6 Safer DockATot Alternatives (That’ll Give You More Bang For Your Buck!)

Looking for a safer, dockatot alternative, one that’s hopefully cheaper, sturdier, and long-lasting?

We’ve got you covered.

In this article, you will find much more secure and safer options to replace the popular Dock-a-Tot.

Some are even designed for overnight sleep and are also safe for quick naps.

We’ve also included how these gears fare against the DockATot, which can be a helpful and interesting perspective.

But before that, do you know what happened to the DockATot and why a lot of people are looking for other options?

I hope you’ll love the products we recommend! Just a quick note: if you click on a product link below and decide to buy it, we may earn a small commission.

Why Go For A Dockatot Alternatives Rather Than The Real One?

Mainly because of the CPSC’s statement, issuing, “It is unsafe for your baby to sleep in a DockATot Deluxe+; immediately discontinue its use.” 

When the US CPSC speaks against you, you’re basically, well, fucked.

That’s why you don’t see DockATot and a lot of other baby loungers on big e-commerce sites, like Amazon. These major players would, of course, support the CPSC and wouldn’t want to be dragged into any DockATot-related issues.

What Can I Use Instead Of A DockATot?

There are tons of baby gears you can use to replace a DockaTot such as:

  • Bassinet
  • Pack n Play/ Playard
  • Travel Crib
  • Lounge Mat
  • Play Gyms
  • Playmats

These are great “DockATot dupes” that are safer and are not condemned (yet) by the CPSC or any federal authorities.

You can leave your baby safely in it without the fear of suffocation hazards. 

These dock a Tot Dupes are even safe enough for your baby to sleep in, a function that sadly the original Dock-a-Tot wasn’t intended for.

Safer DockATot Alternatives

You can replace a DockATot with these much safer baby gears and still get more bang for your buck:

HALO BassiNest 3.0

  • Dimensions: 47″L x 47″W x 44.5″H
  • Weight: 22.2 lbs
  • Intended Use: For Overnight Sleep, As a Portable Baby Nest

Pros

JPMA certified bassinet

360-degree swivel feature

Adjustable height

Breathable mesh walls

Detachable bassinet

Cons

Slightly pricier than the DockATot

Heavy frame

Has complaints of slight tilting

When I was researching an alternative to the dockatot, the first thing that came into mind was the Halo. 

Specifically this latest model, the one that you can disconnect from the frame and turn it into a handy portable lounger!

So you can bring this with you anywhere in the house and keep your baby safe.

It’s also one of the best tall bassinets, accommodating tall beds up to a height of 30 inches.

It’s not perfect though because, if you’re unlucky enough, you might get one of their defective models, which can tilt in one direction.

Hopefully, that specific product doesn’t land on your door and I don’t see a lot of complaints about that yet, in this specific model.

Anyway, because it’s a Halo, it’s still got that easy-to-lower walls and that cool swiveling feature that lets you effortlessly spin the bassinet towards or away from you. 

Making it super easy to tend to your baby without having to get up from your bed.

  • Real Parent Review

“This purchase was the best one since I had my first baby. He was crying every night and would not sleep alone. I was barely getting any sleep for the first 6 weeks and I finally caved and bought this bassinet. It was a lifesaver. The vibration helped a lot whenever he was super gassy. Plus being able to safely sleep with him by my side was a game changer. It helped me wing him off from needing me to sleep. He loves the ocean noises as well. I am so glad I made this purchase and invested in this bassinet. I will be using it for all my babies in the future!”

Lovevery Play Gym

  • Dimensions: 24 H x 50 W x 47 L (in) with playmat zones open
  • Weight: 7.6 pounds or 3.4kg
  • Intended Use: For Supervised Playtime and Tummy Time

Pros

Cheaper Dock A Tot alternative

BPA and phthalates-free

Stable and durable wooden frame

Easy to assemble

Lots of engaging toys and activities

Machine-washable playmat and toys

Cons

Playmat is made of polyester

DockATots are meant to be used as baby loungers, to keep your hands free for chores, work, etc.

