Baby Gear

Dock A Tot Review: Everything You Need to Know!

Anything to get our babies to sleep longer, am I right? You’ve likely read reviews about a lot of different products, including those your friends swear by. Well, here’s another. I had honestly never heard of Dock a Tot, but I did find a travel bassinet to be very helpful when I had my kids. I think the Dock a Tot would have worked so much better for me, but after reading this full review, you can make that determination yourself. I’ve also included some alternatives, in case you decide that Dock a Tot may not be right for you.
Why I Love Dock a Tot

The DockaTotis like a travel bassinet, but you can purchase accessories to turn it into a play yard for your baby. I love it because of it's breathable fabric and more durable construction. It's my #1 MOST GIFTED present to new moms...

Buy Now Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

About Dock a Tot

Dock a Tot is like a travel bassinet, but you can purchase accessories to turn it into a play yard for your baby. It gives them a safe space to sleep and play, and it’s easy to package up in the included travel tote and take it with you everywhere you go. Dock a Tot comes in two varieties. The Deluxe+ is for 0-8 months and The Grand is for 9-36+ months. You can choose the size you want according to the size of your child. There are plenty of uses for either one, but some people may find them a tad pricey for their taste. You have to admit the name is pretty clever. It’s a docking station for your tot. You can dock your tot in it. Get it? I can’t help but imagine that my child’s battery needs to be recharged in its dock before I can play with it more. Maybe you don’t think it’s hilarious, but I do. Moving on…

Features

Dock a Tot is full of great features that can help your growing baby sleep and play safely. They claim that it reinvents the womb, making your baby feel cozy, even when not swaddled, so they can enjoy some more restful sleep.

Cuddly cushions

The cushion that surrounds the outside of the mattress is not inflatable like I originally thought. Instead, it’s like a long body pillow in the shape of a tube, made of antimicrobial materials. It’s firm enough to provide safe support for your baby but soft enough to be gentle on their skin and comfortable. This cushion is encased in the zippered outer shell to help it keep its form and protect it from getting dirty.

Soft mattress

The mattress on the bottom of the Dock a Tot is made from an incredibly soft thermo-bonded fiber designed to eliminate pressure on the head. One of the most terrifying terms you can hear as a new mom is “flat head syndrome.” While it happens sometimes, this mattress can help prevent it with extra support. Combined with the side cushions, this design helps support your baby, even if they roll a little bit. You can even prop them up slightly to take the pressure off of the back of their head and the sides and bottom will help support them and keep them safe.

Lightweight and portable

The Dock a Tot is insanely lightweight (it only weighs about 3 pounds), making it easy to carry with you everywhere. It features handles on the sides and top so you can pick it up fully assembled with one hand and carry it from one room to another. An older child can even carry it. Not only that, but each Dock a Tot comes with a travel case, so you can take it apart (which takes about 45 seconds) and pack it away to take on vacation. You can use it on an airplane, in a hotel room, or in the shade by the pool.

Oeko-Tex certified

While some products claim to be organic, the Oeko-Tex certification ensures that not only are the products used in the Dock a Tot grown responsibly but that no other harmful additives or processes were enacted on it while being made. For your peace of mind, you’ll know that the materials in the final product are completely safe and gentle on your baby’s skin. From start to finish, the Dock a Tot is made with love and care.

Machine washable

And finally, we get to the true essence of the thing: it’s machine washable. Every mother loves to hear those words. Just take it apart quickly, throw it in the washing machine, and let it go. It’s so nice to know that Dock a Tot takes the work out of cleaning, because don’t you already do enough of that?

Performance

The Dock a Tot offers a consistent place for your child to nap and can help ease napping when you’re out and about or traveling. Many users say that because of the comfortable cushions designed to surround and support them, their babies sleep better. It’s a flexible solution that allows you to put your child to sleep anywhere, whether it’s in the crib, in the living room, at a friend’s house, or at a hotel. If you use it at home, your baby will get used to it and sleep much better when you’re away. You can also use it for much more than sleeping. It offers a safe and dedicated place for your child to play without worrying about straps or harnesses. You can use it for tummy time by propping your child up on the bumper. Outfit it with accessories like a mobile so your child can play laying on their back. If you don’t want to invest in the Dock a Tot accessories, you can place a stand-alone gym over it and allow them to play in a safe space. Some parents claim they use it for co-sleeping because the rounded sides function as a barrier between baby and parent. However, extreme caution should be taken when co-sleeping for the safety of your baby. It’s a personal decision that the Dock a Tot may help you with.

