Is a DockATot Worth It?

Let me start with a disclaimer: DockATot’s are not intended for overnight sleep, nor are they approved by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). They’re made specifically for supervised play and naps, and any other use is directly related to the parents discretion. For more info, click here. With that being said I am a human and far from perfect… but please, however you intend to use your Dockatot: use your harshest, most honest judgement when making your decision. I am not a professional, I make mistakes; but please don’t think that what’s okay for my baby is automatically okay for yours. Your baby’s life is always what’s most important.

With that, let’s talk about why you’re here.

Q: Do I really need to invest in a Dockatot? Or something similar?

A: Nope. However it was SO helpful for me and my husband when we were reaching our witts end with our very sensitive, clingy baby Boy.

Backstory: Scott was the baby that I tried everything else first, because Dockatot’s are pricey, and as I continuously state: I am not made of money. I tried swaddling, putting Him down drowsy, feeding Him to sleep, putting Him down awake, putting Him down asleep, co-sleeping, changing his bassinet for the crib, changing the crib for the pack-n-play… you name it, I did it at least twice.

So, once He was 3 months and still not able to even attempt to self soothe: I gave in.

Whoa. Complete game changer.

We started with a nap, and I’m not kidding that was the BEST nap this little babe had taken His entire little life. He woke up in such a good mood, I honestly was shocked that a little…thing(?)… was able to do so much for His sleep.

Now, on the flip side: I will 100% use it again once baby #2 gets here, and still would consider getting the “Grand Tot” made for toddlers. However that’s because I know exactly where I went wrong.

My cute little bug in a rug!

To avoid legalities, I am a perfect Nobel peace prize winning mother, who only uses her Dockatot under direct supervision and never is not perfect. (Read: I am HUMAN.)

Let me start by addressing why I wouldn’t suggest a first time Mom purchase one, as much as a lifesaver it was.

Weaning my Son off sleeping without being held close by something like His Dockatot was eerily similar to weaning someone from an addiction. It was awful to watch. My Son is far too clingy to just all of a sudden not have something coddling Him, and I had to cut the Dockatot out cold-turkey for safety reasons, ultimately leaving me as the bad guy. Not fun.

Now, on the flip side: I will 100% use it again once baby #2 gets here, and still would consider getting the “Grand Tot” made for toddlers. However that’s because I know exactly where I went wrong.

Originally, the dockatot became the very last option. When literally everything else failed and I wanted to give up and cry in the corner. THAT would be when He slept in the Dockatot. Except after about 2 weeks of us trying everything else first before using the Dockatot, we gave up and just skipped all the other steps we were taking because we were sleep deprived and Scott was NOT having it.


Fast forward to my Son outgrowing the Dockatot in the blink of an eye, and His desire to be held close was still there. Instead of aiding in a healthy coping mechanism, the use of the Dockatot just further delayed us actually trying to fix it. Which, in my tiny little innocent new mom brain, I thought: “Well, it’ll teach Him to sleep somewhere that isn’t radiating body heat, has a heartbeat, and breaths. It will ultimately help transition Him to His pack-and-play!”

Oh how naive I was, friend.

Because once I tried putting Him in just the pack-and-play, it was far too big of an area and it would cause Him to wake Himself up whenever He felt abandoned–almost as if it had hindered His ability to grow out of the Moro Reflux.

Just now, as I’m writing this, after about 2 weeks of trying to wean Him off the use of the Dockatot due to it now being “unsafe” (in my eyes, as He’s starting to try to roll in His sleep: it was always unsafe in general) we haven’t made much progress.

He can still only fall asleep when He’s within a foot of my Husband or I, with a hand on either his head or chest. He is however *finally* able to sleep through the sneaky transition of moving Him from our bed to the pack-n-play, and can sleep there independently until about 3am, with every 45 minutes or so being Him half waking up because His binky isn’t in His mouth.

Overall, the weaning process is taking longer than I would have expected, and if I had known about its complications sooner I may have reconsidered my purchase of a Dockatot. Although it was SO helpful putting Him down for naps or even putting Him down in general (super clingy baby, anyone?) The fact that He’s bordering 7 months and still doesn’t have a healthy sleep schedule down pact is a little frustrating. Granted, it’s not only all new to me as a new Mom, but also completely my fault. Oops!

In conclusion, I would purchase a Dockatot only after some serious consideration and research. The weaning process is tedious if you rely on it too much, which from experience is far too easy to slip into (I didn’t even realize I did it!)

Whether it be a Dockatot, Snuggle Me, or something of the like: please use your harshest judgement when making the decision of using it overnight. Even using it as safely as you can could still potentially risk your child’s life, so research and understand the odds.

Lots of love, Momma! Only you know what’s best for your little. <3


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One thought on “Is a DockATot Worth It?

  1. This looks great! I had a Purflo for mine which is similar to the dockatot and sleepyhead. I found mine to be handy but super expensive for what it was.
    – Hannah |www.savingmovingmummy.com

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