Is the DockATot Safe for Sleeping?

Although many parents use the Dockatot for sleep, it’s not safe for babies to sleep in. 

 According to The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, the only products that meet the safety standards for baby sleep are products that have one of the following labels:

  1. Crib
  2. Bassinet
  3. Play-yard

Anything that goes by any other name (lounger, infant seat, sleeper, napper) is not safe for your baby to sleep in.

Why is the DockATot Unsafe to Use for Sleep?

  1. The DockATot is designed to be used as an in-bed co-sleeper. Co-sleeping is one of the biggest risk factors for infant sleep deaths. Safe Sleep Experts agree that there is no “safe co-sleeping.” Co-sleeping is considered unsafe no matter how it’s done.

And now, if you’ll even believe this, the following message was taken directly from the Dockatot’s website:

A Message about Co-Sleeping

The American Academy of Pediatrics has determined that the safest place for a baby to sleep during the first year of life is in a crib, bassinet or play yard in the parents’ bedroom. 

DockATot recognizes that many people believe strongly that infants and young children should never sleep with adults in their bed, while others believe that such co-sleeping provides benefits. Many who choose to co-sleep with a DockATot dock find that the sides help establish a separate space for the baby that is close by to the parent(s).

On their website, in black and white,  DockATot basically says, “If you don’t want to follow the safe sleep guidelines of the APP, use our product.”


The irony of it all is that the DockATot website tells readers to “always follow the safe sleeping tips recommended by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission because absolutely nothing is more important than the safety of a child.”

So that would mean… not putting your baby to sleep in a DockATot. After all, it doesn’t meet the CPSC standards for a safe sleep environment.

2. The raised sides of the DockATot pose a suffocation risk.  A baby can easily nuzzle their face into the soft sides, increasing the risk of suffocation.

3. Just as easily as an adult can roll over the edges of the DockATot, a baby can roll out of the DockATot, putting them at risk for injury or suffocation should they roll into loose blankets, pillows, or a sleeping parent. Alternatively, the DockATot can fall off of your bed with the baby inside of it!

What about Placing the DockATot Inside your Baby’s Crib?

Is that safe? No.

Babies can (and have) rolled over in these, or have become wedged between the sleep positioner and the floor or crib mattress. No matter how foolproof and safe these sleep devices claim to be, there are so often stories of babies being injured or killed in them.

So What is the DockATot For?

Playing, lounging, supervised awake time. Trying to cook dinner in peace? Give your baby a toy while he chills in the DockATot. Need to finish your coffee while it’s still hot? Drink it when your baby is lounging in his DockATot, while you read him a book. It’s not meant for sleep, and there’s no way around that.

Quotes About the DockATot

Dockatot’s director of marketing, Elina Furman released a statement on the use of the product:

 “The DockATot is used by many for supervised lounging, chilling and playtime. We do not promote our products … as intended for sleep accommodation.

Here is what pediatricians have to say about the DockATot:

 “There’s no question that the DockATot isn’t a safe sleep device. On the contrary, a baby can easily obstruct its airway by turning towards one of those elevated sides. This is not anything that I would be comfortable recommending to parents.”

Dr. Denis Leduc

Pediatrician and clinical director of the newborn nursery at Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital.

“Products claiming to be breathable haven’t been proven to reduce the risk of SIDS. “That’s why we don’t recommend any bumpers or mattress pads, even those that are marketed as breathable. When we talk about infants, we don’t recommend anything that would be analogous to a pillow, or a bumper, or a soft surface. This might be nice while the baby is awake and playing, like a cushion, but observation is the key here.”

 Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter

  Pediatrician in Camden, New Jersey, and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Task Force on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

Listen, let’s be real here. Many babies will sleep better in the DockATot. It’s cozy, it’s snug, it’s warm and it’s really comfortable. But no matter how sleep-deprived we are, sleep is our second priority as parents. Safety comes first.

Also, please don’t feel defensive if you have put your baby to sleep in the DockATot. Listen, we’re human. Are you going to be perfect every time? No. that’s life. Let’s not pretend we’re perfect parents who never do anything wrong in order to get a few more minutes of sleep. We’re desperate when we’re sleep-deprived.

But that doesn’t make it the safe thing to do for your baby.

Remember that not everyone who smokes gets lung cancer, and not everyone who drives without a seatbelt will die in a car accident. Not every baby who sleeps in unsafe sleep conditions will die of SIDS. But as the leading cause of death in infants from 1-12 months of age, we should take the risks seriously and do everything we can to mitigate them. It has to come before our own sleep.

So please, don’t put your baby to sleep in the DockATot.

By | 2020-02-18T20:12:45-04:00 February 18th, 2020|Categories: sleep safety|0 Comments

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