Ever since I published Our Typical Bedtime Routine, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about one particular thing I talked about… How I nurse in the DockATot (Not sure what the DockATot is? It’s my holy grail baby product! Check out my DockATot Review here).
I nurse my little guy to sleep every night. This isn’t the right decision for every family, but it works for us. What wasn’t working for us, was holding him for 45 minutes until he was in a deep enough sleep to put him down. (Don’t even get me started on naps!) For the first few months I didn’t mind this, since largely I slept whenever he slept, but by about 3 months a pattern was starting to emerge, including sleeping longer stretches at night (but not sleeping through the night).
I started experimenting with different ways that I wouldn’t have to move him once he fell asleep. We tried letting him sleep in our bed, but this wasn’t the best solution since we have a fairly soft bed (we have a sleep number – we means we can adjust the firmness of the bed, however, the first settings hurt both my husband’s and my back). He would fall asleep great, but I found I couldn’t leave the room, since if a cat walked on the bed, it would cause him to roll. So, not really a solution. We also tried placing a crib sidecar to our bed and I would nurse him in a sidelaying position that way. This worked great as far as getting him to sleep… but he would wake up every half hour.
So, back to holding him 45 minutes and placing him in his DockATot when he was in a deep sleep. Until one night, when he began to fuss in the middle of the night, I rolled my body over his bed and managed to get my boob in his mouth. He went back to sleep and I didn’t have to fuss with picking him up and placing him back down while still in a light sleep. Naturally I tried this the next night. I’ll lay next to him in a sidelying almost tummy position, with a pillow between my legs. I’ve found using the breast farthest from the mattress in the easiest one. Sometimes I have to hold my breast away from his nose, but most of the time I can squirm into a better position. I try not to apply too much pressure to the DockATot’s bumper, but a little doesn’t seem to be bother it.
It works wonderfully! We have been doing it this way for nearly two months, and it’s made such a huge difference in our bedtime routine. I have found Ethan will release my nipple sooner, which means I can sneak away for some much needed me time. He’ll still wake up, as he is not quite sleeping through the night yet, but it’s not as bad as when we attempted to have him sleep in the sidecar crib.
Overall, it’s been such a sanity saver figuring out how to nurse in our DockATot. He gets better sleep, and I get much needed me time. Win-win!
Want to learn more about the DockATot? Learn more at my DockATot Review.
Thank you so much for including a description and a pic of how to do this. I really want to get a dockatot for my little squirmer but I didn’t want to have to take him out of it and move him back in since we already share sleep and I nurse him to sleep.
A question I do still have, how do you do the other side? Currently, I leave him in the middle and move myself to the other side. I would love for my husband to be able to come back to sleeping in the bed with the help of the dockatot but was wondering if you had any tips for switching sides more smoothly.
I’m glad you found it helpful! Being able to nurse and not pick up my son was a game changer for when I needed to get away and do things, or for those middle of the night feedings. 🙂
My right breast made much more milk than my left breast, so I often favored it. Since I had my son placed to the left of me, I was able to roll over and make nursing possible from my right breast. The few times I did nurse from my left breast, I’d pretty much have to almost get inside the dockatot with him, so I would lay on my left side almost on the bumper portion and get my left breast as close to possible to him. It was definitly not as comfortable or easy, but it’s possible.
A better alternative to the dockatot is a baby nest (they’re all over etsy), the bumpers aren’t as rigid so breastfeeding is very easy!
I’m so happy I found this! I was looking to see who out there had insight on how to nurse with the DockATot so for that alone, I’m grateful. I’m wondering – is it also possible to nurse using the DockATot Grand?? Or are the sides just too high?
It’s definitly possible. I wouldn’t say that the sides are too high, they’re similiar in height, though the grand has a little more give. I think if you position yourself and baby right it’s definitly doable.