But do you really need a DockATot? Whether your little one is sleeping or playing, this lounger will provide hands-free support throughout the day. But even with hype, DockATots are unsafe for sleeping for several reasons.
However, if you want a safe place where the baby feels snug and contained, like in the womb, there are better DockATot alternatives. In this guide, we have shared some better and cheaper options along with reasons why DockATot is unsafe. Read out to learn more.
What Is DockATot?
DockATot is a baby lounger or docking station for newborn babies. Parents use it to put the baby inside and rely on its sides as support. The docking station is designed to function like a womb making it a comfortable place for a sleeping baby.
It has a sturdy base with softer outer tube corners miming a mother’s womb. The thermally-bonded material is used to relieve pressure on the baby’s head. Natural cotton is featured in DockATot, and its material is tested for rigorous safety, flammability, toxin screening, and seam strength.
But all these features come at a great price. A standard DockATot for 0-8 months old babies can cost around $200 or more.
Why Is DockATot Unsafe?
DockATot has pillowed sides that can lead to suffocation risk in infants. According to AAP, DockATots are unsafe even for co-sleeping. A long list of safety tests and certifications is published on their website, but there’s sufficient information about the safety warnings during sleep.
Safety warnings are also absent on the product sales page, but Safe Sleep For Babies Act has worked to remove all unsafe products from the market. Similarly, Rock-N-Play and Bobby Lounger have also been recalled for safety, but they are not used unsupervised.
Safe Alternative To DockATot - 7 DockATot Alternatives
You definitely need a place to lay down your baby, but safety should be your first priority. Though the unsafe features of DockATot are no secret to you anymore, here we have enlisted 7 safer DockATot Alternatives you can consider:
Boppy Original Nursing Support
The Boppy Original Nursing Support pillow is best for practicing tummy time. You can use it for your bigger babies to support them during feeding and nursing. Instead of spending on a DockATot, Boppy tummy time is the best choice.
It is award-winning baby gear registered as a must-have and parent favorite. However, it isn’t specified to use for sleeping because of safety concerns. It is better to keep nursing pillows away from sleeping babies, but you should put them on a firm, flat surface free from pillows, stuffed toys, and bumpers.
Note: Useful for awake time only and not for sleep.
Graco Pack ‘n-Play Dome LX-Playard
Graco Pack ‘n-Play Dome LX-Playard
Another most reviewed and rated as one of the best alternatives to DockATot is Graco Pack-N-Play has a portable travel dome bassinet useful inside and outside the home. A canopy and carry bag are also attached for comfort and convenience.
Your newborn can sleep in it as you can position it at eye level for peace of mind. It can be converted into a toddler playard with wheels to help you move it around. The easy folding push button makes its storage easier.
The Play Gym by Lovevery
Play Gym is better if you want a more engaging alternative to DockATot with a drip zone. It has a firm surface and allows easy movement for motor development on the flat area than DockATot.
It is a play mate with machine washable polyester material with removable accessories. You can use it from tummy time to play fort, providing a whole year of play. There are also hanging activities to keep your baby occupied to let you make a quick dinner.
Guava Family Lotus Travel Crib
The easy-to-set-up Lotus crib is ultra-portable with hand free backpack carrying case. The 3D Z-fold technology is used to carry it on airplanes and is surprisingly certified safe for babies.
No PVS, mercury, arsenic, formaldehyde, or other dangerous chemicals are used in its manufacturing. The bed is covered with ClearView mesh designed for airflow and proper visibility.
It is a safer and more functional alternative to DockATot, with some fancy features such as a zip door.
Graco Sense2Snooze Bassinet
Graco Sense2Snooze Bassinet with Cry Detection Technology
This amazing Graco Bassinet has Cry Detection Technology that automatically detects the baby’s cries and soothes the baby back to sleep. It has a Built-in microphone that hears the baby’s cries and automatically adjusts settings to help soothe the baby.
The sides are airy mesh to provide breathability and visibility. Integrated storage for wipes, diapers, and other baby accessories is present, and it also has integrated wheels for easy mobility.
It is machine washable, and you can also wipe or spot-clean it. The reversible canopy can be adjusted to protect the baby from direct light when sleeping.
