You aren’t a cool, modern parent until you’ve posted the obligatory photo of your baby in a nest pillow on your Instagram or Facebook. Just saying.
Okay, so not all of us are into that sort of thing, but baby loungers can be tons of help during the first few months. They give baby a cozy spot to lay and play or rest. The overall design of baby loungers or nests are great at keeping baby calm and happy.
For newborns and small babies, I recommend the Snuggle Me Organic because it helps cradle the baby so that she feels safe and comfortable. When babies are born, they are accustomed to the comfortable, cradling support of the womb. Being in this wide open world can be a scary and weird feeling, and it’s why babies love being held and swaddled.
Next, we’ll compare them head-to-head. But first, there’s some safety information that you need to know.
Baby Loungers and Sleep: What You Need to Know
Padded loungers like the Snuggle Me Organic and the DockATot were once used as co-sleeping helpers for tired parents. They gave babies a spot to snuggle into while mom and dad caught some much-needed shut eye.
But a couple of years back, the CPSC, the AAP, and Health Canada all came out and said that using any type of baby lounger in an unsupervised way is inherently dangerous. Baby could accidentally roll over or turn to the side and suffocate on the raised sides of the lounger. Not to mention how many babies rolled out of the nests and fell from a bed…
New recommendations state that padded loungers or nests should never be used unsupervised, and since you are asleep (hopefully) while co-sleeping, that means baby is essentially unsupervised. That’s why you should exercise extreme caution when using these padded loungers to co-sleep with.
How They are Similar
It seems like there are two camps of people out there – those who are looking for a safer co-sleeping solution and those that are just trying to get baby to sleep better. Sometimes the camps intersect with the demands of everyday life and the need for quality sleep to function as an adult.
They both are designed to keep baby safe in their own space while sharing mom and dad’s sleeping quarters. The raised up sides carve out a space for baby, which is safer versus just having baby in the big bed next to the parent, where they could be rolled on or get tangled in blankets or pillows.
In the light of new warnings though, there is the concern that baby could roll onto their side and suffocate on these raised sides. That makes co-sleeping with them a little more worrisome, especially for older babies that have some motor skills.
Because of the design of the DockATot, it works better for co-sleeping, if that’s your planned use. Plus, it’s a little larger, so there is more of a gap between the baby and the raised sides. Plus, Snuggle Me states that you shouldn’t use their pillow for co-sleeping, per the professionals’ recommendations.
However, even if you are NOT wanting a lounger for co-sleeping, both of these products can help baby to rest or sleep soundly. By providing a hug-like embrace, baby will feel like it’s still in mom’s arms and can nap comfortably for hopefully longer stretches of time (supervised, of course).
Both loungers are highly rated and loved by parents and babies alike.
Amazon – 4.5 stars based on 650+ ratings
BuyBuyBaby – 4.6 stars based on 300+ ratings
Both loungers have covers that are removable for easy laundering. There is also a multitude of color options for replacement covers.
How They are Different
Hugging vs Not
One of the biggest differences between the Snuggle Me and the DockATot to me is the hugging action of the Snuggle Me. Because of it’s center sling design, when you place a baby in the Snuggle Me, the sides come in slightly to give baby a secure, hugging feeling. The DocATot does not do this.
While all models of the Snuggle Me are washable and made in the USA, there are different fabric options.
There is the Snuggle Me Original, which does not have any organic materials in it. Instead, it has a conventionally grown cotton cover and the fill is virgin polyester.
The Snuggle Me Organic has an organic cotton cover with virgin polyester fill.
The Snuggle Me Wool edition boasts an organic cover along with organic filling. Note that this does change the firmness of the sleeper slightly.
The DockATot is not available in organic fabrics, but every component of it is certified Oeko-TexÂ® Standard 100 Class 1.
Available in different sizes
The Snuggle Me only comes in one size, which is geared for babies 0-8 months old.
The DockATot does come in different sizes. The DockATot Deluxe is for babies 0-8 months old, while the DockATot Grand is for babies and toddlers from 9-36 months. The Grand is meant as a long term solution to keeping bigger babies safe and comfortable and to ease the transition into their own big kid bed. The Grand is much bigger – 24 inches wide x 39-47 inches long [39 inches with clasps closed and 47 inches with clasps open].
Snuggle Me Features
See our full review of the Snuggle Me Organic here
The design of the Snuggle Me is such that the center of the lounger is an unpadded sling. This accomplishes multiple benefits in one fell swoop. First of all, the sling fabric rests on whatever surface it is on, and accordingly takes on the firmness of it (which should be very flat and firm).
It also makes the sides come in to hug the baby, which also helps to keep the baby on its back. The Snuggle Me lounger is not recommended for belly sleeping, only for sleeping on their back which matches the safe sleep recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Because of it’s cradling comfort, the Snuggle Me is best for babies 0-6 months, although older babies can still enjoy it as well. As babies get older, they don’t have such a high need for close comfort and instead enjoy a little space. Babies can naturally transition out of the Snuggle Me by stretching out of it themselves or the parent’s can do a gradual transition.
