How to Transition Baby from DockATot to Crib


cute baby girl in dockatot

DockATot is one of the most popular baby products on the market. It’s small, cosy, has soft sides and creates a nest for your baby to relax in. It comes in the cutest patterns too. (It’s known as the Sleepyhead in Europe.) 

The two questions I get asked the most about DockATot are: Is the DockATot safe for my baby to sleep in? And how do I transition baby out of it to the crib?

My professional opinion is that the DockATot can be used for awake time activities including tummy time, lounging, diaper changes and play. Activities that are supervised by an adult.

The DockATot should not be used for sleep. Because all the factors that make it so snuggly and nest-like, also make it unsafe. The soft, round sides of the DockaTot unfortunately put babies at risk of suffocation.  

This article will explain the safety risks of this popular baby product as well as guide you through transitioning out of it for sleep.

This post may contain affiliate links.


Is DockATot safe for sleep?


Many parents put their babies in the DockATot for sleep, especially during naps. They let baby sleep in it on the floor, on parents bed or they put the DockATot inside the crib. All of these are unsafe sleep practices. 

Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and National Health Service recommend that babies should only be placed to sleep on a firm, thin mattress inside a crib, cradle, bassinet or play yard.

It’s interesting to know that only products clearly labeled “crib”, “cradle”, “bassinet” or “play yard” are regulated in the U.S. by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. All other products labeled “sleeper” “napper” “lounger” etc are not regulated. So, if you plan to move your baby to a co-sleeper or a crib, make sure it includes one of the above regulated terms.


RELATED: How to Create a Safe Baby Sleep Space



How to Transition from DockATot to Crib


There are 2 steps to transitioning from the DockATot to the crib. The step you take will depend on your baby’s age and whether she’s started to roll.

For young babies that aren’t yet rolling, I recommend you start with step 1. If your little one is already rolling, then skip to step 2.


Step 1: Swaddle your baby in a co-sleeper bassinet


Transitioning to a co-sleeper bassinet is a great idea because it gives your baby her own safe, yet cosy, sleep space and allows you to sleep near her. At such a young age, she’ll need to be fed during the night which is easy if you’re next to her.

Also, the AAP and NHS recommend sharing a room with your baby for at least the first 6 months (and preferably up to a year) as this decreases the risk of SIDS.


RELATED: Your Baby Shouldn’t Sleep in a Rock n Play. Here’s Why & What to Do!


Popular Co-Sleeper Bassinets

Click to order on

HALO Bassinest Glide Sleeper

Arm’s Reach Co-Sleeper Bassinet


RELATED: How are SIDS and Sleeping Position Related?

Most young babies love feeling contained and cosy, so I recommend swaddling for sleep. Transitioning from the close quarters of the womb to a big open bed can be difficult for some babies. Their moro reflex (or “startle reflex”) which can wake them regularly is dampened by swaddling (You’ll find popular swaddle blankets below).

I’ve swaddled hundreds of babies working as a NICU nurse, and I can attest to the fact that traditional swaddles come undone… a lot. (AKA a normal blanket that you fold & tuck.) So I highly recommend you use a swaddle blanket instead.

A swaddled baby should never be placed to sleep on his stomach. Always place your baby to sleep on his back. Once baby starts to roll, he shouldn’t be swaddled or sleep in the co-sleeper bassinet due to safety reasons. Instead, it’s time to move to step 2. 


Popular Swaddle Blankets

Click to order on

Miracle Blanket Swaddle

SwaddleMe Original Swaddle

Halo Swaddle Blanket

Love To Dream Swaddle UP

Woombie Grow with Me Baby Swaddle

Nested Bean Zen Swaddle Classic


Step 2: Use a swaddle transition blanket in the crib


Now that your baby is rolling, swaddling and the low sides of her co-sleeper bassinet are risky. It’s time to transition to a crib.

Make sure you put the crib mattress at the lowest level. Some parents prefer baby to sleep in a travel crib (like the Pack n Play playard) if they’re room sharing because it saves space.

If your baby still enjoys the cosiness of a swaddle, I recommend you use a swaddle transition blanket. What makes these sleep suits great is that they allow full range of movement to roll around safely and freely. But, they have a slight resistance in the arms which soothes the moro reflex. (See some popular swaddle transition blankets below.)

The other wonderful thing about a swaddle transition suit is that your baby can wear it long term! No need to transition out of it until your baby outgrows it.


Popular Swaddle Transition Blankets

Click to order on

Zipadee Zip

Love To Dream Swaddle UP
(with arms out)

Nested Bean Adjustable Blanket


Related Video: When to Stop Swaddling Baby


So there you have it! A former DockATot-addicted baby now happily sleeping in the crib. Remember, if your little one is not yet rolling, you can use the cosiness of a co-sleeper bassinet (& a swaddle) to your advantage. Once your baby is rolling, the safest sleep space is a crib (& perhaps a swaddle transition blanket.)

Of course, you don’t have to get any of the products I recommend, but I find that they do help baby sleep well through this transition. And a sleeping baby leads to a happy, rested mommy.


Do you have questions about creating a safe sleep space for your baby?
Ask me in the comments below!

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Let’s stay connected!


  1. Tiffany

    Hello! I have a 3 month old that thus far will only sleep in dockatot in my bed. I want to transition, but wondering if it makes more sense to try to move her to bassinet now or wait and move her to crib? (She’s not rolling as of yet!). Im hesitant of attempting 2 transitions so close together!
    Thanks in advance for any advice ! 🙂

    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Tiffany,

      I think the choice is up to you, but I also agree that it may be easier to just do 1 transition. You can go ahead and move your LO in the crib either in your room or in her own room (whatever works best for your family)! Also, check out our 3 month old sleep guide for more helpful tips.

      Best, Alyssa, BSMS Support Team

  2. Olivia

    Hello –

    My baby was never swaddled and is rolling. Are there any tips for sleepyhead transition for this instance? Thank you

    • Micaela

      Hi Olivia, yes! Before your baby starts rolling, you can use a swaddle blanket to help him sleep well (like the Miracle Blanket or Merlin magic sleep suit.)
      Once your baby starts rolling, however, restricting his mobility and arms isn’t safe. As soon as your baby shows signs of rolling, switch him to a more traditional sleep sack like the Grobag or Halo.
      The Zipadee Zip is a great sleep sack for babies that loved being swaddled, but are now too old.
      The Love to Dream is also great because you can use it long-term. You can swaddle your young baby, and when he starts rolling you remove the arms of the sleep sack.
      All of the above sleep sacks are safe for rolling babies to wear long-term.
      Micaela BSMS Support Team

  3. Francesca

    Hello my 2 month old only wants to sleep 2-3hr stretches at night I’m trying to figure out away to get him to sleep longer he isn’t a fan of sleeping on his back and he was diagnosed with acid reflux he is currently sleeping in a pack and play and I usually put him in a sleeper and sometimes wrap a receiving blanket/swaddle him with his arms out. Please help im going back to work in a month and I’m totally sleep deprived

    • Alyssa Taft

      Hello Francesca,

      Thank you so much for your post! Those first few weeks can be exhausting! It is normal for LO’s at this age to have fragmented sleep because they are still in the “fourth trimester” phase. I would definitely check out our 2 month old sleep guide for helpful sleep tips that you can start to implement today!

      Alyssa, BSMS Support Team


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