Design

It’s hard to find baby items these days that are built well. Most items are pretty cheap and fall apart after just a few uses. The Dock a Tot is a bit different, as you’ll notice in the price tag. It’s stylish and high quality. It comes in a variety of different patterns and there’s nearly an unlimited number of extra covers you can buy. There’s something for everyone, whether you want to use it as a dedicated sleep space or a recreational activity. Not only is it durable, but it has handles in all the right places. The opening at the end allows your baby to play without restricting their legs or feet. They’ll feel like they’re being held without a tight swaddle. It’s made of breathable materials, giving you peace of mind that your baby won’t choke or suffocate on anything around them. This breathability keeps your child at a comfortable temperature no matter what the weather is like outside. The fabric is also hypoallergenic. The cover is 100% cotton and the filling is made from nontoxic fibers. It’s obvious that Dock a Tot put a lot of work into creating a safe and comfortable place for your baby.
Why I Love Dock a Tot

The DockaTotis like a travel bassinet, but you can purchase accessories to turn it into a play yard for your baby. I love it because of it's breathable fabric and more durable construction. It's my #1 MOST GIFTED present to new moms...

Buy Now Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Dock a Tot Models

Because the Dock a Tot comes in two different models, it’s worth mentioning the benefits of both so you’ll know which one might be right for you.

Dock a Tot Deluxe+

The primary design differences you’ll notice in the Deluxe+ model are:
  • A womb-like shape for nurturing comfort
  • Can be used buckled closed at the bottom or left open for more freedom
  • 21-inch by 8-inch sleeping space
  • 29 inches long when closed and 34 inches long when open
This product is great for newborns and can act as a swaddle so you don’t have to use swaddling blankets or learn how to swaddle tightly. You can buckle it closed at the bottom to ensure a cozy space or leave it open to allow a playing child more freedom. It can be used up to 8 months old, but as your child grows out of it, you’ll need to upgrade to the Grand Dock.

Dock a Tot Grand Dock

The Grand Dock features several other design differences including:
  • An open bottom for more freedom and to accommodate a growing child
  • Can be used to ease the transition from bassinet to crib or to protect them from rolling out of bed
  • 34-inch x 12-inch sleeping/playing space
  • 48 inches long
This product is meant for older children who may need more active playtime in a safe space. It can hug them tightly to reduce waking and make them feel safe. It’s also perfect for helping with transitions to cribs or big beds by reducing the risk that they’ll roll or fall out. It’s ideal for children 9 months and older. However, some parents indicate that their newborn grew so fast, they felt more comfortable purchasing the bigger Dock a Tot design right away rather than wasting money on the Deluxe+. For most parents, they started with the Deluxe+ and fell so much in love with it that they went ahead and splurged on the bigger design when it was time to switch. That’s a true testament to how great the product is and how much people love it.

What to Expect When it Arrives

The Dock a Tot comes in a large black box. Inside the box is your Dock a Tot with a waterproof poly bag. It’s a good idea to keep this bag for future storage. It’s reusable and comes in handy for traveling. Be aware that there is a cardboard insert in the base of the dock that you need to remove before using. It may feel hard, but rest assured when you remove that, it will be soft enough for your baby. The Dock a Tot comes fully assembled, but you can easily take it apart and wash it first. The fabric may tighten a bit upon washing, making it a tight squeeze to put it all together, but the idea is that it’s cozy enough to hug your child.

Co-Sleeping With Dock a Tot

Co-sleeping with a Dock a Tot is a common practice among parents, so I wanted to include this section to make it clear that if you plan to co-sleep, it’s not recommended by professionals. However, if you choose to do so, there are some safety precautions you can take first.

1. Make sure everyone knows the baby is there.

Don’t allow your baby to sleep with any adult who has a sleep disorder or is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Every adult in the bed should be aware of the baby’s presence.

2. Prepare the bed carefully.

Always place the dock on a firm mattress and make sure it remains flat, even when the adults are in bed. Position it in the middle of the bed near the headboard, ensuring that it’s at least 12” from each edge of the bed. Remove extra pillows and blankets from the bed, as well as anything else that could accidentally cover up the baby’s head. There shouldn’t be any extra shams, covers, sheets, or pillows. If you and your partner are sleeping on either side of the Dock a Tot, use two separate blankets to reduce the risk of them getting pulled up over the baby. Your baby should always be put to sleep on their back, no matter where they sleep. This reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome. Don’t put any extra pillows, blankets, or padding under the dock. It can make it too unstable. Also, keep cords away from the baby and completely off the bed. Never leave your baby unattended inside the Dock a Tot on any elevated surface. Don’t take the dock apart to use components separately. It should be used fully assembled and completely zipped up. Any loose fabrics or parts can be a suffocation hazard.

Traveling With Dock a Tot

One of the best things about the Dock a Tot is that it makes traveling so much easier and less stressful. Here’s what you need to know about traveling with the Dock a Tot.

