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5 Best (and Cheap) Alternatives to a DockATot – Which Baby Loungers?

Finding the best, cheap alternatives to DockATot baby loungers or baby nests is possible once you know where to look for them. While the DockATot is a popular baby lounger, for many parents the price tag can make you cringe!

Being a father myself, I’m always seeking out ways of using my own experience as a parent to help other parents find easy solutions. Why complicate it further when you can find baby gear to simplify your life? This is why I decided to find the cheapest alternatives to the DockATot for parents working on a tight budget.

Baby loungers are very useful when you want to keep your baby safe and comfortable while on the floor, on your bed or when you’re out visiting the grandparents. The DockATot ticks all the boxes here but there are alternatives that work just as well and won’t break the bank at the same time. With daily living costs rising every day, finding ways to save a few pennies without compromising on value is my goal here.

I’ve done the research for you. All you have to do is read my article and decide for yourself which of my five top picks for alternatives to the DockATot works for your budget. While my focus is on saving you money, I’m also giving you the best alternatives that’ll keep your baby safe and comfortable at all times. 

My Top Picks

Best Overall – UAUGH Baby Lounger

Uaugh Baby Lounger Sleeper, 100% Breathable Cotton Soft Newborn Co-Sleeping Nest Bed, Portable & Adjustable Infant Sleep Accessory for Crib Bassinet, Baby Gift Essential, for 0-9Month (Crown)

If you think cheap means compromising on safety features, you don’t need to worry about this baby lounger. It carries the OEKO-TEX certification seal which means your baby will be lounging in a product approved by textile authoritative boards.

Who It’s For

For parents with babies from newborn up to 12 months old looking for a sturdy but comfortable baby lounger.

Why You Should Consider It

With its 100% breathable cotton, safety-designed bumper, and sturdy but soft memory foam polyester base, your baby will be comfortable when in this lounger. The unique 360° bionic uterus design will make your newborn feel safe, just like when they were in mom’s womb.

The 1.6 inches thick, high-density mattress base gives enough support for your baby’s spine. Its generous size means your growing baby can use this product for up to a year. Plus, adjustable ties make it easy to accommodate taller babies comfortably. It comes with two carrying handles and weighs only 3.5 pounds so it’s lightweight and portable.

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 34.5 x 20 x 4.92″
  • Item weight: 3.5 lbs.
  • Materials: Cotton/polyester
  • Age: 0-12 months

Pros

  • Machine washable with a removable cover
  • Perfect for traveling
  • Makes a great co-sleeper

Cons

  • Zipper can be difficult to find
  • Doesn’t come in solid colors
  • No storage bag included
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Best Value – DZHJM Baby Lounger and Baby Nest

Baby Lounger and Baby Nest Perfect for Co Sleeping Baby Bassinet Soft Cosleeping Baby Bed Premium Quality and Suitable from 0-18 Months -Breathable & Hypoallergenic Portable Crib(Gray)

This baby lounger can be used on the floor while you’re busy with other tasks, as a co-sleeper, and easy enough to take on trips. What’s more, it’ll fit comfortably into your baby’s standard-sized crib.

Who It’s For

Ideally suited for parents looking for a co-sleeper and baby nest all-in-one option.

Why You Should Consider It

If you want a cozy and safe environment for your newborn arriving home from the hospital, this product is for you. It’s designed to accommodate babies up to 12 months old too with its adjustable, clasp opening on the dock.

A sewn-in handle makes this lightweight baby lounger portable and the cover is detachable for easy washing in the machine. The cover is 100% organic cotton while the tube and base are made with polyester. All materials are hypoallergenic and the raised tubing will keep your baby safe from rolling off.

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 31.5 x 19.7 x 4.92″
  • Item weight: 3.5 lbs.
  • Materials: Cotton/polyester
  • Age: 0-12 months

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Cover has a velvety, soft-touch
  • Easy to read assembly instructions

Cons

  • Low-quality zipper
  • Additional covers need to be bought separately
  • Bottom sides don’t close completely
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Best for Traveling – Mamibaby Baby Lounger and Baby Nest

Mamibaby Baby Lounger Baby Nest Co-Sleeping for Baby, Ultra Soft & Breathable Fiberfill Portable Adjustable Newborn Lounger Crib Bassinet | Newborn Shower Gift Essential (Leaves Pattern)

This baby lounger is slightly more expensive than the other two products I reviewed above but still an inexpensive alternative. The package bag makes it easy to store for traveling. It’s also OEKO-TEX and CPSIA certified so you have peace of mind your baby is lounging in comfort and safety.