Portable sleep solution
One of the neat features is the portability of the Snuggle Me. You can use it on a bed, on a couch, or on the floor, depending on baby’s age and mobility.
It can also travel to the babysitters, grandma’s house or on family vacation. Baby can rest peacefully since they have the comfort of a familiar sleeping surface in an unfamiliar place. The Snuggle Me comes with a travel bag for this purpose.
In the Snuggle Me Organic Lounger, the cover is organic and the stuffing is virgin polyester fill with no additives or flame retardants. There is also the Original version Snuggle Me which has conventionally grown cotton along with virgin polyester fill.
According to the manufacturer, all materials are made or grown in the USA. All materials are also machine washable.
The Snuggle Me dimensions are 27″ tall x 18″ wide, which can be a decent sized footprint.
The Snuggle Me is used by some as a co-sleeping solution. Parents can also use it for playtime, or to have the baby wherever you are so they can be part of the action.
The Snuggle Me is also great for tummy time, to help the baby learn head and neck control. Users report that the Snuggle Me is helpful with reflux as well. All three of my boys had reflux as babies and having a surface that provides some elevation is very helpful.
For more info on the different positions that can be used in the Snuggle Me, check out the manufacturer’s page about it here.
Love it or return it
The Snuggle Me comes with a 30 day guarantee. If you or your baby don’t love it, simply send it back.
Also check out our in-depth review of the Snuggle Me Organic here.
The DockATot uses materials that are hypoallergenic and breathable. All materials are also washable. All parts of the DockATot meet the European Oeko-TexÂ® Standard 100 Class 1 standards. Parents say that their babies find the DockATot to be very comfortable. A few parents noticed their babies getting a little sweatier than usual, so be mindful of that.
The DockATot was dreamed up in Sweden (like so many great things… IKEA anyone?). It’s manufactured in Europe. Because of it’s international roots, it has a large following overseas as well as in the USA.
The DockATot Deluxe is 18 inches wide x 29-34 inches long [29 inches with clasps closed and 34 inches with clasps open]. The DockATot Grand is 24 inches wide x 39-47 inches long [39 inches with clasps closed and 47 inches with clasps open].
Recommended uses for DockATot are the baby sleeping on their back next to parent in a co-sleeping situation, and supervised tummy time inside the DockATot.
DockATot is NOT recommended for use in a crib or pack and play (but really nothing is, so that’s not a surprise necessarily). It’s also not recommended for belly sleeping. The DockATot should always be placed on a flat and firm surface.
The DockATot is a multi-use lounger/sleeper and is suitable for sleeping, tummy time, lounging or simply a padded surface for the baby or toddler to hang out on. The DockATot has built-in handles to transport it from room to room if necessary, but never with the baby in it.
Here is a video review of the DockATot by a mom:
Is it safe for a newborn to sleep on his/her side?
No. A baby should sleep on his/her back until able to roll easily from back to stomach to back.
Can newborns use DockATot grand?
No. Whether DockATot or Snuggle Me, Infants to around 9 months should use infant lounger only.
Does snuggle me organic fit in Moses basket?
The infant lounger will fit; the basket must measure 29×18. Again, your baby must be supervised whenever she is in the SnuggleMe, basket or no basket.
When should I stop swaddling my baby?
When your baby can roll on his own. This milestone occurs at between 2 and 6 months. When your baby can free his arms from the swaddle, the time is close. If she unwraps herself completely, her swaddling days are probably over.
For an infant though, swaddling actually helps prevent an accidental roll to the stomach, which can cause suffocation.
Is the Snuggle Me washable?
Yes, both lounger and cover on Cold, Gentle Cycle and tossed briefly in dryer on low before air drying. A custom-sized liner is available to be placed between cover and lounge in order to reduce washings of lounger.
Is it safe for babies sleep in Snuggle Me or DockATot?
Yes, while you are watching. While these products were designed as cosleepers, however, reputable authorities have warned against their use for that purpose.
Can Snuggle Me or DockATot be used in a crib?
Your baby should not be left in Snuggle Me or DockATot without supervision. It is recommended, in fact, that your baby should never be left alone in Snuggle Me or placed in Snuggle Me while you are sleeping. Snuggle Me is a great place for your baby while you are watching.
I really feel that the Snuggle Me is the perfect solution for newborns and small babies because of its hugging action. Most newborns love to feel snug and secure, and this provides a perfect solution for the first half year of life, give or take.
After that time period, as the baby gets older, I can see the DockATot being a good solution. Toddlers can use the DockATot to transition from the enclosed space of a crib to the openness of a big boy (or girl!) bed.
Do you love one over the other? I’d love to hear your thoughts or experience with either so leave a comment below!