Can Baby Sleep In DockATot? – DockATot Safety, Risks & Benefits

Can Baby Sleep In DockATot?

Article by Jessica Holbrook – Register Nurse & Educator

As a tired mama, you are probably willing to try anything to get your newborn baby to sleep. Newborn sleep might feel like an impossible dream. Sometimes, babies sleep best wrapped in thick blankets or with their head elevated in a car seat or swing.

Unfortunately, these habits are unsafe for your baby. Parents are often frustrated because safe sleep practices can make it harder for your baby to get to sleep or stay asleep. Some parents swear by the Doc-A-Tot for improving infant’s sleep, while others argue against it.

It can be confusing when every mom has different advice about sleeping strategies. Many parents will tell you that they did not follow safe sleep practices and their child is just fine. Others gasp in horror when you tell them that you are considering bed sharing.

As a new parent, you might start to wonder which sleep recommendations are really important, and which ones you can ignore.

Desperate for just a few hours of sleep for yourself, you might be wondering, can baby sleep in Dock-A-Tot?

This article is not a substitute for medical advice.

Does DockATot Meet Federal Safety Standards For Infant Sleep?

As of 20221, all products marketed for baby sleep must meet Federal Guidelines for safe sleep practices, and the Dock-A-Tot does not meet these federal safety standards.

The DockATot Deluxe and the DocATot Grand have elevated sides that have been associated with dozens of infant deaths.

The only items that meet federal safety standards for infant sleep include things like a crib with a firm surface, play yards, and bassinets.

Can baby sleep in dockatot

Is DockATot Approved For Overnight Sleep?

The Consumer Product Safety Commission2 has released a statement stating that sleeping in the DockATot is not safe for your baby. In fact, DockATot received a notice of violation from the CPSC for advertising their product as safe sleep surface.

While there was not an official recall, many warnings about the DockATot have been issued.

Dock-A-Tots should only be used as a lounger or during playtime. DockATot is not approved for overnight sleep and it’s not a replacement for baby’s crib or bassinet.

Is DockATot Safe For Supervised Naps?

Babies have a funny habit of falling asleep anywhere that you put them down. Ideally, your child’s bed follows guidelines for a safe sleep environment, and it is the only place that your baby sleeps.

Baby gear like DockATot Deluxe or its alternatives (like Boppy Lounger) should only be used for supervised lounging. If your baby does fall asleep in their Dock-A-Tot, try to move them on to a safe sleep surface.

Is DockATot Safe For Co-Sleeping?

Co-sleeping is a hotly debated topic for parents in the United States. It is easy to fall fast asleep while breastfeeding your baby, and if you are a sleep-deprived mama, every moment of extra sleep counts.

While many parents swear that co sleeping helps everyone in the house get more rest, babies who co-sleep with their parents have a higher chance of SIDS. This includes babies who use the Dock-A-Tot as a co-sleeper.

For these reasons DockATot is not safe for co-sleeping.

Is DockATot Approved For Overnight Sleep?

Is It Safe To Put DockATot In Baby’s Crib, Bassinet Or Pack N Play?

The Dock-A-Tot can occasionally be put in a crib, bassinet, or play yard, as long as it is only used for supervised lounging. The Dock-A-Tot should be removed from your baby’s bed during napping or bedtime.

If your baby seems happy and comfortable in their DockATot, feel free to use it anytime that they are awake. However, do not leave your baby unsupervised in their DockATot.

That dock is a warm and comfortable place for your newborn, which makes it highly likely that they will go to sleep. If that happens, move your child to a crib/bassinet/pack n play.

Can Baby Sleep In DockaATot If I Use Owlet Monitor?

As a new mom, you might use Owlet monitors to give you peace of mind and help you get some sleep yourself. However, the Owlet monitor is not FDA approved3 to monitor your newborn while they are sleeping.

Do not let your baby sleep in their DockATot Deluxe, even with an Owlet monitor.

The Owlet website shares many parents’ stories about the usefulness of their product. In addition, Owlet has recently applied for an FDA approval. Even if they do receive approval, oxygen monitors are not a replacement for following safe sleep guidelines.

Is Dock-A-Tot Safe For Co-Sleeping

At What Age Can Babies Sleep With DockATot?

The DockATot Deluxe is recommended for babies 9 months and younger, but should not be used for sleep.

According to their website4, the Grand Dock-A-Tot is safe for babies age one year and older.

Before you let your baby sleep in any type of DockATot, make sure that they have complete control of their head, can roll in both directions, and are strong enough to sit up independently.

