I don’t know what it’s like to have a baby without you, and I don’t really wanna.
You could call the brief words above a simple love letter to Dockatot. As with any niche product, people tend to love or hate it. Obviously, I am in the pro-Dockatot crowd. It’s been worth every penny my in-laws paid for it (thankful for the gift!). Our baby boy has slept in it since we brought him home from the hospital. As expected, the first few nights at home weren’t easy breezy. However, we were able to quickly establish a nighttime routine of sorts (that, of course, included the Dockatot), and he has been a great nighttime sleeper (sleeping “through the night” or waking only once to nurse pretty consistently since about 2 months old).
While I think it’s necessary and normal for babies to wake at night, I also appreciate a good stretch of sleep. So, this fairly consistent rest was a wonderful thing. I’m actually recently fully coming to understand the greatness of it. I say this because something has started affecting my son at night (teething seems to be the likely culprit), and he’s having trouble going to sleep without being held. It could be that he has now officially outgrown the smaller (Deluxe) Dockatot. In fact, three nights ago was the first time we intentionally didn’t use it. Maybe it’s time to upgrade to the Grande… Yes, I am truly thinking of spending the money on the bigger Dockatot because the Deluxe has made such a good impact on us.
Here are some reasons why I love the Dockatot Deluxe (note: I’m sure some of these won’t apply as well to the Grande since it is a good bit larger):
We are able to safely co-sleep with our baby, which has made breastfeeding easier, allowed us to get more sleep (not having to get up to tend to a baby in another room) and has eliminated a lot of worry that I feel like I would have if the baby slept somewhere else.
Makes Travel Easier
Travel has been easy because the Dockatot is easy to pack and is a familiar place for the baby to sleep no matter where we are. We’ve made at least 10 out of town trips and have not had any issues with nighttime sleep in hotels or other homes we’ve stayed in. Most of those trips have been via car, so we just throw the Dockatot in the back of the car. But we recently took our first trip by plane, and I was able to easily disassemble the Dockatot and neatly pack it in my suitcase. After that trip, I discovered they also now make a nice travel carrying case. It’s a bit pricy, in my opinion. But, if we traveled by plane frequently, I would seriously consider it. It looks very nice.
The Dockatot is super portable. This is why it’s easy to travel with as I just mentioned. But the point I mean to make with this statement is that it’s simple to have it in the bed at night and grab it to put on the sofa during the day. Or on the bathroom floor while I shower or bathe. Or in the crib* (to attempt good naps, which I’ll admit I haven’t been successful with). Or in a Pack-n-Play*. So many options. Smaller than any swing or bassinet, but still a safe place. (*Just noting that the Dockatot company does not recommend using the Dockatot in a crib or Pack-n-Play, but I feel confident in the supervision I’m able to give my child when used in this way.
It’s machine-washable. If you have a blowout baby like mine, this is wonderful. Really, it’s wonderful anyway because who wants something that’s not easy to wash? The one slightly inconvenient thing about it is that it is not recommended to be put in a dryer. So, if I’m going to wash it, I try to do it first thing in the morning and hang to dry throughout the day so that it’s dry in time for bedtime. I will say that I do keep a blanket over the bottom two-thirds of the Dockatot in hopes to prevent some of those blowouts from leaking all the way through to it every time.
There are handles. One at the top and one on the side. I haven’t used either a whole lot, but I could see the side one being handy should we choose to bring it onto an airplane (without the new travel bag) instead of checking it in our luggage. And perhaps even more useful than that… If I decided to fully make my bed every day, the Dockatot could easily be hung by the top handle on a hook (as pictured below) to keep it off the floor. Kind of simple, but something worth noting.
I know some things work for some and not for others. The Dockatot is definitely something that has worked for us. I’ve heard some cite it as an unnecessary device that will be hard to transition your child out of. And while that may be true for some, I chose it primarily as a safe co-sleeper and compact travel bed, and I’ve been very happy with it in those capacities. I would consider it one of our top baby items.
If you’re considering buying one and decide to take the plunge, you can use this link (or the one above) to get $10 off a Dock. By using it, I will get a $5 reward. Win, win.