DockATot Deluxe+ Dock (previously known as Sleepyhead) review
In a nutshell
A luxurious (and pricey) docking station for babies aged 0-8 months, available in a huge range of stunning designs.
What we tested
5.0A star rating of 5.0 out of 5.
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Ease of cleaning
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
4.5A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.
- Worth the money
4.0A star rating of 4.0 out of 5.
- Gorgeous cover designs, portable, machine washable covers, effective for settling babies
- Expensive, cover is fiddly to put on after washing, may be small for taller babies
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The original Sleepyhead has been reimagined and rebranded as the DockATot Deluxe+, a safe and comfortable place to “dock” your baby, whenever you need your hands free for other things.
Originally launched in Sweden in 2006, the product is a versatile and stylish baby lounger. Now using the name DockATot (which brings it in line with the product's global branding) the Deluxe+ design aims to mimic a womb-like enclosure, giving babies a safe and familiar place to chill under supervision while remaining close to their parents. It can be used for supervised relaxing, playing, and tummy time, as well as being a place to change your baby’s nappies in comfort.
The DockATot Deluxe+ isn’t necessarily a newborn essential (although many parents of unsettled babies would tell you otherwise) and it comes with the price tag of a luxury item. But it’s a gorgeous bit of baby gear that not only looks and feels more premium than anything similar on the market but provides enormous comfort for little ones.
Please note: many of the parent reviews below our review relate to the original Sleepyhead, which was predominantly used as a sleeping aid rather than as a supervised baby lounger. However, DockATot now makes it crystal clear that the product isn’t to be used for sleep, and should never be placed in a crib, bassinet, or play yard.
Claire is mum to 3 children; Elijah, Teddy, and Lottie. She tested the DockATot Deluxe+ while her youngest, Lottie, was a newborn baby. Claire has worked as a journalist and writer for almost 10 years. She has written product reviews and articles for MadeForMums since becoming a mum for the first time in 2013, as well as parenting articles and other content (from fashion to wellness to sustainability) for newspapers, websites, and blogs.
What are your first impressions of the DockATot Deluxe+?
There’s a reason why the DockATot Deluxe+ is such a coveted baby item. The baby lounger just screams luxury and style. I love that it comes in a zip-up clear plastic cover (ideal for storing it in or for when you travel around) and that there is a carry handle on the lounger itself.
The Dock is available in a huge array of the most beautiful prints, including a gorgeous new William Morris collection. If you ever wanted to give your Dock a style swap, you can purchase individual spare Deluxe+ covers, which cost from £75.
The Dock is very soft and made from 100% breathable cotton (compliant with BS4578 for air permeability) and the chunky zips are baby and toddler-proof. I had read that the cord fabric of the model I tried can be rough against baby’s skin, but I didn’t find this.
I found the nest-like bumpers to be firm but plush, and the base, once the cardboard insert is removed, to be firm but comfortable.
There aren’t really any instructions to follow when it comes to using the Dock. You simply take it out from its cover, remove the insert and it’s ready to go. The packaging tells you that the product is already pre-washed, so you don’t need to throw the cover in the washing machine before placing your baby in it. On the back of the cover, it features the safety elements and features of the DockATot Deluxe+, but it would be handy if it also came with a “do’s and don’ts” guide (although you can find this on the website).
The Dock comes with a firm cardboard insert to protect the base. Make sure you remove this before putting your baby on the Dock, although I recommend holding onto it as it’s handy for helping it keep its shape if in storage or for travelling.
How is the DockATot Deluxe+ different from the Sleepyhead Deluxe?
In short, it really isn’t very different at all.
The Sleepyhead (which has always been called the DockATot in the USA) had a rebrand at the end of 2020. While the product is the same, it’s now recommended as a lounging product, designed to provide a safe and comfortable place to literally “dock” your baby.
With the DockATot Deluxe+, you can confidently put your baby down safely if you need to have your hands free. They can relax in comfort while you keep a watchful eye over them.
If you were to look at a Sleepyhead and compare it side by side with the DockATot Deluxe+, you really wouldn’t notice any big differences. Aside from the embroidered branding on the side of the product and on the label, the two are almost identical. There are a few differences on the plastic cover and the writing on the cover. Unlike the original Sleepyhead, the Dockatot comes with a warning on the packaging as well as the website “not for use in crib. Never use in a crib or bassinet or other contained area”. Dockatot has made it clear to only use under supervision and not as a sleeping aid.
Is the DockATot Deluxe+ safe to use for naps and overnight sleep?
DockATot states clearly on all their messaging that the product is now designed only to be used as a resting station for babies under careful supervision, and is not a sleeping product.
