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New moms and dads will desperately try anything to get some extra sleep. I’ve been there 4 times, so I know. There are a ton of products out there claiming to comfort and calm your baby, and the more desperate you get, the more money you’re willing to spend to make something – anything – work. I’ve tried both the DockATot vs Boppy Lounger, and I personally attest to both of them making life just a little bit easier.
However, they’re not the same. The differences may help you make a better decision, so I’ll review their features, how they can be used, and my personal experience with both products.
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Main Differences Between DockATot vs Boppy
The main differences between DockATot vs Boppy are:
- The DockATot is advertised as a co-sleeping solution, whereas the Boppy is not.
- The DockATot may only be available in countries where co-sleeping is considered acceptable, whereas the Boppy is available nearly everywhere.
- The DockATot comes in two different sizes, whereas the Boppy only comes in one size.
- The Boppy can be used for nursing, whereas the DockATot cannot.
It can be confusing because there are actually 2 different DockATot models, and they’re meant for different ages. The Deluxe+ Dock is made for babies ages 0-8 months, while the Grand Dock is for 9-36 months. DockATot products are manufactured in Estonia, and they’re very proud to be made in Europe. They also sell nursing pillows, dock accessories, dock covers, blankets, pillows, play tents, travel bags, and more.
DockATot originally began in Sweden, and it was marketed as Sleepyhead. It was meant to be a co-sleeping option for parents in Europe and Asia, where co-sleeping is much more common than it is in the United States and Canada. The controversy over co-sleeping caused DockATot to remove its products from shelves in Canada.
DockATot is still available in the United States, in South Africa, and throughout Europe and Asia.
What Is a DockATot?
DockATot advertises their docks as comfortable and reliable sleeping pods for children ages 0-36, keeping in mind that you should purchase the correct dock for your child’s age. They claim you can use their products for crib inserts, co-sleeping, playtime, naps, and supervised tummy time. You can even use them as a changing station.
The bumpers on the side of the DockATot are meant to simulate a parent’s arms, but it also works to prevent your child from rolling out of the dock. For parents whose newborns began rolling over really early, you can’t put a price on this peace of mind.
The DockATot docks are extremely safe. The problem boils down to incorrect usage and unsupervised use of the products before babies are ready. The side bumpers not only give your child comfort and protect them from rolling over, but when the bottom clip is fastened, all sides are fully enclosed, cradling your baby, but allowing the dock to grow with them.
The covers are made of a thick but breathable fabric that keeps your child cool but also prevents stains on the internal pillow. Remove the cover for easy washing or to switch out the design. There’s also a handle that makes it easy to carry, and it comes with a travel case.
How To Use the DockATot
Because co-sleeping is so controversial, I’m not advocating that you do anything you’re not comfortable with or that your doctor hasn’t recommended you do. However, there were times when I was so exhausted from waking up every hour that I would eventually just bring the baby into bed with me.
We rarely co-slept, but in the early weeks, we definitely gave up on the bassinet or crib quite a few times. In these instances, the DockATot was a great solution for bringing the baby into bed with us. It’s also perfect for travel. When you’re staying in hotel rooms or your family’s guest room, there isn’t always enough room for a bassinet, so the DockATot provides a safe space for your baby to sleep, whether it’s with you or on the floor.
When it comes to transitioning from a crib to a bed, you can use the Grand Dock for your child to protect them from rolling out as they get used to a bed without rails.
- Versatile co-sleeper for crib, playtime, or diaper changes
- Made with quality materials
- Recommended for 0-36 months of age
- Thick fabric prevents stains on the internal pillow
- Removable cover makes it easy to clean
- Handle for easy transportation
- Side bumpers mimic parents arms
- Bottom clip allows all sides to be fully enclosed
- Helps babies transition from crib to bed
- Not considered safe in North America
- May be unavailable in some areas where it’s been banned
Boppy is a well-known manufacturer of all kinds of baby products. In fact, the term Boppy has become synonymous with the common U-shaped nursing pillows that are very popular among new moms. However, they also make baby carriers, pregnancy pillows, and travel accessories.
What Is The Boppy Infant Support Pillow?
Boppy’s feeding and infant support pillow is by far their most popular product, although they do have two additional products called the Latch nursing pillow and the Anywhere nursing pillow. These two products are best for nursing, while the feeding and infant support pillow does a better job of competing with DockATot.