Who It’s For

This is ideal for parents who like to travel with their baby.

Why You Should Consider It

For newborn babies, the snug and safe environment created by this baby nest will make them feel secure. The product is designed for babies from 0 to 12 months old with it’s adjustable bumpers which can be left fully open for the taller and older baby. The 3-D high-density base padding gives your baby good spine support.

The covering is made with 100% breathable cotton while the bumpers and base are made with 100% hypoallergenic polyfill. The sides are reversible, giving your baby a change of scene every day with different patterns. The cover is secured with a hidden zipper and is easily removable for machine washing.

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 31.5 x 19.7 x 4.5″
  • Item weight: 3.94 lbs.
  • Materials: Cotton/polyfill
  • Age: 0-12 months

Pros

  • Perfect for co-sleeping
  • Easy to assemble
  • High sides prevent baby from rolling out

Cons

  • Flimsy zipper
  • Not ideal for small or preemie babies (too large)
  • Sides are not firm
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Best Space Saver – Abreeze Bassinet Baby Nest and Baby Lounger

Abreeze Baby Bassinet for Bed Baby Nest -Grey Striped Baby Lounger - Breathable Co-Sleeping Baby Bed - Newborn Lounger Portable Crib for Bedroom/Travel

If you’re looking for a portable bassinet as well as a baby lounger, this product will serve you well. It’s easy to carry with comfortable handles and lightweight too, weighing in at 2.49 pounds. Make sure you read my article about space-saving bassinets if you’re looking for some other ideas.

Who It’s For

Ideally suited for parents looking for a space-saving option to conventional bassinets and cribs while being a baby lounger at the same time.

Why You Should Consider It

Made with 100% breathable cotton and being hypoallergenic, your baby will not be exposed to any toxic materials. The bionic design imitates the mom’s uterus, keeping your newborn snug and secure at all times. Your baby will have no problems falling asleep using this baby lounger.

A pillow helps to prop your baby up safely while awake and the sides prevent them from rolling out. Adjustable ties at the bottom end mean you can open the sides up when your baby grows bigger. This baby lounger is perfect as a co-sleeper, for tummy time and for playing.

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 35.4 x 21.6 x 6″
  • Item weight: 2.49 lbs.
  • Materials: Cotton
  • Age: 0-12 months

Pros

  • Excellent quality and value
  • Easy to disassemble for machine washing
  • Perfect for taller babies

Cons

  • Cover can be difficult to put back on
  • Low-quality zipper
  • Not easy to put back into carry bag
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Best for Minimalist Parents – Snuggle Me Organic Bare Baby Lounger and Infant Floor Seat

Snuggle Me Organic Bare | Baby Lounger & Infant Floor Seat | Newborn Essentials | Organic Cotton, Fiberfill | Sparrow

While this baby lounger is the most expensive one of my top picks it’s still a cheaper alternative to the DockATot. It’s been designed specifically for babies from 0 to 9 months and for active playtime.

Who It’s For

For parents who take sustainability of the environment seriously and want a product that’s 100% free of toxins.

Why You Should Consier It

This USA-made product is organic while ethically and sustainably produced. The design, made by the modern mom, is minimalistic and neat. It’s free of any harmful chemicals and is GOTS certified.

The cotton and polyester fabrics are breathable and hypoallergenic. The polyester fiber filler makes it easy to wash the baby lounger in the machine. The unpadded center sling means your baby is hugged closely when in the lounger, making them feel secure.

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 29.5 x 17.5 x 5.25″
  • Item weight: 4.64 lbs.
  • Materials: Cotton/virgin polyester
  • Age: 0-9 months

Pros

  • Excellent quality
  • Great for getting fussy babies to sleep
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Only suitable for babies up to 9 months old
  • A tight fit for bigger babies
  • No padding in the center
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All You Need to Know About DockATot Baby Loungers

DockaTot was designed to give babies a secure and comfortable environment no matter where they are. These baby loungers are intended to give parents and babies the opportunity to bond, feed and play hands-free. The designers go out of their way to make sure high-quality material is used in all their products.

