Alternatives for DockATot
If you have a baby that has a difficult time to sleep, then you should consider buying one of these DockATot alternatives
As a new mom, all you want is for your baby to be safe and get good sleep. So when a product provides you with both, it is hard to pass on that offer.
Have you always wanted to purchase DockATot but since it’s so pricey you couldn’t? That is why I am here for the rescue by providing you with some of the best alternatives of DockATot that are available at affordable prices. The designs of these baby lounges help keep your little one safely contained when they play.
Among the other baby gears, DocATot is the most popular as well as best-selling item made for newborn babies. You might have seen DockATots on Instagram a lot as well because they are extremely popular these days. Since they offer a good product with a stylish front, they cost you a hefty amount.
If you do not want to spend that much on this baby lounge but still wish to get one of these then go for the cheaper DockATot alternatives. What sets DockATot apart from others is the high-quality material with aesthetically beautiful iconic designs. Lucky for us! There are other baby lounges just as good as DocATot within an affordable price range.
The alternatives also create a safe environment for our little ones and come in cute designs. However, you need to be supervised when you are using DocATots Or the alternatives. You can not use them when your baby is sleeping or taking a nap.
But first, lemme give you a clear picture of what a DocATot is and what its uses are…
This article aims to explore some of the Best Budget-Friendly DockATot Alternatives.
Have you seen an inflatable pool bed? Well, a DocATot looks a lot similar to that but the center is way softer and more flat while the sides are rounded. According to the company website, these are for changing diapers, playing and cuddling with your baby, supervised napping, lounging, and co-sleeping as well as tummy time.
The company mentions not to use DockATot in your baby’s crib. I have no idea why they think that an adult’s bed would be a far better choice to use the DocATot on rather than in their cribs. But as this warning is given by the manufacturers, it would be better to abide by the restrictions.
The official name of this product is DocATot but since the product is popular, you will see different names on online platforms such as doc a tot, baby nest, or just plain dockatot because then it encompasses a larger category of baby gears it’s similar to.
The safety issues are the primary reason that made me write about this product. There is one common risk factor when it comes to DocATot or any other baby lounge similar to this, which is the risk of possible suffocation. There is a chance that your little one rolls to the soft side and gets suffocated hence the need for supervision.
Babies have way less control over their heads than an adult person so their heads can get stuck in a position. If it is being used to co-sleep and the DocATot is on an adult bed where the Guardian of the little one is also sleeping, there is a possibility of that adult to roll over or put their hand on the lounge. It can make the DocATot tilt which can result in the baby rolling onto his or her sides.
You can see that many baby positioners and baby nests promote themselves as being made of breathable fabrics. If you put a thin material over your face and try to breathe through it, you won’t be getting much air into your lungs while making you very uncomfortable. These lounges made for infants are thicker while your baby’s mouth, nose, face, and windpipe are smaller.
You can understand why it would be extremely difficult to breathe if one has their face pressed into said fabrics. The phrase “breathable” used by the companies are to indicate that the water vapor will be able to pass through the fabric. It has no connection with one being able to breathe comfortably through it.
Interesting fact, if you are living in Canada, you will not be able to buy DocATots because the government of Canada has banned such items after reviewing them. They have released a warning about the use of these products as well.
The company on the other hand claimed that they have gone through and passed multiple safety regulations. However, those safety regulations do not guarantee the baby’s safety when they sleep. You can check out a great post made by Baby Bargains that talked about these safety guidelines passed by the company of DocATot.
At a glance, you might feel like these products would be safe and keep your baby snugly in the right position. But babies try their best to move around however little they can. But once they get the hang of it, they would try to turn to the sides or roll in the bed. Especially when they sleep, they tend to turn and fidget. That is why you need to supervise your infant often because as they are still in their early stage of life, it is hard for them to turn themselves back over on the right side. It can suffocate your baby if you don’t come to the rescue in time.
However, depending on your timing, there might be some dangerous consequences such as a potential risk of your baby getting brain damage or even as dire as fatal consequences. This is something no one wants for their children and will do anything to avoid such circumstances from happening.
Even if the material is breathable for the baby, the snug fit of the material would cause carbon breathing. This will be potentially dangerous as well as extremely unhealthy for your little one. Adults don’t have many inconveniences dealing with snugly fitted beddings since we can just move in if we are having trouble breathing.
Imagine you are stuck in a closed place where you are getting hardly any oxygen to breathe, then after a while when the carbon dioxide increases in the room, you will be forced to breathe back the carbon dioxide. This will be very risky for infants because their lungs are way smaller.
