We received a DockATot Deluxe when our son was about 2 weeks old. We had never used anything like it with our older son, so we were excited to give it a look!
The DockATot came promptly in a black box with very decorative gold writing on the outside. A friend was over when it arrived and thought it was a box full of fancy wine from a wine club due to the elegance. I told her, “Not wine, even better … a DockATot!”
The plastic case that the DockATot baby lounger arrived in is very sturdy and has handles. It is so nice in fact that I plan to save the case for traveling in the future. We had previously used pack ‘n play units when traveling, but I have enjoyed the DockATot so much that I plan to switch to this instead. It is a very compact, multifunctional and flexible (can be put on the floor or in a bed), which makes travel a cinch.
When the DockATot Deluxe is removed from the packaging you must first remove a cardboard piece that is under the mattress. This piece as inserted to make sure the DockATot arrives in pristine condition, which it did. From there, you are good to go! No additional assembly required or washing of fabrics (which I would normally do, but didn’t feel the need to with the DockATot because of how nice everything was kept and presented).
To put into context my love for the DockATot, it is important to point out that I was 100 percent against co-sleeping as first time parents with our older son. Even now we don’t prefer it, but the DockATot provides a very good bed sharing option when such a situation is warranted due to travel conditions, or as was the case for us, medical conditions. Our little guy was diagnosed with RSV at 3 weeks old (just a week after we got our DockATot). As a result, my husband and I were on high alert through the night to keep an eye on his breathing. He slept right in the middle of us in the DockATot. Stated plainly, the DockATot SAVED us. We were able to keep an eye on him, and I had NO fears of rolling over on him. To top it off, he was quite snug and comfortable. More comfortable, in fact, than other places we had him sleep during that ordeal. He slept more soundly and for longer periods of time.
Beyond our bout with sickness, the DockATot Deluxe has multiple uses: resting, tummy time, safely co-sleeping, changing pad and more! It is lightweight and portable (I am able to hold our son in one arm while carrying the DockATot in the other), which makes it great to move around the house and use for diaper changes. The fabric is high quality, non-toxic, hygienic, 100 percent cotton and completely breathable. Our little guy is a hot sleeper, so I worried the unit would capture heat. However, the air permeability is great, and heat hasn’t been a problem.
The DockATot is very easy to wash. In fact, you can thoroughly machine wash EVERYTHING; just use cold or warm water and lay flat to dry to prevent shrinking. There is a durable zipper that allows the bumper (the part you would need to wash the most) to be removed easily. My baby spits up frequently, so we find ourselves washing the bumper lining often. The bumper is washable but must be put in a washing bag. Drying is then done on low to medium heat. Very simple! The mattress pad must be hand washed, but I find that needs cleaning the least. Getting everything back together is a little challenging because the unit is very snug, but I am able to do it all myself.
I’m not sure if this is only due to the DockATot, but we have notice a huge difference in the flat spot of our first child’s head compared to our second. The mattress is softer, which may reduce some pressure on the back of the head.
The Lowdown on the DockATot Deluxe
Overall, the DockATot provides a very nice, snug environment for our little guy to sleep or just hang out. We all know that new babies really like that “snug” feeling, and the DockATot provides it in a safe, convenient way. We have found it to be a lifesaver! Sleeping is much easier for us and baby this time around.
Furthermore, we’ve found that we need to swaddle our little guy less. Again, this could be due to a lot of things, but I really think the DockATot provides him that feeling of snugness he is looking for. Our son learned to fall asleep on his own much quicker than his big brother. I’m able to put him down drowsy in the unit, and he is able to soothe himself completely to sleep. What a blessing that is!
The DockATot Deluxe comes in a variety of colors and patterns. It also comes in two sizes:
Deluxe (birth to 8 months, approximately 5 to 22 pounds) and DockATot Grand Dock (9 months to 36 months, approximately 22 to 40 pounds). There is a clasp at the bottom of the unit that is designed to be unclipped to lengthen the usable area as the child grows. We have the DockATot Deluxe+ Dock in pristine white now but definitely plan to buy the Grand Dock when the time comes. The bumper of the Grand is a little lower so older kids can use it as a pillow.
In case some parts get REALLY messy, you can also purchase spare parts on the company’s website, as well as additional accessories including cabana kit, toy arch, and getaway tote.
I wouldn’t change anything about the function of this product. We really love it!
The DockATot Deluxe+ Dock is a little on the pricey side. The Deluxe ranges from $175-$195 depending on the cover. The Grand starts at $275. However, considering all the ways you can use it as a new mom and you might even be able to skip out on buying other baby gear like bouncers or bassinets, it may be a wash at the end of the day! I really think the benefits far outweigh the cost.
We love the DockATot and highly recommend it!