9 Best (and Cheaper) DockATot Alternatives for 2024

dock a tot alternatives

The DockATot is a popular piece of baby gear that offers babies a place to lay or work on tummy time. However, there are DockATot alternatives that are gentler on the wallet and provide similar benefits.

So, why do parents go gaga over the DockATot and close a blind eye to the price tag? First, DockATots are comfortable, and placing your baby in the DockATot is a great idea if you need to shower. There is also a Deluxe model that is ideal for larger babies and toddlers.

In addition, since babies generally dislike tummy time, the DockATot provides a comfy place to get their required workout. You can purchase accessories, like hanging toys, to give your little one something to look at while they are working on their fitness.

However, as with all baby products, your child will outgrow the DockATot, so spending a lot of money is not always worth it.

Before I dive into the best DockATot alternatives, let’s look at why you might be questioning making the plunge and purchasing the popular lounger.


Reasons You Might Want an Alternative to a DockATot

Repeat after me: Just because the DockATot is popular doesn’t mean you need it. I often had to tell myself this as I searched high and low for baby gear. But, there is a much bigger reason you should look for an alternative to the DockATot.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) formally announced in June 2022 that DockATots couldn’t be imported, distributed, or sold if made after June 23, 2022. Previously, DockATot labeled their DockATot Deluxe+ as a sleep product when it was unsafe for sleep.

Technically, DockATot can still sell its products until they run out of stock, so you can go online and add one to your shopping cart. (I went through the process to check.)

However, they cannot produce any new DockATots, and you’ve likely seen them pulled from your local big box store shelves. So, for example, you won’t find them at Target or Walmart.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that babies sleep on flat, firm surfaces free of blankets, toys, and other objects to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

Unfortunately, added items increase the risk of SIDS, including suffocation when babies aren’t strong enough to turn their heads away. Safe sleeping places should conform to the guidelines (CPSC), which include cribs, bassinets, and play yards.

Here’s a look at the main reasons why you might want an alternative to a DockATot:

  • Unsafe for sleep
  • High price tag
  • Not ideal for long-term use
  • Safer alternatives are available

DockATots can be used under supervision, but ensure you notice when your baby is too big for the DockATot. So, if you’ve been given one second-hand, you don’t need to throw it away; just hang out next to your baby while they enjoy it.

In addition, while the DockATot alternatives are a great place to let your baby lay, ensure you never place them in the crib or bassinet. Instead, find a nice spot on the floor of your home to relax with your little one.


9 DockATot Alternatives

1. Boppy Pillow

Boppy Nursing Pillow

Provides relief to your arms and back by lifting your baby to a more ergonomic position when breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and bonding.

Check Price on Amazon

If you are looking for an easy, inexpensive place for your baby to practice tummy time, look no further than the Boppy Pillow. If breastfeeding your baby, there’s a good chance you have one lying around the house.

I used my Boppy for multiple purposes and felt sad when my kids no longer needed it because it was so versatile.

Infants can also lay back on the Boppy to prop them up and look at the world around them. Once your little one transitions from tummy time to sitting, you can use the Boppy behind them for support and place toys within their reach.

Boppys also have a washable cover, so you can easily clean up any spit-ups during tummy time. Generally, you should never get anything for your babies that aren’t machine washable, but that’s just my two cents.

As a reminder, always stay by your baby’s side while resting on the Boppy, and never use it for naps.


  • Inexpensive
  • Small footprint
  • Multi-purposeful
  • Portability
  • Washable cover


  • Not ideal for mobile babies
  • No frills/accessories

2. Baby Delight Snuggle Nest 

Baby Delight Snuggle Nest Bassinet

Creates a cozy and safe sleep environment for your child at home or on the road. JPMA certified and designed with a sturdy frame ensuring maximum safety.

Check Price on Amazon

The Baby Delight Snuggle Nest is a secure place for your baby to relax while you do the dishes or jump in the shower. The Snuggle Nest has mesh siding for breathability and measures 34” long, allowing babies to grow with it.

When you fold up the water-resistant baby nest, the handle makes it easy to transport from one place to the next. I also think it’s small enough to stuff in a suitcase if you are traveling. In addition, the Snuggle Nest comes with a removable and machine-washable sheet to ensure it’s clean for your little one.

The DockATot alternative also has storage space where you can stash diapers, wipes, or even a change of clothes. The Baby Delight Snuggle Nest is the perfect piece of baby gear for the family on the go.


  • Portable/Folds up
  • Lightweight
  • Removable sheet
  • Breathable mesh siding
  • Ideal for travel


  • The sides are not removable
  • Not ideal for bigger babies

3. Second Mum Pillow

SECOND MUM Ultra Soft & Breathable Pillow

An everyday lounger area for the nursery, living room, or bedroom.

Check Price on Amazon

Another excellent DockATot alternative is the Second Mum Pillow, which helps support infants from all sides. The innovative newborn lounger helps mimic the feeling of being in the womb and puts babies in a natural fetal position.

While the Second Mum isn’t appropriate for toddlers, infants will appreciate how the padding provides a hugging sensation. Keep in mind the lounger isn’t intended for long-term use, and your baby will likely outgrow it within a few months.

You may find people using this product in car seats, but you shouldn’t add anything to your car seat because it can interfere with the proper harness fit. You should also not add the lounger to a bassinet or crib.