This is not the only problem you should watch out for.
Usually, when you purchase the DocATot, you will notice that it doesn’t fit your baby’s crib perfectly. Most of the time, you will see a gap created between the slats and the edge of the product which is a risk factor for your child to get stuck in (though unlikely, it is possible so why take a chance?).
This is the primary reason parents became concerned about the safety of their babies with DocATots in the first place.
If you thought that your child might find it hard to get out of the previous situation, this one is practically impossible for an infant to get out of. This will lead to an unfortunate worst-case scenario so I am strongly recommending not setting your DocATot in your baby’s crib.
Yes, there are ways you can make this safer for your little one. For newborn babies, parents need to supervise when using DocATots. However, keep in mind that, the DocATots should not be used in the baby crib as I have discussed earlier.
You can wait until your baby is capable enough to turn from side to side by himself. Then, you can get a DocATot or a pretty little lounge area where your baby can sit alongside you. If you are not willing to wait then tummy time will help develop your baby’s muscles quicker.
You can include some exercises which will promote the development of those baby muscles as well as motor skills. You have to consider the age-appropriate exercises only so don’t go overboard with it.
So, while your baby is growing his muscles, you can get a swaddle since they are just as comfy and safer than DocATots. You do have to put in some extra effort for this one but it will be a better option if you want to create a similar environment as the warm space of the womb then Swaddle is your baby gear. With a swaddle, your baby will sleep soundly in your arms.
You can ask your pediatrician for ways you can use the DocATots safely or you can get help from a doula as well since they have a lot of hands-on experience with this stuff.
I suggest that you don’t take any advice from the local mothers regarding the safety of your baby sleeping in a DocATot because they are not professionals. The risk factors are far too big to get advice from just anyone on the street, it requires professional advice.
I am not denying the fact that there are people who never had issues with using DockATots with their kids, I am simply conveying the risk factors to you and warning you about the circumstances that you might face when using this product.
When I used it, I always stayed right by my baby to ensure that he is in a safe environment. Sometimes, I used the DocATots just for pictures and that’s about it.
I never used this product for co-sleeping because I don’t want to risk it or have my partner watch over both me and my baby while we sleep. If you have similar circumstances in mind then I’d say this will be a good choice but if your budget is low then the alternatives would be better. Otherwise, you can just buy a DockATot and ignore this.
If you want to be safer then wait for your baby’s muscles to develop and his motor skills to reach the level where the limbs of your little ones turn into positioners that will help him in turning over when stuck.
In the meantime, this product should be used mainly as an infant lounger. Don’t go somewhere else while keeping your baby on the DocATot and also avoid keeping your baby in places that are doesn’t have a flat and large surface.
If your baby’s sleep habits are unpredictable then this product will simply not do. You can implement proper parenting methods to incorporate good sleeping habits for your baby. Feeding habits can also be developed with it. However, placing a DocATot inside the crib or bassinet of your little one will not be of help for any of those.
The first thing you need to consider is how safe the DocATot knockoff is. You can ask anyone, be it a doctor or a nurse, or even the manufacturer, they will all advise you not to use them for overnight sleeping or even napping.
Other than the risk of being suffocated, your baby’s neck can get stuck at such an angle that causes asphyxiation which has been the primary reason for Boddy Lounger to be recalled. Keep in mind this warning if you are planning to use the DocATot alternative for unsupervised sleeping.
Check if the material used for the alternatives is safe and non-toxic even for newborns. Also, select one that is comfy and soft for your little one to lie on. Make sure that the surface is not rough on your baby’s skin and that nothing is coming out of the lounge. It should be comfortable for your baby when you lay them down on it.
It would be desirable to get one with breathable material then you don’t need to worry about your little one getting all hot and sweaty.
Choose an alternative to DocATot that is lightweight so that you can easily carry it from one room to another. Portability is another quality you should look for while buying these alternatives.
This way you can supervise your baby anywhere, even while you are working at home or doing chores. Check if the baby lounger comes with its travel bag, it will be a bonus if you can take it with you for your visits to family or in-laws as well as on vacations.
Go for the baby loungers that are comparatively easy to clean and you can maintain them well enough. It would be ideal if the messes made by your little one such as vomiting, peeing, pooping, spitting, or drooling can easily be washed off the loungers.
Check if the alternative comes with its cover so that you don’t need to purchase an extra one that would be in the right size cause that would be another long journey for sure!
