabrication of their covers, but I still don’t understand WHY they cost so much.
The cost was definitely a huge reason why I waited so long to purchase one. I mean I didn’t get one for Mr. D until he was 5 months old because I didn’t know if they were really worth the money. I figured it was probably another money pit of baby items. However, he likes to snuggle in his naps so he always wanted to be held, so I finally decided to take the plunge so I wasn't strapped to my chair for 2-3 hours at a time holding a baby while he slept.
I decided to be cost-effective, and purchase the Grand used. Unfortunately, DockATot has been running into issues with Safety Canada so they are incredibly difficult to get your hands on. It is not banned to use, but they are not permitted to sell it in Canada. It took a long while, but I finally found one on a Facebook buy and sell for $200.00 CND.
Used, I noticed the Deluxe version in Edmonton was anywhere from $100.00 - $200.00, and the Grand was $230.00 - $300.00.
I also noted that they were extremely difficult to come by used (regardless of size), and if they were available, they weren’t for long. They would post for under an hour, I would message the seller and they would tell me they were pending pickup already.
My advice: if you want one used, don’t wait. If you find one, grab it.
My biggest cost concern between the two was that I considered buying the DockATot as an investment. This is my first baby and I plan on having at least two more. I wanted this purchase to be able to extend to my next babies and I was worried about buying the Grand that I would later have to buy the Deluxe anyway. After a lot of thought, research, and discussions with other moms, I decided the Grand was perfect for our baby now and future newborn. It is bigger than the Deluxe, but big babies run in my family, so for me, financially and practically, buying the Grand made the most sense.
Reduced risk of Flathead: Although every doctor and nurse we saw swore he didn’t have a flat spot, I was pretty certain he did. We tried the pillow with the hole in the center for around 3 months, and I saw little to no improvement. I then increased his tummy time by a lot and started to see improvement however, it wasn’t until he started sleeping in his DockATot that I started to notice a significant difference. I believe it has much to do with the mat that he lays on. It's incredibly soft. The DockATot mattress is made from supersoft thermobonded fiber that relieves pressure on the head.
Non-toxic: I am ‘that’ mom - who won’t let him around anything with chemicals… soaps, detergents, and I even go as far as not letter people hold him with perfume on… including my own mother --- told you, ‘that’ mom. He’ll be that kid who is only allowed shit food on rare occasions and can only eat organic --- hah (I guess I need to start for myself before he realizes what I am up to!). The fact they use non-toxic material is wonderful not only for all babies but especially for ‘those’ moms like me.
Non-heat harboring: I have a hot-blooded kid. No seriously, I do. He is literally always hot. He was born in the winter, and if you’ve ever been to Edmonton in the winter you’ll know it’s bloody cold, yet this kid is always hot. He is literally never in clothes - so for us, because of the fabrics and material, it doesn’t increase or hold in his body heat, which is amazing!
Tummy time: it is a great way to let your little one get their tummy time in. The rounded bumper helps to prop up your baby when placed under their arms. I don’t always do tummy time this way, a lot of the time I just place him on his tummy on the flat part and he seems to be more comfortable.
Comfy for sleep: as you will see in my review below in greater detail, my son sleeps like a dream in this. His naps are consistently longer, as is his sleep at night. He may still wake up but it is usually for a very brief feed.
Lounging: Baby D was never really a “relax on [his] own” type of guy. He would very happily sit in your arms for hours but didn’t love to be put down until I got his DockATot. He will gladly just hang out and watch his puppies play or gnaw on his teether until he’s hungry or I am finished with whatever I needed to get done. It's been a nice break for me.
Easy to travel
Better transition from bassinet to crib
Safer for co-sleeping
Creates a comfortable sleeping space for babies.
Availability in Canada
For a long time, I thought this was another baby money grab as a lot of baby stuff is. After seeing Baby D’s behavior in the DockATot I can honestly say we love this product.
Not only does he sleep better, but he wakes up happier. He’s a very happy baby in general but he seems very content in this. The first nap he had in his DockATot, he slept for 2 hours and 45 minutes, upon which I knew I loved it. He wakes up happy and will gladly just rest in it and play with his toy. I also have noticed he can do tummy time for longer periods of time without fuss (from 15 minutes to a solid 30 minutes without constant interaction). He seems very comfortable, relaxed and seems to thoroughly enjoy being in it.
We made the mistake once when he was about 6 months old by putting him down for his 7pm nap (which was usually only 30 minutes or so) in his Dockatot on our bed. We figured he’d wake up then we would do our normal bedtime routine. However, he decided to keep sleeping until 1:30 am and left us each on the edge of the (then) queen bed trying to sleep on a sliver. I think that alone told each of us he loved it. We actually ended up taking his bassinet out of our room and using the Dockatot in his playpen beside our bed. He was comfortable and I feel safe with him in it, especially since I am right beside him.
I will admit I still think the price is astronomical, especially for what it actually is in theory, however, I would wholeheartedly recommend buying one used, if you can find one. Always inspect it, and make sure you wash before using and it is fantastic. I’m definitely the mom who will look for everything used before I go buy new because let's be honest here, baby things are WAY overpriced.
I definitely recommend for babies who like to cuddle, don’t want to be put down, trouble sleeping, and restless babies.
A lot of people think they are unsafe for sleep, but my child doesn’t toss while he is asleep, and I am always right beside him. So please monitor your baby if you choose to use one.
★★★★4.5 stars from me and Mr. D!!!