  • Lightweight
  • Offers womb-like feeling
  • Padded for comfort
  • Ergonomic design


  • Not ideal for larger infants
  • Pricier than other options

4. Play Gym 

Fisher-Price Baby Playmat Deluxe Kick & Play Piano

Light-up piano toy has 3 Smart Stages levels with 65+ songs, sounds and phrases help teach animals, colors, shapes, numbers and real music notes.

Check Price on Amazon

Moms and dads know the importance of tummy time, but that doesn’t make it more enjoyable for babies. However, getting a play gym with lots of bells and whistles gives little ones something to look at while working on their fitness or lounging around.

I’m a big fan of the Fisher Price Play Gym because it’s entertaining for babies regardless of whether they are lying on their tummy or back. I also love that your baby’s little feet can kick the piano and play some tunes.

Babies can still engage in the play gym and become more interactive as they learn to sit up. It is also lightweight and portable, so you can easily transport it from one room to the next. You can also bring it on your next trip if you’re worried about not having a place to practice tummy time.


  • Inexpensive
  • Long-lasting
  • 3 Smart stage levels
  • Toys included
  • Sounds and lights
  • Batteries included


  • None – I love this thing (and so did my kids)

5. Make Your Own Baby Nest 

Bumpers are not recommended in cribs because they increase the risk of SIDS, including suffocation. However, if you were given a set, you can bring out the DIYer in you and make a baby nest with them.

All you need to do is tie the ends together, making a nest shape. You can also braid the bumpers together before you tie them up for extra flair. Finally, lay a blanket under them for extra comfort.

You can get extra creative and break out your sewing machine, which will take more time. However, as someone who isn’t good at sewing, I make do with a few tied ribbons at the end.

You can also check Etsy, but you’ll likely pay more, so it’s not necessarily the most feasible option. However, I bow down to Etsy creators, so if you want something homemade, it’s a great place to check.

Here’s a YouTube video for inspiration. (While the video claims you can use the baby nest as a co-sleeper, we disagree with that recommendation.)


  • Inexpensive
  • You can let your creativity shine
  • Good use of bumper pads


  • Some level of work
  • Supplies needed

6. ABREEZE Cotton Playmat

Baby Cotton Play Mat

Made with premium cotton, so it's soft and skin-friendly.

Check Price on Amazon

The ABREEZE Cotton Playmat is a simple yet effective way for your baby to relax and take in the sights around them. The cotton fabric provides comfort while your baby works on tummy time or admires the fan above them. Who needs expensive toys when you have a ceiling fan?

While the cotton playmat has no extravagant accessories, you can set up toys around your baby to engage them. I also like that you can easily carry the mat around the house, depending on where your little one is playing. It’s also great for traveling!

When your child gets older, it can turn into a standard rug in their room, which makes the perfect reading spot! You can also use the playmat as an alternative to a changing table if you are short on space.

I had one for my daughter and ended up using it in the playroom once she outgrew the tummy time phase. Now she sits and reads on it and proves it was money well spent.


  • Soft cotton fabric
  • Portable
  • Versatile
  • Removable cover/Washable


  • No accessories included

7. Aila+Aiden Baby Nest

Aila+Aiden Baby Nest

Offers extra support for your baby's head and neck, ensuring they are always comfortable and well-rested.

Check Price on Amazon

One of the most common DockATot alternatives is a Baby Nest, which has very similar characteristics. The Aila+Aiden Baby Nest offers a secure place for your baby to lie while you are hanging out nearby.

The baby lounger is made from 100% natural organic cotton and has handles for easy transport. The high-quality material offers a comfortable place for your baby to hang out while checking out the world around them.

The surrounding soft bumper is womb-like, so your little one will feel nice and cozy. In addition, as your baby grows, you can untie the bottoms to let them move their feet freely.


  • Made from organic cotton
  • Handles for transport
  • Thick pad for comfort
  • Adjustable ties to change the nest’s size


  • Not ideal for traveling

8. Peanutshell Play Ring 

The Peanutshell Play Ring for Babies

Comfortable design with a cute theme in neutral colors.

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I like the Peanutshell Play Ring because it’s different from others on the market, mainly because it’s inflatable. Once inflated, the play ring offers a cozy place for the baby to relax and has several tactile features your little one can explore as they grow.

What’s great about the play ring is you can easily fold it up and store it when not in use. As a tip, you can set your blow dryer on cool to inflate the play ring. In addition, the outer shell is removable for easy washing.

You may also need to add blankets to the interior until your baby fills the space. Remember to keep a close eye on your little one as they enjoy the Peanutshell Play Ring.


  • Portable
  • Folds up for storage
  • Washable cover
  • Inexpensive


  • Some parents may not enjoy inflating the inner tube

9. Fleece Baby Lounger

T&D Owls Baby Lounger

Soft flannel fleece and a gentle sponge pad provide a cozy and calming sensation for peaceful naps while ensuring utmost safety for your baby.

Check Price on Amazon

The Fleece Baby Lounger is ideal for tummy time, sitting up, lying down, and relaxing. What I like about the lounger is it doesn’t have a huge footprint, so it’s not going to take up extra space in your home. 

The portable lounger is easy to carry around the house and can double as a changing pad to reduce the need for extra baby gear. You can also unzip the cover and throw it in the wash for easy cleaning, which is a huge plus in my book. 

As an added bonus, it has an adorable owl design which makes for the cutest photos. 


  • Ideal for traveling 
  • Small footprint 
  • Machine washable 


  • Not as useful for toddlers


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