In 2018, The Lullaby Trust issued a statement warning parents against using baby pods and nests for sleeping because they don't meet safer sleeping guidelines - due to their raised side bumpers. As we explain in our full investigation into safety concerns about baby pods and nests, these products are relatively new on the market and there ihas been no specific research into the use of pods and nests as a sleep product.
Research is taking place and it's hoped that conclusive evidence will soon be available.
As it’s not recommended for unsupervised usage, we didn't leave our baby in the DockATot unless someone was with her.
What age is the DockATot Deluxe+ suitable for?
DockATot markets the Dock for babies between the age of 0-8 months. There is a plastic fast-release clasp at the base of the Dock, which can be unfastened to open the end up - making it useful for longer babies.
However, Lottie was not a big baby, and when I first placed her in it at 4 weeks (she was 37 weeks when born so technically she was just a week past term when first using it) she already looked quite snug. Although I understand this is the purpose of the Dock - to make babies feel protected, almost like a swaddle - I'm not sure she would still fit comfortably in it at 8 months.
What makes the DockATot Deluxe+ unique?
The Dock was the first "pod" created for the babies. The concept was to mimic the womb, creating a calming and comforting place to let your baby rest. Since it launched, other similar pods have come on to the market, generally at a lower price point.
What makes the Dock unique is the amount of stunning designs you can choose from. There really is something for every taste, and you can buy covers individually if you ever want to change the style of your Dock.
Another enticing aspect of the Dock is the accessories you can buy for it, to give it more functionality. These include cabanas, travel cases, and toy arches. Of course, they are all quite expensive, which is something to take note of before purchasing.
What can the DockATot Deluxe+ be used for?
DockATot markets the product as a multifunctional baby lounger. You can use it as:
- A docking station for your baby when you need your hands-free
- A place to change their nappy
- A spot for them to enjoy some tummy time
- A safe place for them to just watch the world go by with you close to hand.
I found that using it as a docking station and nappy changing were by far the best ways to use the DockATot Deluxe+. My baby wasn’t a fan of using it for tummy time...but, then again, she wasn’t a fan of tummy time in general, so I don’t think I can hold this against the Dock!
How comfortable is the DockATot Deluxe+ as a lounger for your baby?
DockATot claims, “Every material and detail is carefully designed and sourced to ensure high quality, comfort and convenience.” And I do believe this. The fabric and materials have been carefully tested to ensure there is nothing harmful, and the fabric is compliant with BS4578 for air permeability, so it’s breathable and your little one won’t get too hot or cold.
The dock is a fantastic place to lay your baby down safely, whether you need to do something with your hands, change a nappy or just have a hot cup of tea, all while keeping a close eye on your chilled-out baby. The bumpers prevent your baby from rolling and provide a soft barrier for their head.
It provided a comforting and secure place for my baby when I couldn’t physically hold her myself. It’s brought me some precious time and lengthened the amount of time she’s happy to rest without being held. And that’s pretty priceless.
It did take Lottie a little while to adapt to the Dock, as she - like so many newborns - just wanted to be held. But I found if I placed her in it while sitting with my hand on her tummy, she very quickly settled and I was able to have a cup of tea!
If you’re resting and want your baby near you for comfort (both for you and them) then the Dock is the perfect solution. You can put your feet up and have your baby snuggled next to you safely in the lounger, where you can keep a watchful eye.
Tester Leona agrees, saying it took her baby boy a few days to get used being in the Dock. Then, “after a few days, he could handle being in there a bit longer. Now, he likes to wind down in there. For example, his nighttime routine is feed, bath, get changed, wind down in the DockATot Deluxe+ before being popped into his Moses basket to sleep.”
How effective is it as a nappy changing mat?
As well as using it as a lounger, DockATot also recommends using it for things like baby massage, a comfortable place to change nappies (although I’d stick a muslin underneath her nappy before doing this to minimise mess), and a safe place to enjoy some tummy time.
I’ve used it for changing Lottie’s nappy several times (she poos A LOT) and because I was recovering from a C-section, it made it so much easier to not have to transfer her to a changing mat.
Wherever you place the Dock, always make sure it is on a firm, flat, and stable surface, and never place it with the baby in it, in a crib or cot. And, most importantly, always supervise your baby when using the Dock.
Is the DockATot Deluxe+ easy to clean?
One of the things I love most about the Dock is that you can remove the cover and pop it in the washing machine. In fact, every part of the DockATot can be machine washed. Just make sure you check the website for details. This is great when you want a deep clean and just wiping up a bit of spit-up with a cloth is no longer cutting it.
However, I found (as did some other people judging by reviews I’ve read) that putting the cover back on after washing was very fiddly.
The website states not to use a tumble dryer, meaning you have to let the pieces dry naturally. The only annoyance about this is if you want to use the Dock right after cleaning it, you’ll have to wait for it to dry. I think this is the reason a lot of people seem to buy spare covers.