The Lovevery Play Gym can do that and more.

It’s a safe place for your baby to not only chill but to learn. 

It has dozens of newborn developmental activities, to keep your baby busy and entertained.

It’s also very easy to assemble, spacious, and safe to use plus the playmat is machine-washable.

When your baby becomes a toddler, he or she can still play with it and use it as a fort, tend, for pretend play and such.

Related Article: Is Lovevery Worth It?

Real Parent Review

“I registered for this thinking idk it looks so simple for SO expensive… but my aunt-in-law bought it for us and omg our baby loves this. He looks at & utilizes everything he can in it so far. He gets hyped, vocalizes, concentrates, smiles, & moves. We can visually tell he is working on coordination. A full-on workout of his brain & body. What I love about it the most is that it doesn’t seem overstimulating at all. It’s simple yet complex AND it’s not an ugly rainbowy hunk of plastic in our space. That’s a bonus. We have a few things from this company. They’re expensive but (sigh) they’re wonderful.”

Guava Lotus Travel Crib

  • Dimensions: 45.5″ L x 31.5″ W x 25.5 HFolded (in Backpack) Length: 24”, Width: 7”, Height: 11”
  • Weight: 13 lbs/6 kg (including carry bag)
  • Intended Use: As a Travel Crib

Pros

Lightweight

Can be checked in as a carry-on

Easy to assemble and disassemble

Non-toxic bassinet/ crib

Very durable

Cons

More expensive than the DockATot

Doesn’t come with mattress sheets

I consider this one of the best dockatot alternatives out there because it’s so multifunctional.  

The Guava Lotus Travel crib is one of the best travel cribs out there and if I had a penny for every time someone mentions or recommends this product, I probably would have enough to buy a Nsync reunion concert ticket, complete with airfare and hotel fees.

That’s how freaking awesome this Guava Lotus is – it seems to have it all.

Well, it does come with a pretty expensive mattress sheet that’s sold separately.

But other than that, it’s non-toxic, and it’s lightweight and portable enough to be checked in as a carry-on. It’s also easy to assemble and it even comes with a bassinet conversion kit – making it worth the price.

Check out a more detailed Guava Lotus Travel Crib review here.

Real Parent Review

“The best and my favorite travel crib. The first time I saw the Lotus travel crib, I was impressed with how compact and lightweight it is. The design of it was well thought out. This is my third time purchasing one. I purchased one about five years ago for my daughter-in-law’s shower and it’s still going strong with baby #2. I have one at my house for my grandchildren and it takes up hardly any room in a closet when storing it. I like the zipper opening on it. Easy to open and close. Great to take along when you are traveling. The quality is excellent. It is roomy enough for toddlers. The Lotus is much lighter than our pack-and-play. The mattress is soft. The carrying bag is sturdy and strong.”

Graco Pack and Play Playard

  • Dimensions: 39.5 x 28.25 x 29 inches LxWxH
  • Weight: 21.43 lbs
  • Intended Use: For Overnight Sleep, As a Portable Baby Nest

Pros

Cheaper than DockATot

Multifunctional

Comes with a bassinet

Travel-friendly

Cons

Not made of premium materials

If you want a safe alternative to dock a tot, then you can’t go wrong with the best pack n play/ playard – the Graco!

This is so popular and so affordable, that you can even gift it as a baby shower gift.

This particular model has simple features but it does have a removable bassinet, so you have a super safe bassinet/ baby lounger, so you can have your baby near you anywhere in the house – even in the bathroom!

It also has a toy bar to keep your baby occupied and wheels for moving it around the house.

And since it’s a pack-n-play, it’s also travel-friendly and easy to set up and disassemble for storing.

Just don’t expect premium materials from this Graco as it does come cheap but if you just want a temporary, safe place to put down your baby quickly, while you answer the door, bathe, work, etc., then this might be the one you’re looking for.