Snoo Smart Bassinet
SNOO Smart Sleeper Baby Bassinet
Snoo Sleeper provides extra 1 to 2 hours of sleep at night to your baby, which is better than other baby cribs. The moving bassinet soothes the baby constantly with a gentle rocking motion like in the womb.
The system automatically responds to the baby’s cries, and this is the only sleeping bassinet that prevents the risk of rolling. American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended it with safe sleep guidelines.
The best thing is their 30-day return guarantee which you can avail of if you are unsatisfied with Snoo.
Galt Toys, 3 in 1 Playnest & Gym
Galt Playnest is dual-sided with a soft rainbow gym, including toys. Good Toy Guide has given it the Recommended Status award because it supports babies during playing. However, it isn’t specifically designed for sleeping but is useful for tummy time.
On one side is a soft velour resting area consisting of a harness that cradles the baby, while the other has padded seating to support older babies to explore the playnest.
Why Is DockATot Discontinued?
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a safety warning against DockATot baby loungers due to safety violations. According to CPSC, DockATot is unsafe for sleeping babies and shouldn’t be continued.
Several infant deaths have been reported that were associated with DockATot, leading to the prohibition of its selling, promoting, and distributing products manufactured after July 23, 2022.
CPSC has warned that DockATot Deluxe Plus Fock is deadliest when used as a sleeping surface for babies that cause suffocation due to its thick walls.
On June 2, 2021, CPSC approved the Infant Sleep Product ISP Rule banning the sale of baby products that are potentially harmful or can lead to dangerous consequences. This rule took effect in 2022 and issued a notice to unauthorized this sleep product.
CPSC banned its selling because it doesn’t meet the safety criteria as per the following rules:
- It doesn’t include a stand like bassinets.
- It doesn’t meet stability requirements.
- The sides around the flat sleep space are short and don’t exceed 7.5 inches.
Safety Warning Information
The US Consumer Product Safety Commission, on November 9, 2022, announced that DockATots are unsafe and parents should not use them. The CPSP further elaborated that these loungers violate baby sleeping safety standards, and their production should be banned immediately.
In response, DockATot stated that they would not produce their Deluxe+ Docks in the US but would continue making something new and better.
But unfortunately, DockATots are still found in the US market and also in other regions of the world. DockATots are still available in the US because the CPSC authority has banned its production but didn’t bar the sale of its products manufactured before the issued notice.
They will continue selling existing products in the stock but no longer produce new DockATots.
Do I Need A DockATot?
No, you do not need a DockATot, even though you might be influenced by the fact of how great they look in a picture, but they are completely unsafe for your baby.
Here are a few reasons why you do not need a DockATot:
- Unsafe For Sleep
This is the major reason you should not get DockATot because it will compromise the safety of your little one. You won’t want any risk of suffocation to your sleeping baby.
- Useful For Short Period
DockATots can’t be used for a lifetime as you will use them until your baby is 8 months old. You will no longer need it when your baby starts to move around.
- Highly Expensive
The high cost of DockAtot putting the safety of your child isn’t worth it. Also, these baby loungers aren’t in much use and do not provide value to justify the high cost.
- Unauthorized In Many Countries
In many areas of the world, DockATot isn’t allowed to be sold because it doesn’t meet safety requirements. Even in Canada, its selling is prohibited.
- Safer Alternatives
Another good reason you do not need DockATot is the availability of better and safer alternatives.
Do Pediatricians Recommend DockATot?
No, not even pediatricians do not recommend DockATot due to safety concerns. The American Academy of Pediatrics has disapproved of using DockATot because it doesn’t comply with the baby's sleep safety guidelines.
Can You Leave A Baby Unattended In A DockATot?
Whether it is overnight sleep or you leave the baby unattended in DockATot, the consequences can be dangerous. As babies sleep anywhere you put them; you should always supervise them in a docking station.
What Are The Concerns With DockATot?
The dangers of DockATot and other related products can lead to the risk of suffocation. Your baby can roll inside the dock by turning their head and suffocating on its soft sides. Their head can also get stuck in one position if you leave babies unattended.
Baby loungers or docking stations can greatly help you, but the dangers aren’t less. DockATot increases the risk of all dangers and also costs very much. Therefore, it is better to go for its safer alternatives that CPSC hasn’t recalled.
Don’t go for the popularity of DockATot, but your child's safety should be your only priority. We hope the list of DockATot alternatives will meet your requirements and ensure maximum security.