How I Transitioned Elsie out of the DockATot

by Ally- Life as I know it, 5:00 AM

Alright friends, today is all about how I got Elsie to sleep in her crib without her beloved DockATot (DAT). There's a reason they have such rave reviews, baby's love them! When I posted on instastories asking for advice on how to transition, I got a lot of response from people who were also going to be transitioning their baby soon and were looking for tips as well! Now that I've done it, and Elsie is sleeping pretty well without it, I thought I would share what I did!

I was so nervous to transition Elsie out of the Dock. She had literally slept in it since the week brought her home from the hospital and she slept SO well. I was so scared if I took it away she would be this horrible sleeper. Oliver never slept in the DAT so I had no idea how it was going to go. Sleep is SO important to me if you can't tell, as I'm sure it is to everyone! I Googled ways to transition out and didn't find much.I don't know if  most people just upgrade to the Grand or maybe I just made it a bigger deal than it was, haha. Taking Cara Babies has a blog post that I referenced but it wasn't exactly what I was looking for. First night I decided let's just go cold turkey. Place her in her crib without the DAT and see how it goes. So I did and she rolled around over and over and got her head stuck up against the rails and cried and I just knew this wasn't the way to go. When I transitioned her out of her swaddle I did it slowly and it went very smooth so I decided to go the slow route for the DAT transition too. She's my last baby, so I'm really in no rush for her to do anything too fast! It got to be that her face was always up against the side and I was starting to worry it wasn't safe. Plus it was just time.

I had read somewhere you can take the long piece out of the Dock and place it under her fitted crib for a slower transition. You just make it a little bit wider and no incline. That's what I decided to do and she had no problems sleeping like that so I left it for two nights.

After night two, I made it even wider and spread the top of the long piece more so it touched the top of the crib. Now she was sleeping in her crib without any of the cushion touching her.  It was still there so she felt secure but it also allowed her to get the feeling of sleeping without it. We did that for one night. She definitely moved around more this time and you could tell she was like "where did my soft comfy bed go?" But overall she slept fine.

Alright, so next night I made it as wide as it could go and not 5 minutes after I placed her in her crib, she flipped over and fell asleep on her tummy. I did not feel safe with her sleeping on her tummy with the cushion still in her crib. Even though they claim it's breathable, I didn't like her sleeping like that and clearly she didn't need it. So Theo and I snuck in and very carefully and quickly pulled out the cushion without her even noticing. Ever since that night she's been fine without it. She sleeps on her tummy for night sleep most of the time and seems so comfortable.

Now, unfortunately naps weren't as smooth as a transition. For whatever reason, it's easier to transition babies to new sleep arrangements when it's bedtime versus naps. Taking Cara Babies says it's because the drive to sleep at night is much stronger. I totally believe that because while her night sleep was barely phased, her naps started to be all over the place. There are some days where she naps fantastic, and other days where she only sleeps for 45 minutes and is done. I realize this could be the cause of a lot of reasons, ex. teething, Wonder Week, needs more wake time, so I'm not fully going to blame it on her no longer sleeping in the DAT.

So that's how I got Elsie to sleep in her crib without the DockATot and prevented any loss of sleep at night! Went pretty easy I think! I probably didn't need to do a whole blog post about it but I figured there might be someone out there curious on what to do. I think the DAT is an amazing sleep prop and overall I am glad we used for those first 7 months of her life, it gave us sleep so nothing to complain about there! 
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  1. After our third night w/o dock, I resorted to google for transitioning ideas because my 8 month old began waking and crying several times each night (he’s been sleeping through the night since 3.5 months). Stumbled upon your blog post and at 3am, I was taking apart his dock to put it under the crib sheet lol. I put him back in and it was like instant, good, dock a tot sleep! So even though you felt that it was pointless to post, I am so thankful that I stumbled upon it. Thank you!

  2. Hi Ally! Thank you for writing this blog post. It’s so helpful! My son is currently 3 months, sleeping in a swaddle and dock a tot. I was going to try to transition him out of the DAT now before he can roll over, but it sounds like your LO could roll over even while she slept in the DAT. Did she ever roll over sleeping in it? I’d imagine it would be pretty tough to do.

  3. Thank you for writing this! Going to do this tomorrow night!!

  4. This is VERY helpful!! Trying to transition a big fat six month old out of a dockatot right now and it is NOT going well. I am trying this trick tomorrow!

  5. I tried this in the middle of the night after hours of rocking my 7mo old back to sleep. He slept from 230am to 715am instead of waking up hourly like he was before. Thank you so much for sharing what worked for you!

  6. I had the same exact experience trying to go cold turkey. Rolling and flopping around the crib and hitting the rails.😵🥴🥱
    I’m trying your strategy this week!

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  8. I am trying this tonight! Thank you so much, I have been struggling cold turkey. Granted, I tried at nap time while he was teething and that was not my best idea!


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