Real Parent Review 

“Easy to set up and super affordable pack and play! Can be set up with just one person in minutes and uses regular pack-and-play-sized sheets. Easy to bring on trips and fits well in hotel rooms. Mattress was actually padded instead of the ones they feel like a piece of cardboard”

LITTLE Bot Ofie Mat

  • Dimensions: 6.5 ft x 4.5 ft
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Intended Use: For Playtime, Tummy Time, Supervised Nap Time

Pros

Cheaper than a Dock-a-Tot

Durable

Large playmate

Non-toxic

Easy to clean and store

Cons

Can slip on laminate floors

DockAtot dupes or knock-offs have nothing against playmats as it has zero chances of a suffocation hazard.

Plus you can also use it for playtime, tummy time, diaper-free time, for crawling babies, and more.

This is a new one on my playmat radar, which I’m planning to add to my best nontoxic playmat list.

It’s made from top-quality foam materials – free from heavy metals, BPA, Lead, Formaldehyde, Phthalate, or fire retardants. 

It’s a generously sized single-foam mat with reversible sides, which was even featured in New York Magazine and Design Milk.

Cleaning up is a breeze with this one as you can even vacuum over it! 

This can also withstand any type of mess, such as potty training and baby-led weaning-related ones.

When it’s time to stow away, just roll ’em up, and voila – storage is a snap.

Real Parent Review Review 

“We bought this when my kid was five months old – he is now four years old and has played on this every single day of his life. It is still pristine. I love that it’s comfortable reversible and easy to clean. Highly recommend it!”

Snuggle Me Organic Baby Lounger

  • Dimensions: 29 x 17 x 4 inches, center is 20.5 x 7 in
  • Weight: 3 pounds
  • Intended Use: For Supervised Wake Time Activities

Pros

Baby-safe materials

Cradles newborn better than Dock a Tot

Entire lounger is machine-washable

Lighweight and travel-friendly

Cons

No base pudding

Expensive

This is similar to Dock A Tot but so far, hasn’t received any backlash yet. 

I’m guessing it’s because it’s not as popular as the Dock A Tot which apparently, was heavily marketed as a sleeping product for babies.

The Snuggle Me doesn’t have padding, nor does it have an adjustable bottom part feature, like the DockATot.

But it’s ethically made, with materials that are GOTS certified (Global Organic Textile Standard certified.

It’s also travel-friendly and easy to clean. 

Just chuck the entire baby lounger in the washing machine and air-dry it afterward! 

No need to assemble it again, unlike the Dock a Tot.

Real Parent Review Review From Reddit

“I love mine, it’s handy for far more than it’s criticized for (sleep). My babe wouldn’t let me put them down while asleep but if I put them in they snuggle me briefly at my feet while using the washroom and they actually stayed asleep while I used the bathroom and I didn’t have to fear instant screaming. Otherwise, I didn’t use it for sleep. But I used it for tummy time, lounging under their gym, with a toy, awake while I did housework, for me to play with him face to face and changes tear-free. It was literally the ONLY place my little ones would let me put them down without them screaming within seconds. He wasn’t even happy if I turned him around to face me while I held him, he needed to be close.

I didn’t get it until he was a month old because I was really struggling and he hated EVERYTHING, baby wearing, his swing, his bouncer, his play mat he literally wanted to be in my arms every moment during the day. The sanity it has given me was worth every penny. Each baby is different but if you have a Velcro baby it is honestly a lifesaver.”

FAQ about Alternatives to Dock a Tot 

What can I use instead of a DockATot? 

You can use other safe sleep solutions like bassinets, and travel cribs. Always ensure you follow safety guidelines when choosing an alternative.

Do you really need a DockATot? 

No, you don’t really need a DockATot. It’s not a newborn essential and you can make do with a bassinet or crib to safely place your baby in when you need your hands to be free.

Why did DockATot get banned? 

