DockATot Baby Nests Are Super Trendy, but a Lot of Parents Are Using Them Dangerously

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DockATot baby nests are cute and trendy. They’re as elegantly minimal and refined as Sophie the Giraffe or an Aden + Anais blanket. But Health Canada just issued a warning against them, because a lot of parents are putting their babies to sleep in DockATots, and that goes against Canada’s recommended safe sleep practices.

A lot of people are even using DockATots in their babies’ cribs and bassinets. That goes against sleep recommendations and even the DockATot’s safety guidelines.

The DockATot is a soft baby nest with high, padded sides. It’s advertised as a comfortable place for a baby to lounge, chill, get a diaper change, or do tummy time. According to Today’s Parent, though, a lot of parents are using them to put their babies to sleep. This week Health Canada issued a warning against letting babies sleep in a baby nest with high sides, like the DockATot, because it says the padded sides present a potential suffocation risk.

Everyone loves the DockATot

It’s easy to see why DockATots are popular. They sure look cozy. I want to take a nap in one myself. A lot of parents swear the DockATot makes their babies sleep better, and parents will do anything for a bit of sleep. (Remember when parents were paying upwards of $300 for a plain cloth baby doll that was rumored to put babies to sleep?)

However, safe sleep recommendations say the safest way for a baby to sleep is on its back, in a crib or bassinet, with a firm mattress and a fitted sheet. No toys, blankets, crib bumpers, sleep positioners, etc.

Is it safe to let a baby sleep in a baby nest?

Health Canada’s warning said it’s not safe to leave a baby in a baby nest unattended. They say “unattended” includes when the parent is asleep.

A DockATot spokesperson told Today’s Parent that DockATot did not recommend their product for baby sleeping, in Canada.

“The DockATot is used by many for supervised lounging, chilling and play time,” she said. “We subscribe to Health Canada’s guidelines for the promotion of our products to Canadians. We do not promote our products to Canadians as intended for sleep accommodation.”

However, the DockATot website says, “The DockATot® must always be used in a child-safe and ‘supervised environment.’ A supervised environment is one in which a semi-alert, non-inebriated adult is co-sleeping next to baby. Adult does not need to be awake next to baby.”

Under the FAQ section of the website, the company says “DockATot is very safe for co-sleeping.”

Co-sleeping itself is a contentious topic. The AAP does not recommend co-sleeping, but many people think it is important to a child’s development. The DockATot website describes the company founder as “a passionate bed-sharer.”

The AAP does not recommend putting anything in the baby’s bed

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against using bumpers, mattress pads, and sleep positioners in a baby’s crib.

“When we talk about infants, we don’t recommend anything that would be analogous to a pillow, or a bumper, or a soft surface,” Dr. Lori Feldman-Winter, who is on the AAP’s SIDS task force, told Today’s Parent. “This might be nice while the baby is awake and playing, as a cushion, but observation is the key here.”

A lot of people are using DockATots for sleep, though, and they swear by them. The DockATot has glowing reviews on Amazon, and most reviewers gush about how well their babies sleep in them.

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(Image:  Amazon )