If you're here, then chances are you've heard of the Dock-A-Tot and you have questions. Whether you're expecting, desperate for more sleep or gearing up to be gift giver of the year at your next shower, you'll want to know what you're getting before you spend semi-serious cash on a big pillow!
How I heard about the dock-a-tot
I first looked into the Dock-A-Tot after a blogger I follow had her baby. She swore by two items for getting the most rest out of her newborn. These items being the Dock-A-Tot and the Snoo. Now whether she was being paid by them to say that (probably) or not, I don't know. But what it did do was clue me into the brand and lead me to do a little research of my own.
What is the doc-a-tot?
The Dock-A-Tot is a portable docking station for your baby that can be used a number of different ways from resting, playing, assisted tummy time and changing (however, I would never use my WHITE Dock-A-Tot to change my sons's diaper...). The Dock-A-Tot comes in two different sizes, Deluxe+ (0-8 months or 5-22lbs) or Grand for older babies.
My personal experience
Ok so now onto MY opinion. First, I have the Dock-A-Tot Deluxe+ and it was gifted to me at my baby shower. Had this not been gifted to me, I likely wouldn't have purchased it for myself simply because the price is a bit steep for what seems like just a pillow. Thankfully, I have had the chance to use the Dock-A-Tot for 8 months now and can honestly say it was worth every penny spent on it.
In the first month or so we used it mainly on our couch so that my son could be near during nap time. There were moments in the beginning that I worried I wasn't using it enough to have warranted the cost but when we moved my son to his own room at 6 weeks (yea I said weeks, not months...every baby is different and this is what worked for us) we transitioned him to sleeping in his Dock-A-Tot each night and have never looked back. Initially while he was still in the early months and hadn't yet lost those jerky movements that often wake them in their sleep, we swaddled him as well.
The Dock-A-Tot is meant to provide a womb like surrounding to keep baby cozy. I feel that the bumper like sides provide that extra amount of security to make them feel supported and allow them to rest easy all night long. One of the best things is that it is light-weight and so easy to travel with (You can purchase a Dock-A-Tot specific travel bag if this is something you think you're going to need). It's also very easy to clean (not so easy to put back together). Unless you specifically purchase one with a patterned cover, it will come in white and additional covers can be purchased. I would recommend getting another cover if you feel that you want to use it again for another baby, just so it gives it a little bit of a refresh.
I have attempted to put my son to sleep not in his Dock-A-Tot because we'd packed it in it's travel bag for an early morning flight the next day and he did NOT sleep settled and sound. This leads me to believe that it plays a key role in him getting quality rest throughout the night. With that said, every baby is different and what may work for some may not work for others, so just keep this in mind!
We also used the Dock-A-Tot during on a plane during an international flight to give my son a comfy space to sleep that was most like his crib at home. This made things a lot easier when it came to trying to get him to settle on a plane full of distractions.
I'm not sure if this is a dislike but maybe more just a note worth mentioning. When first bringing your baby home, there will be plenty of space for them in your Dock-A-Tot, however as babies tend to grow rapidly, I found that we are outgrowing the Deluxe+ size very quickly (my sons feet hang out the end and have for quite some time now). I am contemplating purchasing the grand size however seeing as it is an additional cost, I may look to transition him into just his crib. In regards to the white cover, even though it can be easily washed, the oils from baby's head has stained a small portion at the top of the Dock-A-Tot despite my efforts to treat it and keep it white and bright.
Is it safe?
I feel confident in using my Dock-A-Tot but I would encourage you to read as much as possible on their site here so that you can make your own informed decision about it before purchasing. From personal experience, I recommend only using sleep sacks once baby is able to wiggle out of a swaddling blanket. Because loose bedding can lead to SIDS, I wouldn't place any blankets over the width of the Dock-A-Tot, as baby can easily wiggle down and find themselves under the blanket.
If you have any more questions about the Doc-A-Tot that you don't feel like I covered here, comment below and I will be sure to answer to the best of my ability. Side note: This is called a Sleepyhead in the UK and is the same company/brand.