For some parents, the DockAtot is a life saver, literally! Most families using it swears by it. Others wish they would of never use it because their baby won’t sleep without it. Some have a love hate relationship with it, for the simple reason that babies and parents love it but when it’s time to transition out of the DockAtot, it is sometimes difficult.
What is a Dockatot?
According to the DockAtot company, “they have beendesigned to offer a snug and soothing environment for babies. We like to think it’s the next best thing to the womb. Babies can rest, play and lounge.”
To my opinion, newborns love them and fall asleep easily in it because they give the womb-like feeling they crave and they feel safe and snug. It provides a smooth transition from the utero to the real world. I think it is a great tool to use, while keeping in mind that it may become a sleep association and you will have to transition him/her out of it sooner than later.
The American Association of Pediatrics recommends room sharing but NOT bed sharing, so I can’t recommend using the DockATot in a parent’s bed. I also want to disclaim that I do NOT judge the parents who chose to use the DockAtot. It is my role to share the right information and to educate you on the safety guidelines. To prevent SIDS, “the baby should be placed in a crib with no cover, pillows, bumper pads or positioning devices.” That means that the DockAtot should not by placed in the crib! OHHHHH that’s news for a lot of parents! Including me! What now?!!!
Where should you use the Dockatot
The DockAtot company suggests to take the crib mattress out of the crib and put it on the floor. Then, place the DockATot on top of the mattress. This prevents a baby from rolling out of the it and becoming entrapped between the crib rail and the DockAtot.
The first option would be to go cold turkey. I would suggest you do it when your baby is 5 month of age, when he/she most likely don’t have the startle reflex anymore and when she/he will have more control over their extremities!
Put your baby in the crib at bedtime. Yes, you may have some hard nights, but to my experience you’ll have the fastest results. It easier to implement this new way at bedtime as the drive to sleep is stronger at night and it will be easier for your baby to fall asleep without it. Focus on eliminating it just for nighttime sleep first. Once your baby is sleeping well through the night without the DockATot, then you can focus on naps.
The second option is to gradually wean from it. For some parents, using the cold turkey method doesn’t seem to be the best option. In that case, I suggest to wean from the DockAtot gradually. This method takes more time and patience.
Put your baby in the crib without the DockAtot and try to elongate the time he/she is without it. When your baby wakes up at night, try to put him/her back to sleep. If you are not successful, put your baby back in the DockAtot and try again the night after. Each night try to get a bit longer in the crib without it and be patient as this could take a few weeks!
If removing the DockAtot is absolutely not working for your child and he/she is regressing a lot with her/his sleep, it might be time to hire a sleep consultant to help you with the process.
Each child is different and each family unique. If you find yourself lost because you have tried everything to help your baby sleep better and through the night, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Your baby will thank you for it!
For more information about the DockAtot, visit their website at https://dockatot.com/!
As Always, Sleeping Babies=Happy Families
Much Love, Eve