The DockATot is a convenient baby gear item many parents would love to have and they’ve certainly been designed to make parenting easier. I’m always a fan of these kinds of products! I’m also aware though, that DockATot is an expensive baby lounger.

I’ve done a review before on baby loungers and you can read it here to find out more about the DockATot All In One Baby Lounger.

In this article, I’m introducing some of the best, cheaper alternatives to the DockATot so you and your baby can also benefit from having a baby lounger.

Are DockATot Alternatives Safe?

As a father myself, I place a lot of value on the safety of baby products. My top baby loungers in this review all have safety features and have been certified, one way or another. This gives me peace of mind that even budget-friendly alternatives to DockATot are safe.

When looking for safety features always consider the following:

  • Has the product got a recognized certified seal for meeting stringent safety standards for baby products? Look out for the OEKO-TEX, CPSIA and GOTS certification seals. These will give you peace of mind no harmful materials are being used during the manufacturing of the products.
  • Are the fabrics used breathable? This goes a long way to keeping your baby cool and comfortable without becoming overheated.
  • Note that baby loungers are designed for active playing and not all are designed for babies to sleep in. However, some brands have ensured their designs are safe for your baby to use for co-sleeping or napping. Always read the recommendations from the manufacturers before buying a baby lounger.
  • Ensure the baby lounger alternative is the right size for your baby. Except for the Snuggle Me Organic Bare Baby Lounger and Infant Floor Seat, all the products reviewed are suitable for babies from 0 to 12 months old.
  • Make sure there are no loose parts for your baby to get snagged on. Hidden zippers for removable covers are best for keeping your baby safe and all the alternatives reviewed have hidden zippers.
  • Find out if the product has been listed as a recalled product. If it has, it means there’s a fault with the safety standards of the product and it’s advisable to not use it.

When it comes to safety, you can rest assured the alternatives to DockATot are safe if you take into consideration the above-mentioned features.

Watch this video to find out more about the OEKO-TEX certification process.

What You Need to Know About Baby Loungers

Before you decide which baby lounger is best suited for you, it’s good to know what baby loungers are meant to do. Its key feature is hands-free convenience. Whether you go with a DockATot or one of the cheaper alternatives, make sure you know what a baby lounger is used for.

While designed specifically to keep your baby safe while they’re awake and observing the world around them, they can also be used for the following purposes:

  • Diaper changing: You can keep your baby safely contained while changing their diapers.
  • Co-sleeping: Many parents are using baby loungers to give their baby an independent space to sleep in while sharing the bed with them (always check the manufacturer’s recommendations before using this option).
  • Portable bassinet: Baby loungers can be used instead of a bassinet while traveling or visiting friends and family.
  • Tummy time: Baby loungers are great to give your baby tummy time while under supervision. This is ideal for your baby who is learning to lift themselves up.
  • Massage time: If your baby is a fussy baby, treating them to gentle massages helps them to relax. A baby lounger means you can do the massage while your baby is safely enclosed with no risk of rolling off.

A baby lounger is a very useful baby item to add to the list of must-haves. However, always be aware of their limitations and don’t ever leave your baby unattended in one.

How to Pick the Best DockATot Alternative

You’ve decided you want a baby lounger but feel the DockATot is out of your price range. Picking the best and cheaper alternative is possible as long as you look out for the following key features:

  • Safety: All products reviewed in this article have either the OEKO-TEX, GOTS or CPSIA certifications. This means they’re free of harmful chemicals in the textiles used and that they meet the safety standards stipulated for baby loungers.
  • Comfort: Look out for 100% breathable cotton so your baby is comfortable at all times. The soft fabric is also essential for your baby’s soft skin and hypoallergenic features are vital especially if your baby has sensitive skin. All the baby loungers in my top picks meet these requirements. A sturdy but soft mattress or padding base that offers spine support is also important and both the UAUGH Baby Lounger and the Mamibaby Baby Lounger and Baby Nest mention these features.
  • Size: Make sure the baby lounger will accommodate your baby’s size comfortably. Only the Snuggle Me Organic Bare Baby Lounger and Infant Floor Seat is suitable for babies from 0 to nine months old while the other four products are suitable for babies from 0 to 12 months old.
  • Portability: If you’re going to be taking your baby everywhere with you, then a lightweight baby lounger with handles is best for you. The Abreeze Bassinet Baby Nest and Baby Lounger came in as the lightest baby lounger weighing only 2.49 lbs. The Snuggle Me Organic Bare Baby Lounger and Infant Floor Seat was the heaviest at 4.64 lbs. while the other three products averaged at around 3.5 lbs.
  • Easy to clean: All products reviewed have detachable covers that can be tossed into the washing machine for easy cleaning.

By making sure you check out these key features when picking an alternative to a DockATot, you can’t go wrong with finding the right baby lounger for you and your baby.

Pros and Cons: Comparing the Alternatives with the DockATot

The appealing features of the DockATot are the following:

  • They’re machine washable
  • They’re OEKO-TEX certified
  • There are no harmful substances in their baby loungers
  • The covers are made with 100% cotton
  • The zipper pulls are child-safe
  • They’re portable and included plastic casing for transporting
  • You can choose from a wide range of patterns and colors
  • You have the option of getting one for babies up to eight months old and one for babies between nine and 36 months old.

The big disadvantage of DockATot for many parents is that they’re expensive.

Let’s have a look at the alternatives and their pros and cons so you can compare them to the DockATot.

ProductProsCons
UAUGH Baby Lounger- Has the OEKO-TEX certification
- 100% breathable cotton
- Thick, soft padding for spine support
- Handles for portability
- Adjustable ties for growing/taller babies
- Suitable for babies from 0 to 12 months old
- Machine-washable
- Offer 4 different patterns and colors
- Budget-friendly
- Doesn’t include a case for traveling
- Zipper not easy to find
- No carry case
DZHJM Baby Lounger and Baby Nest- 100% organic cotton
- OEKO-TEX certified
- Hypoallergenic
- Can be used as a co-sleeper
- Adjustable clasps at the bottom of dock
- Handles for portability
- Suitable for babies from 0 to 12 months old
- Machine-washable
- Budget-friendly
- Flimsy zipper
- Offers only two different patterns and one solid color
Mamibaby Baby Lounger and Baby Nest- OEKO-TEX and CPSIA certified
- 100% cotton and poly fiber filler
- 3-D high-density padding for spine support
- Adjustable bumpers for taller or growing babies
- Suitable for babies from 0 to 12 months old
- Reversible
- Hypoallergenic
- Well-priced
- Flimsy zipper
- Sides are not firm
Abreeze Bassinet Baby Nest and Baby Lounger- 100% breathable cotton
- Hypoallergenic
- Handles for portability
- Adjustable ties for taller and growing babies
- Suitable for babies from 0 to 12 months old
- Pillow included for propping baby up
- Budget-friendly
- Low quality zipper
Snuggle Me Organic Bare Baby Lounger and Infant Floor Seat- GOTS certified
100% organic cotton and virgin polyester
- Breathable fabric
- Hypoallergenic
- Machine-washable
- Comes in 7 solid colors
- More expensive than other products reviewed
- Unpadded center
- Only suitable for babies from 0 to 9 months old
- Doesn’t have handles

As you can see, the alternatives offer many of the same features of the DockATot at a more budget-friendly price. The main disadvantage I see (besides the hefty price tag) when comparing the DockATot with the alternatives listed here is that the DockATot comes in two sizes.

Their Deluxe range is only suitable for babies up to 8 months old. Then, you need to buy their Grand range which is suitable for babies from 9 to 36 months old. The cheaper alternatives are great for babies from 0 to 12 months old so you’re paying less for something that’ll last you a year. But, the DockATot Grand range does mean you can use it for up to 36 months.

Final Thoughts

It’s possible to find a cheaper alternative to the DockATot without compromising on safety, comfort and ease of use. My top picks give you five different products to pick from and I think the UAUGH Baby Lounger gives you everything you need from a baby lounger. Plus, it was the cheapest one on the list too!

Which one would you pick for your baby? In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with any of these options.

Last update on 2021-08-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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