Has the DockATot been recalled? Well, not exactly, but they are in a bit of hot water with a newly issued warning from the CPSC.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently issued a notice of violation to the makers of the popular baby lounger, DockATot, after they failed to comply with federal sleep standards set by the new Infant Sleep Products Rule.
The Ins and Outs of the Infant Sleep Products Rule
Briefly, cribs, cradles, bassinets, and play yards all have safety rules, and trying to end preventable deaths in products that don’t fall under those categories has been in the works for a long time.
Things like DockATots, in-bed sleepers, pods, baby nests and play sleepers previously fell into this gray area and, unfortunately, can be attributed to about 120 preventable infant deaths (3 of which were in DockATots). With the new Infant Sleep Products Rule, manufacturers of these products have to conform to certain changes in order to be deemed safe for sleep.
What’s the problem with a DockATot?
In a nutshell, the DockATot Deluxe+ does not meet federal safety standards for infant sleep, which it has previously been marketed for. They are currently in trouble because they are allegedly still importing and selling products manufactured after the June 23rd, 2022 cut-off date.
Okay, then why hasn’t it been recalled?
Because only companies – not the government – can issue a recall. For now, a violation notice and these words by the CPSC are about all they can do: “It is unsafe for your baby to sleep in a DockATot Deluxe+; immediately discontinue its use.”
Is it really unsafe, or are people just using it incorrectly?
Here’s where it gets tricky. DockATot says the product is a safe space for your baby to hang out, get a diaper change, chill or have a supervised nap, but that it isn’t safe for unsupervised sleep. This wording is partially what got them in trouble with the CPSC because it isn’t safe for any sleep. Remember the basics laid out for us by the American Academy of Pediatrics – alone, on their back, on a firm surface with no pillows, soft bedding, or blankets that could pose a risk of suffocation. As cozy as the DockATot may be, it is by design, a suffocation risk.
But I used it for all of my babies and nothing happened!
That's great. For sure there will be many, many, many people who will have had positive experiences, but with continued use, there will also be more preventable deaths. This sounds harsh, but as we can tell from our recent history with the Rock 'n Play, infant fatalities continue to happen, even after the recall.
I can still buy one… why?
For now, you’ll still find DockATot products on store shelves because they are marketed as ‘loungers’ - not as a co-sleeper or infant sleepers, and only products manufactured after the June 23rd cut off are banned.
What do I do with the one I have now?
Well, that’s up to you. Definitely don’t use it for sleep, but otherwise use your best judgment when it comes to lounging, tummy time and play. You might hold on to that puppy for a bit in case DockATot issues a recall and you can get a refund.
Some companies are more proactive than others when it comes to product safety.
How DockATot chooses to deal with this remains to be seen, but as we saw with the Fisher-Price Rock n’ Play recall a few years ago, these stories often slowly unfold over time. Ultimately the safest thing for you to do is take this warning seriously and try to adhere to safe sleep practices the best you can.
Do you or someone you know use a DockATot?
Let us know what you think about this step in the comments below.
Our next reco: Best Safe Sleep Options