A baby lounger can be a lifesaver, offering a safe place for your baby to rest or play while providing the comfort and warmth of being held. There are many different baby loungers out there to choose from, but the most popular brands to compare are DockATot vs SnuggleMe.
I loved cuddling my babies in those early newborn days when they wanted to be nowhere else but in my arms. But as sweet as those moments were, there were also many times I felt completely touched out and yearned to be able to put my baby down so I could go to the bathroom alone (what a luxury!). If a baby lounger like the DockATot or the SnuggleMe is in your future for baby snuggles, you’ll want to consider the different pros and cons. Here’s a breakdown to help you choose the best one for your needs.
DockATot vs SnuggleMe: What’s the Difference?
If you’re not familiar with the DockATot and SnuggleMe, they are infant loungers designed for babies between 0 and 8 months old. Both loungers are sometimes referred to as “nest pillows.” They’re soft structures with rounded sides that offer a cozy spot for your baby to hang out in. They’re made for multipurpose “stations” for supervised playtime, lounging time, tummy time, cuddle time and even diaper changes.
They’re comfy and portable, so you can take it all around the house and park your little one in it next to you, or take it with you when you travel. Both versions also come with “extended” designs made for use in the toddler years as well. However, both pillows are not designed to ever be used for sleeping. Here’s a closer look at the SnuggleMe vs DockATot.
Benefits of the DockaTot
The DockATot is also designed to cradle your baby, though it doesn’t provide the same “hug-like” feature of the SnuggleMe. Instead, the DockATot comes with a padded, yet firm, bottom making it comfortable on any surface, even a hardwood floor. The DockATot is slightly larger than the SnuggleMe and allows for more space between your baby and the edges of the lounger.
Other features of the DockaTot include:
- Breathable fabric in several different designs
- DockaTot Deluxe: for babies 0 to 9 months
- The DockaTot Grand: for 9 months to 3 years
Unlike the SnuggleMe, the DockATot comes with a padded bottom so you can place it on a firm surface (like the floor) and it will still be comfortable for your baby. The DockATot is also bigger than the SnuggleMe, so it may be a better option for older babies or even toddlers. In fact, the DockATot Grand (meant for ages 9 months to 3 years), has an open bottom, giving bigger kids more freedom to move around. You can also buy additional accessories for the DockATot, like an arch where you can attach toys, so baby can reach and grab for items while hanging out in the lounger.
Pros & Cons
Covers are machine-washable and dryable
Made with breathable material
No hugging effect
Higher price point
Benefits of the SnuggleMe
The SnuggleMe has a sling-type fabric in the center, surrounded by a soft pillow with a cover placed over the whole lounger. This design, as the name implies, is meant to quite literally snuggle your baby and provide a sense of comfort and security similar to being in the womb.
Other features of the SnuggleMe include:
- Can be used for tummy time to
- Made with organic materials (The SnuggleMe Organic and SnuggleMe Wool)
- Infant size: for babies 0 to 9 months.
- Toddler size: recommended for 9 months to 3 years
The SnuggleMe is smaller than the DockaTot, and because it has a sling in the middle, the sides naturally come in to “hug” your baby. The DockaTot does not do this, making the SnuggleMe ideal for babies who love to be swaddled or want to be held constantly. The tight fit of the SnuggleMe also helps keep your baby in place and on their back. As your baby grows, you can also use the SnuggleMe for tummy time. The SnuggleMe offers an infant and a toddler different size, and the organic and wool options include organic materials made in the U.S. You can also ready Truly Mama’s full review of the SnuggleMe lounger with input from a mama who used it with her little one.
Pros & Cons
Made with organic materials
Offers snug, “hug-like” effect
Less than $100
Covers must be hung dry
No padded bottom
What to Consider Before Buying
While these infant loungers may look comfy, keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend the use of either the DockATot, SnuggleMe, or any similar product for sleep. These devices are meant for supervised use only. Always place baby alone, on their back and on a firm surface (like a crib, bassinet or pack-and-play) for sleep.
Another consideration to keep in mind is the price of these items. Depending on which version you get, the SnuggleMe could range from $99 to $150 and the DockATot from $175 to $310. These loungers can seem like a lot of money for a baby item, but if your baby only wants to be in your arms and you’re desperate for a spot to put them down that mimics being held, either the SnuggleMe or DockATot may be worth the price.
Both the DockATot and the SnuggleMe offer a cozy place for your little one to hang out in (while supervised!). The SnuggleMe is likely a better fit for newborns and smaller babies since it offers a snug fit, much like a swaddle. The DockATot is ideal for older babies or even toddlers who like the comfort of being surrounded by a pillow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is DockaTot safe for sleeping?
No. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) does not recommend the DockATot or any infant lounger for sleep. The DockATot should only be used under supervision and babies should be alone, on their backs and on a firm surface (like a crib, bassinet or pack-and-play) for sleep.
Is the SnuggleMe worth it?
If you’re looking for a place to put your baby that mimics the comfort of a swaddle or being held, the SnuggleMe could be a lifesaver. The SnuggleMe can range in price from $99 to $150, so it can be a bit of an investment, but it’s an ideal baby lounger for newborns.
Which is better, SnuggleMe or DockATot?
That depends on your individual needs and preferences. The SnuggleMe is ideal for newborns and smaller babies that love being swaddled or constantly held. The DockATot would be better for older babies or toddlers who enjoy the comfort of being surrounded by pillow-like structures.
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Reviewed by Chaunie Brusie, RN, BSN…