1. It can ease the transition to sleeping in a new space.

If you use the Dock a Tot frequently at home, your baby will already be familiar with their sleep space. When you take the Dock a Tot with you, your child can make the switch to sleeping anywhere because they’ll already know their bed.

2. It takes your stress away.

Does the hotel have a crib we can borrow? What kind of crib is it? Where will we put the crib? Where will the baby sleep if they don’t have one? How are we going to stay overnight at Grandma’s house without a travel bassinet? All of these are valid questions and make traveling with a baby so much harder. With a Dock a Tot, you don’t have to worry about any of it. You can literally place it anywhere and your child will have a safe place to sleep.

3. It maintains the bedtime routine.

If you’ve already established a bedtime routine with your child, you won’t have to change it just because you’re in a different location. You can carry on with life as your baby knows it and they won’t notice anything new.

Alternatives

If you’re looking for a safe space for your child to sleep and play, there are a lot of different options. Some are bigger and less portable while others are the same size, but quite a bit cheaper than the Dock a Tot.

Pack n Play

A Pack n Play is a play yard that allows you to put your baby in a safe space for sleeping or playing. They’re much bigger than a Dock a Tot, and while they’re often portable, it’s not quite as easy. They also come with plenty of accessories like toys, storage compartments, and carrying cases. Many manufacturers make them, so chances are you’ll find one you like. They’re quite a bit cheaper than the Dock a Tot, but you’ll need the room for it.

Brica Fold n Go

This travel bassinet is designed to fold up quickly and easily. It’s affordable and will work in a pinch for those who don’t care to use it much at home and travel pretty infrequently. It’s really lightweight and works well, but it’s not going to be quite as comfortable as the Dock a Tot and you can’t use it long-term.

Mamibaby Baby Nest

This one is the most similar to Dock a Tot, designed to mimic the mother’s womb. It’s lightweight, portable, and washable. You can use it buckled or unbuckled for extra space and it’s much cheaper than the Dock a Tot. Unfortunately, it can only be used for up to 12 months, so if you have a rapidly growing baby, they may grow out of it before you get much use out of it.
Why I Love Dock a Tot

The DockaTotis like a travel bassinet, but you can purchase accessories to turn it into a play yard for your baby. I love it because of it's breathable fabric and more durable construction. It's my #1 MOST GIFTED present to new moms...

Buy Now Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

FAQ

If you’re on the fence about the Dock a Tot, here are some frequently asked questions to help you out.
How do I wash my Dock a Tot?

Dock a Tot outer covers and inner sleeves are machine washable. Make sure you wash them in a garment bag on warm and then hang them to dry. Don’t use bleach or iron. The pad should be hand washed. You can lay it flat to dry, but don’t use bleach or iron. The inner tube doesn’t need to be washed. Instead, you can shake it and let it air out to freshen it up.

Can the Dock a Tot be used for tummy time?

Because the Dock a tot Deluxe+ is meant for babies 0-8 months, it should only be used for babies on their back. However, as your baby learns to roll over, they can be left in the sleeping position they choose. The Dock a Tot Grand can be used for a child on their side or tummy, but only if the child can roll on their own. Use it for tummy time at your own risk.

Can I use my Dock a Tot in a crib, bassinet, or play yard?

Dock a Tot does not recommend using the Dock a Tot on anything other than the floor. It is recommended that you place your child in their crib with no extra blankets, pillows, or bedding. For a child who can scoot or crawl already, there is a risk of them getting stuck in between the side of the crib and the dock. However, The Grand Dock could be used in a toddler bed if the child is at least nine months old and as long as they’re placed at a height that they can safely descend by themselves. Some parents claim that the Dock a Tot eased their transition to a crib or toddler bed because they placed it inside. Do this at your own risk. This is a personal decision, but not recommended by Dock a Tot or parenting experts.

Can I carry my baby in the Dock a Tot?

It is not safe to carry your baby while they’re in the Dock a Tot. The docks are portable, but you have to remove the baby first. Even for short distances, it can increase your risk of dropping your baby.

Final Thoughts

The price tag on the Dock a Tot may have you thinking twice about it. There are other alternatives out there that are much cheaper, but they come with their own downsides. The Dock a Tot is very well made and a great solution for your baby. It offers a safe and comfortable place to play or sleep. It’s easy to care for and many parents claim that it’s the miracle they needed for encouraging their baby to sleep longer and more restfully. The Dock a Tot is very well made and a great solution for your baby. It offers a safe and comfortable place to play or sleep. It’s easy to care for and many parents claim that it’s the miracle they needed for encouraging their baby to sleep longer and more restfully. Further read:

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