I have always been a sucker for multi-functioning kid and baby products. Whether a nursing cover that doubles as a scarf, car seat cover that doubles as a shopping cart liner, a high chair that transforms into a desk chair, or a desk with interchangeable legs of different height, I am willing to spend more money on a product if it has more than one purpose and can transition my family through multiple seasons of life. That’s why the DockATot lounger, which hails from Sweden, had me at first sight.
When my daughter was a few weeks old, I was searching for a co-sleeping contraption because she didn’t seem to want to sleep in her mini crib and my husband and I didn’t feel comfortable having her sleep in the bed with us. I went to the local baby store and was presented with a few different options by the salesperson, all of them really big, hideous-looking things, constructed out of plastic or metal and really itchy-feeling fabrics. I knew that if I purchased one, it would be used for a nanosecond and tossed out in the garage with the rest of the junk.
The DockATot started exploding on my social media feed around this time, and it was exactly what I was looking for — soft, chic, and minimalist — but I gasped when I saw the price tag — starting at $165 for the Deluxe model (ages 0-8 months) and $260 for the Grand model (9-36 months).
The DockATot was designed to resemble the womb so that babies would feel comfortable and be able to sleep in an environment familiar to them. It is considered to be super safe on the SIDS front, constructed out of air permeable fabric that is totally breathable. The covers, which are available in a ton of really beautiful colors and patterns, are easy to remove and can be easily tossed in the wash.
Since launching in the U.S. in 2015, it has won a ton of awards and attained a cult celebrity following — Kim and Kourtney Kardashian, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Molly Sims to name a few.
Moms in local online groups as well as my college group were going nuts over these things, using them for co-sleeping, lounging, tummy time, diaper changing, bed transitioning, playing, and even taking them on airplanes for international trips. And the photos they were posting were seriously Pinterest-worthy — adorable babies and toddlers, laughing, playing and sleeping their days away in the super-chic loungers. I also noticed they had a huge resale market in mom groups and on eBay, with people paying close to retail for used Docks, which led me to believe they were totally worth the hype.
Right before I was ready to pull the trigger, baby girl slept through her first night in her Rock N Play, so a co-sleeper was not needed, but the DockATot continued to pop up in my feed and I continued to experience serious baby gear envy whenever I would see someone’s child adorably snuggled up in one of them.
I decided that I had to have one, but opted for the larger size so both my children could utilize it. It arrived in a big box, the cushion protected in a reusable plastic zipper bag, which the company recommends saving for storage and travel. When I took it out and placed in on the floor, I immediately felt the urge to lay down on it because it just looked so incredibly comfortable, but my almost 3-year-old beat me to it.
To him, it is the equivalent of a beanbag chair. He, along with his stuffed animals George and Doggie and a variety of Brio trains, lounge in it every morning while watching PBS shows. We also brought it on a road trip, and he happily slept upon it, snuggled up in blankets. It takes up way less space in the car, as well as the hotel room, than a Pack ‘n Play or portable crib, so my husband was super thrilled about it too. He also likes it because it actually looks nice in our living room, unlike most kid products, and that it is equipped with a handle, so it can be easily carried around the house or also hung on the wall between uses.
To my daughter, 7 months, the Grand is still a little large, but she does lounge around in it a bit and we also use it as a changing “table” for her when we are in the living room.
“It looks like a really pretty dog bed,” my babysitter remarked when she saw it on the floor of our home. I asked her if her daughter needed a place to sleep while she was watching our children and she told me that she would just fall asleep in her arms when she was tired. A few hours later, when we returned home, she was passed out cold in the DockATot. “She just walked right over to it and laid down,” she told me. “A few minutes later she was out.”
If you are looking for a lounger that is multi-functional, low-profile, and looks like it belongs in a magazine spread, then the DockATot is for you. My only regret is not having splurged for one sooner.
And just remember — once your kids are done with it, you can always give it to your dog.More On