If your baby has any developmental delays or poor muscle control, talk to a certified pediatric sleep consultant about when you can safely use a Dock-A-Tot.

Baby Sleeping In DockATot – What Are The Risks?

Sleepers like the Dock-A-Tot were associated with at least 12 infant deaths5 between 2012 and 2018. The bumpers and soft mattress usually present on an infant sleeper are unsafe for babies under one year old.

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is an unexplained death that usually occurs while a baby is sleeping. Researchers state6 that following safe sleep guidelines and avoiding bed sharing, pillows, thick blankets, and sleepers like the DockATot or Snuggle Me Organic can decrease the risk of SIDS by up to 83%7.

Is DockATot Safe For Supervised Naps

How To Create Safe Baby’s Sleep Area ?

All new parents hope to create the safest sleep environment possible for their child. Following the safe sleep guidelines created by the American Academy Of Pediatrics (AAP) ensures that your newborn has the best chance of safe sleep.

The American Academy Of Pediatrics recommends that you let your baby sleep in the same room as you at least for the first six months of their life. While room sharing is the safest sleep space for your new baby, bed sharing is not. Your newborn baby should always sleep in their own crib or bassinet.

Evidence suggests that a flat, firm surface is the safe option for newborn sleep. As your baby rolls, a flat surface keeps them from getting trapped. A flat surface also helps your child keep their chin lifted, which ensures that they will not suffocate.

DockATot, loose bedding, stuffed toys, bumper pads, baby gear, pillows, and other soft objects kept in crib or bassinet are all dangerous suffocation risks for your baby. Babies do not have good control of their bodies, especially when they fall asleep.

Soft objects may cover your baby’s face and make it hard for them to breathe. Using bumpers to keep your baby out of the gaps in their crib puts them at higher risk of suffocation.

It is also important to make sure that your child does not overheat while they are in their crib. While it may concern you that they will get cold without blankets or comforters, evidence suggests that infants sleep better when they are cool.

Overheating is a health risk for newborns, and they do best when sleeping in a bedroom that is between 68 and 72 degrees.

You can help your baby sleep safely by giving them plenty of opportunities for tummy time. Tummy time helps to strengthen your baby’s neck muscles, which decreases the concern of suffocation.

When your baby is able to hold their head up and can roll in both directions, their chances of SIDS dramatically drops.

Your baby should sleep in a bare crib or bassinet until they are at least one year old. Don’t worry, your baby will still sleep comfortably in their crib without pillows, comforters, and bumper pads, and it is the safest place for them to be.

How To Use DockATot In A Safe Way & What Are Its Benefits

While a DockATot should not be a part of your baby’s sleep environment, there are still good reasons to let your baby spend time in their dock lounger.

When you need to fold laundry or get some chores done around the house, a lounger for your baby can be a lifesaver.

Having your baby lay in a DockATot can give them some security and feel comforted when you are not holding them. Some babies get fussy unless you are swaddling them or rocking them, and the softness of the DockATot may help them calm down without being in your arms.

Because the DockATot restricts movement, it can feel similar to swaddling or being in the womb. A constricted environment helps a baby feel safe, warm, and protected from the big new world they are in.

Your baby can be safely lounging in their DockATot while you do chores around the house, as long as they are not alone in their nursery and left unsupervised.

Another benefit of the DockATot is that it is easy to transport from place to place. While your baby can be kept safe in a play yard, it is not practical to bring the play yard from the kitchen to the laundry room.

DockATot is not just easy to bring from room to room, it can be easily packed up in the car to take wherever you need to go.

The DockATot is also fairly easy to clean, which is a must-have for a busy mama. It is much easier to clean spit up from your DockATot than it is to steam clean your carpets.

Make your DockATot safe for your baby by keeping it on a low surface. Couches and tables are not a good place to use these docks.

Medically Reviewed By Jessica Holbrook, RN

Jessica Holbrook has been a registered nurse and educator for over 8 years. She has experience in critical care, neonatal, intensive care, and postpartum intensive care. Currently she’s working in Intermountain Medical Center Coronary Intensive Care Unit. She’s been creating educational materials for both new nurses and patients in the hospital. She has also written for several parenting blogs and healthcare career websites.

The purpose of this article is informative. It’s not a substitute for professional medical advice or medical care. Remember: safety first! Consult your doctor/pediatrician in case of any doubts. The author of this article does not accept any responsibility for any liability, loss or risk, personal or otherwise, incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, from any information or advice contained here.


Pictures belong to DockATot Brand. Source:

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