The Boppy feeding and infant support pillow is a U-shaped pillow designed for feeding, whether it’s breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, and for supervised infant support. However, it’s not meant, nor does Boppy advertise its effectiveness as a co-sleeping aid.
Boppy offers thick, durable, breathable covers in plenty of designs that protect the internal pillow from stains. They’re all washable, and the great thing about the Boppy is that the entire pillow itself is machine washable as well.
How To Use a Boppy
The Boppy signature shape allows you to prop your baby up on the pillow while placing their bottom in the middle. It’s a nice change of pace for babies who so frequently lie on their back. You can also use it for playtime, feeding, and supervised tummy time.
The Boppy has just the right amount of stuffing to create an ideal firmness that’s also soft and comfortable. While I never preferred the Boppy for nursing, I did love the extra support it gave me when holding my babies, and it was perfect for playtime on the floor.
These feeding and infant support pillows don’t have handles, but they are lightweight and easy to take anywhere. You can use them in a playpen or directly on the floor, but it doesn’t prevent your child from rolling off a tall surface and should never be used unsupervised or for sleeping.
- Signature U shape is versatile
- Helps aid digestion
- Lightweight and portable
- Fabric is breathable and comfortable
- Machine washable
- Can’t be used for sleeping
- No clasp at the bottom
- No carrying handle
Which is Better: DockATot or Boppy?
The answer to this question depends on how you’re using it. I had both products when my kids were younger, and I used them for different things. While the DockATot is better for encouraging more sleep during the day and at night, the Boppy works well as a place to put your child during the day while you’re supervising them.
The DockATot cradles your baby and makes them feel more comfortable, which can be effective at increasing sleep (for mom and baby!), but every baby is different. It may not have the same effect for you, but you won’t know until you give it a try. Other than sleeping, it’s a really fantastic option for newborns because it gives you a safe place to set them while you tackle other tasks, like pumping, making a snack, or taking a much-needed shower.
The DockATot is a versatile solution that grows with your baby up to 36 months of age, allowing you to nurture them and foster their development at many different stages. In fact, although the larger DockATot is advertised for up to 36 months, many older children may still be able to snuggle in or use it as a pillow.
However, if you’re looking for a safe place to put your baby during the day, the Boppy may be a better option. It’s versatile enough to use for feeding, holding, tummy time, and playtime. You can place them in it while you clean or spend time with other children. It also helps children who have digestion issues or reflux because it props them up to encourage food to stay down.
The Boppy is not meant for sleeping or unsupervised use because there’s a risk of suffocation due to the inclined resting position your baby takes when lying in it.
Answer: It’s like a docking station for your baby. It gives them a comfortable, soothing, snug place to lie, play, or observe while you do something else. It mimics your embrace, so they’ll quickly become accustomed to it, and you can use it from birth to 36 months old. It’s also easy to take with you when you travel, so it’s a very versatile solution.
Answer: Boppy pillows aren’t safe for infant sleep because there’s a suffocation risk. While you can use them supervised during the day, they’re not meant for napping or co-sleeping. Due to the inclined position, your baby takes while in the Boppy, there’s a risk of them falling asleep and then sliding down, which can block the airway. It’s for much the same reason that they shouldn’t be sleeping in their car seat.
Answer: The DockATot is designed for co-sleeping, but this is still a very controversial subject. While DockATot says that a baby can sleep in their products, many doctors advise against it, and many parents are uncomfortable doing so.
However, in countries where co-sleeping is much more common, the DockATot is a popular solution for keeping the baby safe and comfortable next to you. If you choose to use the DockATot for this purpose, you should first do the research and understand the risks.
Why you Need a DockATot or Boppy
These are two completely different products, so it can’t hurt to have both! You can use them for a variety of things, and they’re both very convenient. However, my personal favorite is the Boppy, just because I found it more useful for my family when I still had little kids. I used it for playtime, tummy time, supervised naps, and holding my baby with support. It’s incredibly easy to wash, and there are so many different cover designs to choose from.
The DockATot is another great solution for those who prefer to co-sleep or who want a safe place for their child to nap during the day. It’s also great for travel and can be used in a crib or as a transition tool for a toddler bed.
Both of these pillows are great options for any family looking for a way to keep their baby safe during various activities, and I highly recommend either or both.