Baby loungers that are machine washable would be more convenient and one that is easy to gear up would also be ideal for busy moms.
According to AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) and also some similar recommendations from other countries, the most secure way for your baby to sleep is a flat on their back region on a solid surface in their own space of sleeping. This indicates no co-sleeping with parents or in baby nests like a DockATot.
The baby’s bed should be free from pillows, bumpers, blankets, etc. the crib or cradle should be uncovered whereas only a solid mattress covered with a close-fitting sheet.
Some babies respond better to feeling like they are surrounded, which is the feeling that sleep positioners and DockATot are trying to attain. You can recreate this feeling by swaddling your little one or using a designed swaddle blanket if you think like me and my spouse and can’t seem to attain the swaddle without the use of zippers or velcro.
The sides of these lounges are thick and tall making it impossible for your baby to roll over. The material is very soft to touch and since the quality is breathable, the air vapor goes through pretty nicely.
Babymoov’s baby lounger is so much more comfortable than the others. I bought these because of their good design and baby-safe materials. It turned out to be great because my daughter as soon as I laid her down in it, used to look more relaxed.
This is a very comfortable baby lounge because it is very soft to touch the design is very snug. This product is organic and gives your baby the feeling of being held in the arms of their mothers.
You don’t even have to buy a co-sleeper with this one in hand. I am shocked at how similar this product is to DocATot yet the price is one-third amount of the original. Explain that to me! You can roll up the blankets to the sides (be careful of not rolling near your baby’s face) then your little one can be even comfier.
This one I liked a lot because it can be folded into a backpack which looks good and adds to the portability of this baby lounger. The sides are also high so there is less chance of suffocation.
This one is very soft too and also comes with separate support for the head. The surface around the head is extremely comfortable for the baby and it promotes a healthy growth of the head of your baby preventing flat head syndrome.
Now, I haven’t used this product but a fellow mom recommended it to me so I did a bit of research, and turns out this product is a good alternative for DocATots for people who want to save money.
The design of this product is a bit unique from the rest of the products. The sides are formed in a different shape and they are thinner than other baby loungers. The patterns on these loungers are also quite different than the rest.
This one is another womb-shaped baby lounger within the affordable price range. A very good one if you want an alternative for DocATots. You can use them till your baby is 12 months old.
This one is my favorite only because it is among the few that promote hypoallergenic baby nests. It is so hard to find a good quality one that I almost gave up but then I found this one. I was really lucky so I wanted to share this with you.
As you’ve come to the end of the article, did you find any item that caught your interest? Well, even if you decided not to spend money on this, it is completely fine. On the contrary, if you want, go ahead, and buy some nice things for your kid keeping in mind the safety concerns ofcourse. Over splurging does not make you a good or a bad parent as long as your love goes towards a positive experience for your baby.
The baby lounger makes the baby feel comfortable during wake-up times. Most of the parents have marked this item as an essential one. However, if you wish to buy a baby lounger, the expensive DockAtot is not required. You can easily choose a pocket-friendly alternative instead of a DockATot.
There are 2 types of original DockATot- Deluxe+ and Grand. The first one is smaller as well as cheaper as compared to the Grand DockATot and suitable for toddlers up to 8 months whereas the Grand one is much bigger and expensive and suitable for 9-36 months babies.
However, sadly, the Deluxe+ one is also pretty expensive and there is no other cheaper version of a DockATot. But there are also a few comfortable alternatives, designed by other brands containing more affordable prices. (check the recommendations above).
You shouldn’t use DockATot or its alternatives for naps, co-sleeping, or overnight sleep. These items should be used during awake times when the baby is under supervision but it’s not safe for sleep times.
Normally stating, it is a very controversial topic in the US whereas in Europe lots of parents use baby loungers during co-sleeping as co-sleeping is common there.
I’ve seen that many parents use DockATot or its cheaper alternatives during nap time or night sleeping time.
Remember that according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a safe sleep environment means:
Solid and flat surface
A baby has its own sleeping space like a bedside sleeper, cradle, etc.
No co-sleeping or sharing bed.
No sleep toys or plushies, fluffy blankets, loose bedding, and pillows in the sleeping area.
Even if you pick a top-notch baby lounger containing high quality, it’s still not a secure sleep space for a baby due to the risk of suffocation or SIDS.
My advice is to use baby loungers LOUNGING- playing, bonding with other family members, resting, feeding, or reading books to your little one. If the infant falls asleep in a DockATot or other baby lounger, it’s better to transfer them to a cradle or bassinet.