The DockAtot isn’t officially banned as some online platforms and US states are selling them. 
However, they have been served a safety violation by the CPSC, issuing that they are unsafe for babies to sleep in. You can read more here.
Hence tons of parents are searching for the best alternative to dock a tot. Ideally a cheaper version of Dockatot.

Why did Target stop selling DockATot? 

Target stopped selling DockAtot because of the CPSC’s safety warning issued against it. 

What are baby loungers used for? 

Baby loungers, similar to DockATot, are designed for supervised awake time, playtime, and napping. They offer a cozy and safe spot for your baby to rest or play under your watchful eye.

Are DockATots safe? 

DockATots and similar baby loungers can be safe when used correctly and following safety guidelines. 
Always ensure your baby sleeps in a separate crib or bassinet for unsupervised sleep, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe usage. Keep in mind that safety standards and regulations may change, so stay informed about the latest recommendations.

How To Find DockATot Dupes

Several options and platforms can help you discover affordable alternatives that offer similar functionality and quality. 

One great resource is Goodbuygear, an online platform specializing in second-hand baby gear. 

Here, you can find gently-used DockATot alternatives at a fraction of the original price, often in excellent condition, making it a budget-friendly choice for eco-conscious parents.

Another avenue to explore is the Facebook Marketplace, where local sellers often list preloved baby items, including baby loungers akin to DockATot. 

This can be an excellent way to find bargains in your area, reducing shipping costs and allowing you to inspect the item before purchase. 

Additionally, Facebook parenting groups and various parenting forums are valuable resources to connect with other parents, seek recommendations, and even discover DIY solutions or lesser-known brands that can serve as the best Dock A Tot alternatives. 

Reasons You Don’t Need a DockATot

  • Safety Concerns

One of the primary reasons you might reconsider using a DockATot or similar baby lounger is safety. 

While these products are designed for supervised use, they are not intended for unsupervised sleep. 

They have already issued a safety violation by the CPSC, so that’s a clear indicator of how unsafe the Dockatot is for overnight sleep or even napping.

They’re even banned in Canada, so better to be safe than sorry – just follow baby sleep safety guidelines.

  • Expensive

DockATots are known for their high price tags. 

Considering that babies outgrow them relatively quickly, investing in an expensive lounger might not be the most cost-effective choice. 

There are more budget-friendly options available that can serve a similar purpose, such as portable play yards or simple, cushioned play mats.

  • Limited Lifespan

Babies grow rapidly, and their needs change just as fast. 

DockATots have weight and size limitations, which means your baby will eventually outgrow it. 

Once they do, you might find yourself with a bulky item that takes up space and isn’t used as frequently.

  • Alternative Safe Sleep Solutions

Instead of using a DockATot for supervised lounging, there are safe alternatives to dock a tot.

For playtime, consider using a baby gym or a soft, padded play mat. 

When your baby needs a place to rest, use a bassinet or a crib, adhering to the recommended safe sleep guidelines. These options provide a secure sleeping environment for your little one.

  • Preference for Minimalism

Some parents prefer a minimalist approach to baby gear. 

The DockATot, with its unique design and accessories, may not align with a more clutter-free lifestyle. 

Opting for newborn essentials that serve many purposes can be a more appealing choice for those who prefer simplicity.

Safer DockATot Alternatives: Takeaway

To recap, here’s what I highly recommend for a great dockatot alternative:

The ​​HALO BassiNest 3.0 if you want a safer co-sleeping arrangement. 

The Lovevery Play Gym if you want an educational, activity-filled dockatot alternative to keep your baby busy and learning.

The Guava Lotus Travel Crib is if you want more bang for your buck and have an all-in-one travel crib/ baby lounger/ playard/ bassinet.

The Graco Pack and Play Playard if you prefer a cheaper version of a Guava Lotus.

The LITTLE Bot Ofie Mat if you just want a simple, safe spot to put your baby in.

The Snuggle Me Organic Baby Lounger if you really want something similar to the Dock a Tot.

Julie