Best Ways to Use a DockATot

dock a tot lounging

The DockATot is a very popular baby lounger that is used in a variety of ways! The purpose of the dockatot per their website is, “The DockATot Deluxe+ is intended for babies 0-8 months and is to be used for lounging, supervised napping and tummy time, co-sleeping, changing diapers, cuddling and playing. The DockATot Grand is for tots 9-36 months and can be used for all the same activities as the Deluxe+ as well as a way to facilitate comfortable sleeping in toddler beds and twin beds, when your child is ready.”

Before we cover all the creative ways we can use the DockATot, we will start with general safety information!

Dock a tot how to use


According to the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) the DockATot and other baby "nests" or "pods" like it are not safe. The AAP classifies a safe sleeping environment as a flat, firm surface with CPSC approved mattresses and where baby can sleep alone and on their back. The AAP also states that the use of crib bumpers are unsafe, among other things. 


For more information about safe sleep environments from the AAP, you can check out this link. The Safe Sleep Academy is also a great resource for parents to learn more!

The FDA also advises against the use of baby “nests” like the DockATot.

The DockATot has a list of safety guidelines on their website to help clear things up (while keeping in mind that they market it as a cosleeping device), they mention some precautions for using the DockATot while cosleeping: 

  • "Ensure that each adult in the bed are aware of the baby’s presence."

  • "Direct Supervision is required when baby is in DockATot."

  • and on their Australian website, their Safety Guidelines page describes 'supervised sleeping' this way: "A supervised environment is one in which a semi-alert, non-inebriated adult is co-sleeping next to baby. Adult does not need to be awake next to baby." 

  • DockATot should not be used in a crib, bassinet or play yard. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has cautioned that babies should be placed in a bare crib without any additional bedding, blankets or pillows. Furthermore, there is a concern that a young infant who can scoot or crawl out of the dock might get entrapped between the side of the crib, bassinet or play yard and the dock."

safe sleep dock a tot

Disclaimer: Please note that Kyte BABY encourages safe sleep environments but we do not intend to shame anyone for their personal use of this product!


CanDoKiddo has a great blog about safe sleep environments as well as it relates to the DockATot!


So what are some fun ways to get the most out of your DockATot?

  • You can use it for tummy time! Using the bumpers to prop baby up can help them before they are comfortable with being flat on the floor.
  • Diaper changes (especially if you’re current set up is like wrestling an alligator)
  • A place for baby to lie down after their bath to keep them cozy while you get them ready for bed
  • As a play mat with a toy arch
  • As a lounger outside at the beach or on a picnic at the park
  • Safe space to hang out while you work out, do laundry, dishes, etc
  • Monthly photo shoots to show how big your baby is getting 
  • Imaginative play (is it a boat, an airplane or a raft?)

Photos in a Dock a Tot

There are so many other creative and safe uses for your DockATot if you have one already! It is great to use for play time around big siblings as it provides a safe/separate space but still allows them to be a part of the family without worrying about getting stepped on.

Reading in a Dock a Tot

In other words, it can definitely be a part of your daily routine when used in the above ways! Get creative with all the different functions of the DockATot.


AUTHOR:

Ashley Olson is a certified pediatric sleep consultant, owner of Heaven Sent Sleep, and passionate about helping new parents, experienced parents, desperate and sleep deprived parents form healthy sleep habits for their children.

She has over 3 years of experience in working with families and has completed over 150 hours of coursework plus continuing education related to infant and toddler sleep. The focus of her work is on fostering a routine that grows your bond with your child while improving their sleep habits. She specializes in custom sleep plans and one on one support in changing sleep practices!


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