I also suggest using baby lounge cushions on the floor instead of using them in bed or inside the crib.
There are a lot of low-priced baby loungers outside that look very similar to a DockATot, which triggers the question: Is the DockATot worth the price?
Many moms who are experienced badly with these DockATot alternatives ( broken zippers, stains upon arrival) are disappointed and will swear you should just spend the money on the accurate one from the beginning. But when there are three or four inclusions for the price with the brand name, the odds are in your favor that you will still get a good quality item at a lower price rate.
It is a fact that you get what you pay for and the DockATot contains high-quality materials and that doesn’t mean the cheaper ones contain bad materials. So, the decision is up to you if that matters.
Furthermore, the usual stamp is also used by DockATot for their covers, their materials also are put through a spectrum for safety testing including cloth burst strength, the safety of flammability, etc.
Up to what age can baby loungers be used? The growth of some infants is too fast and also becomes wriggly for baby loungers as they become four months or near that. But normally, babies don’t find it difficult to sleep with their legs dangling over the bumper side and continue these sleeping sessions happily for up to a year.
It depends upon the sleeping habits, size of the toddler, and also the size of the lounger you’ve chosen.
There is no baby lounger authorized by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) for any kind of sleeping. The committee is an American Regulatory Committee.
Again, though the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that co-sleeping is not safe, I know a lot of parents who have co-slept with their little ones from the very first day.
It varies among the other countries about baby loungers. In Europe, it is considered and acclaimed as “safe for co-sleeping” on its packaging.
If your baby has so much strength and the habit of wiggling then it’s better not to use a lounger overnight. (maybe not at all).
If the lounger can’t be used for your baby during overnight sleeping then what is the point of using it? Well, babies have to be put down to get stuff done. But this isn’t right to exactly put them down on the floor and it is also risky to put them on either a higher surface or bed.
These lounges are amazing to keep the toddler in a secure area that they cannot simply rush out of while you are busy with your other stuff. And it is agreed by the experts that it is undoubtedly safe for supervised naps.
Can the baby suffer from suffocation in a DockATot? Well, there is a chance of suffocation anytime the babies’ airways are blocked, including pressing their faces against or into the fabric. Therefore, the bumper edge of DockATot is raised, which can cause danger if the toddler completely turns their body into the bumper.
Remember that most infants can’t roll or turn over to sides at all until they reach 2-4 months. And, if they have enough strength to do that, they can generally be able to move their faces towards fresh air if it becomes uncomfortable to breathe. Additionally, the DockATot is made of breathable polyester fill and cotton fabric.
Parents have to choose the best for their baby while making their life with their baby practicable. While in the absence of a DockATot, I did allow my baby to take their naps on a Boppy pillow (not even an original baby lounger) and never felt that my child was having suffocation problems.
Well, you are the parent so you know them better than anyone. So, go for it! And follow the security guidelines of a DockATot :
It varies in the age range of the babies. It is different for each item with its age range. The Lounger shouldn’t be used once the baby has crossed the age limit. Some lounges can be used for up to 12 months while some others can be suitable for up to 6 months.
There are many options available that are quite similar to a DockATot as well as affordable.
Baby loungers are very functional and useful specifically during the first few months but I don’t know why you need to pay the price tag for a DockATot when you have numerous options with affordable alternative products available.
DockATots claimed that their pods are suitable for resting, cuddling, tummy time, co-sleep, and diaper changing.
The DockATot and other baby loungers mentioned above can be used for co-sleeping with your newborn. But you must take precautions before co-sleeping with your little one.
There are various uses for baby nests including portable changing areas, sleeping areas, or play areas. They are mainly used to make sure the babies remain on their backs when they are sleeping to reduce the risk of SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.
According to the DockATot website, items that have certain features such as cradles, bassinets, and cribs are only used in Canada.
Only organic materials are covered by the certification of GOTS whereas the certification of Oeko-Tex covers both non-organic and organic materials.
So, the main thing is that the certification of GOTS is much higher than the Oeko-Tex one when it comes to organic which is baby-safe. You can check more information here.
The answer is “NO”. No fabric is completely breathable. And it is difficult for newborns with small windpipes and more vulnerability.
Products labeled as cradles and bassinets provide secure sleep standards. AAP acclaimed that your baby should sleep by using one of these things on their back which is free of pillows, toys, and blankets.
Because it is practically a very useful product and many parents believe that it doesn’t create any danger. (many products are put for sale but are not safe). In addition, the mommies often become impatient or desperate to buy anything for their baby to sleep with comfort.
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