All About The DockATot and How to Wean Out if Needed

Cara Dumaplin, Founder

The DockATot…

When I even mention this name, I hear a wide array of comments from new parents ranging from:

“This is the most amazing baby product since the invention of baby wipes.”


“I wish I never bought this thing. Now he won’t sleep without it.”

Let’s face it, when your baby won’t sleep– you are willing to try almost anything just to get a bit more shut-eye; however, when we are thinking rationally, safety is of utmost importance so let’s dive in together and see how to use this product safely.

First, what is the DockATot?

If you are a new mom who is active on Instagram, you’ve probably seen it.

It’s this….

According to DockATot’s website, it is “a multi-functional lounging, playing, chilling, resting and snuggling dock you can take anywhere.”

Why has it become so popular?

The DockATot has gained popularity, in my opinion, because it provides the womb-like, snug feeling that so many newborns desire in those first few months after birth. Parents love it because it’s easy to transport from room to room.

Is it meant for baby sleep?

No! I know you are probably seeing it for this purpose (and I do understand that some parents do use it in this manner), but Elina Furman, director of marketing at DockATot, explains that her company’s product isn’t intended to be used for baby sleep. “The DockATot is used by many for supervised lounging, chilling and play time,” she says.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission only products labeled with the words “crib,” “bassinet,” or “play yard” meet the standards for safe baby sleep. This means anything labeled as a lounger, napper, infant seat, or sleeper is NOT approved for safe baby sleep. This means the DockATot is not to be used for sleeping.

According to SIDS.org, your baby should be “Placed in a bare crib,” specifically, “The baby should be placed in a crib with no loose bedding, pillows, bumper pads or positioning devices.” The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission agrees that, “bare is best” inside the crib or bassinet. This means nothing but the baby is to be inside the crib or bassinet.

But…let’s say you ARE using the DockATot for sleep:

You are not a “bad” parent. You are not “failing.” The last thing you need is someone judging you or scaring you. Taking Cara Babies believes in supporting parents, not shaming them so let me try to offer some help in educating you and using safe sleep practices.

First, many parents who take the newborn sleep class “Will I Ever Sleep Again?” have babies who are sleeping 6-12 hours by 6-12 weeks without a DockATot. In fact, this class specifically aims to teach parents other methods to recreate that womb-like experience using only safe sleep guidelines. (Learn more about this newborn sleep class HERE.)

You don’t need a DockATot to have a great sleeper!!!

Next, understand that the DockATot is not to be used in the crib or bassinet.

Here’s the US label on the DockATot:

Additionally, DockATot’s warning label says never to put a baby inside the DockATot on a surface from which they can fall (i.e. couch, bed, ottoman, etc). This is especially important because the clip at the bottom of the DockATot is designed to release with 4.5 lbs of pressure as a safety feature to keep the baby from becoming too tightly wedged inside so please keep that mattress flat on the floor.

How do we wean a baby from the DockATot?

You have a few options:

  • Cold turkey.

You can simply quit using the DockATot and put your baby in the crib at bedtime. Yes, this does sound a bit abrupt, but in my experience, this seems to have the fastest results.

Start by moving to the crib at bedtime (rather than naptime) first as this is when the drive to sleep is the highest. Focus on eliminating it just for nighttime sleep first. Once your baby is sleeping well through the night without the DockATot, then you can focus on discontinuing it for naps.

*Some parents find Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit to be helpful in calming the startle reflex after they come out of the DockATot. (This product is not to be used with the DockATot.)

  • Gradually Wean Out.

Some parents find that a gradual wean from the DockATot to the crib is the best answer. This may take a bit longer, but for some this method feels less abrupt. Again, please understand that our goal is SAFE SLEEP! 

Place him down in the crib after the bedtime routine. (Again, start with nighttime sleep, not naps. The sleep drive, the “force” that makes our bodies want to sleep, is highest at bedtime.)

Allow your baby to sleep for as long as he will without the DockATot. At the first waking, attempt to get him back to sleep. (If you’ve taken the newborn class or “Navigating Months 3 and 4,”  use the steps outlined for night wakings.) If your baby goes back to sleep—wonderful, this is a success. If not, put her back in the DockATot. Each night try to get a bit longer in the crib without the DockATot. Be patient as this could take a few weeks.

If coming out of the DockATot has totally derailed your great little sleeper, please know help is available. Click HERE to learn about an online sleep learning/sleep training class for babies 5-24 months.


***This blog post was not featured, approved, read, or endorsed by DockATot. All opinions/advice herein are solely by Cara at Taking Cara Babies. Furthermore, this is not medical advice. Follow the advice of your pediatrician.

hey there!

I'm Cara.

I’m a mom of four, neonatal nurse, and wife of a pediatrician. My passion is teaching parents how to help their babies sleep with the science of a nurse and the heart of a mama so they can reclaim the joy of parenthood.

I'm Cara.

I’m a mom of four, neonatal nurse, and wife of a pediatrician. My passion is teaching parents how to help their babies sleep with the science of a nurse and the heart of a mama so they can reclaim the joy of parenthood.