It would be super helpful if the Dock came with a detachable “bib” at the top of the product, which could be taken off and cleaned whenever it needed to be, as opposed to removing the whole cover every time.
How big is the DockATot Deluxe+?
The Dock’s exterior dimensions are: 73.7 cm (buckle closed) x 45.7 cm. The interior dimensions are approximately 55.9 cm x 21.6 cm.
It is a big piece of equipment, as are so many baby-related products. But I found it never looked too big, and because of the design it always looked attractive. If the DockATot Deluxe+ wasn’t in use, it could be stored against the sofa or I sometimes popped it in the airing cupboard.
Thanks to the plastic cover, it’s easy to store it away in cupboards or under beds without any hassle.
Is the DockATot Deluxe+ a stylish piece of nursery equipment?
Yes, this is pure fashion meets functionality. The aesthetic of the DockATot Deluxe+ has to be one of the biggest selling points of this premium baby lounger.
Even in the plain cover, the Dock is chic and stylish. The logo is embroidered onto the side, and the zips are chunky and fun. It’s clearly very well-made and I loved the way it looks. But, of course, the covers are the real selling point here. There are just so many to choose from. From plain colours to incredible patterns, you’ll have a hard time choosing between them all.
There is a collection featuring William Morris prints, which is just stunning.
How portable is the DockATot Deluxe+?
It’s so easy to take the Dock around with you in the house and when out and about. It’s one of the things I love the most about it.
As well as the plastic cover it comes in (great for storage and travel) the Dock has a handle stitched onto the side, so you can carry it around with you easily as you go from room to room. This was great when I was using one arm to carry the baby, leaving my other hand free to carry the Dock by my side.
You can also purchase a smart travel case for both the Deluxe+ and the Grand, but these will set you back £90 and £130 respectively. They’re a good idea if you travel a lot, otherwise perhaps a bit of an unnecessary expense.
Is the DockATot Deluxe+ durable?
The Dock is very durable. Because it’s made from 100% breathable cotton, you can wash each piece individually in case of any marks or spills. Although the DockATot Deluxe+ is soft, it’s also very sturdy. In order to keep it at its best, I’d recommend storing it in the plastic cover when not in use, and popping the cardboard insert back inside to hold its shape.
Does the DockATot Deluxe+ come with any accessories?
You can buy additional accessories for the DockATot Deluxe+, and if you have the Cabana or arch from an original Sleepyhead, you can use them with the new DockATot Deluxe+.
Although the Dock doesn’t come with any accessories, you can purchase them individually. None of them I would say are essential, unless you wanted a spare cover in case of emergencies.
The arch comes in a plain white and a black and white design option. But you have to buy the arch and the toys that dangle from it separately, which racks up the price.
Who is the DockATot Deluxe+ most useful for?
The Dock is useful for all parents and babies. Show me a new parent who doesn’t need to be able to place their baby down safely, even for a few minutes. If you’re in the throes of the newborn fog, then having a Dock on hand to hold your baby safely and securely is a real help.
I would say it’s especially helpful for parents with other children who will also be demanding their parent’s attention. Having the Dock in the house means you can sit and cuddle with your other children and have your baby lounging comfortably next to you.
Is the DockATot Deluxe+ worth the money?
This is a luxury item, and it doesn’t pretend to be otherwise, and it comes with a hefty price tag.
Whether it is worth the money is really down to each individual family. If you’re using the DockATot Deluxe+ every day, and for a lot of the day, then the price is justified. However, you don’t know if your baby will like it until you try it.
Some reviewers feel it’s overpriced for what it is - essentially 3 pieces of material - but with its functionality and the amazing cover designs available, it’s easy to see why others see it as worth every penny.
Parent tester Leona adds, “I think if you were using it every day then the cost per use would justify the £150 price point. Otherwise, it is quite an investment.”
I personally feel it is worth the investment. Lottie loved being in it after a while, and the fact that I could carry it with us when we went to visit family and friends, and she had a comfortable and familiar place to relax was invaluable.
Where can I buy the DockATot Deluxe+
A well-loved and highly-recommended product that's become a must-have for many due to its multifunctional design that also looks great. It's definitely an investment, especially if you don’t know how your baby will react to it, but our reviewer felt it gave her peace of mind, offering a safe space to put her baby while she took a break, got on with household chores, or spent time with her other children.
Claire is mum to 3 children; Elijah, Teddy, and Lottie. She has worked as a journalist and writer for almost 10 years. She has written product reviews and articles for MadeForMums since becoming a mum for the first time in 2013, as well as parenting articles and other content (from fashion to wellness to sustainability) for newspapers, websites, and blogs.
|Child age (approx)||Birth to 8 months|
|Made from||100% cotton cover|
|Washing instructions||Machine washable|