Canada warns on DockATot, other in-bed co-sleepers
Editors’ note: Since this post was published in August 2017, Canada has banned the sale of DockATots. This happened in late 2017 and is noted on DockATot’s current Canada web page.
Last updated: Health Canada issued a warning to Canadian parents about the safety risks of the DockATot, Snuggle Me and other in-bed co-sleepers in an alert posted August 25, 2017.. Canada warns on DockATot, other in-bed co-sleepers.
Health Canada didn’t cite the DockATot by name, but it is obvious from their warning about the suffocation risks “associated with baby nests, also called baby pods” that the agency is referring to the DockATot, Snuggle Me and other co-sleepers.
Health Canada defines the problem as this:
A baby nest is a small, portable bed for an infant that has soft, padded sides. Many baby nests are advertised as multi-functional products that can be used as a sleep surface, changing mat and tummy time mat. Some baby nests are also promoted as being suitable for bed sharing, which involves placing the product in the caregiver’s bed.
Health Canada warns: a baby nest’s soft, padded sides pose a suffocation risk.
In an article on Today’s Parent, a Canadian parenting web site, a Health Canada spokesperson says the warning by the government safety agency was prompted by injuries or deaths caused by in-bed co-sleepers. ““We are aware of open investigations in another jurisdiction regarding baby nest incidents,” says Gary Holub, spokesperson for Health Canada. He adds that “there have not been any incidents involving baby nests reported to Health Canada.”
It’s unclear if Health Canada was referring to this 2016 death in Australia caused by an in-bed co-sleeper. DockATot came to Canada in 2016, after debuting in the US the year prior.
BabyBargains.com did an in-depth review of the DockATot in June, noting numerous concerns about suffocation risks and other hazards.
DockATot pushed back against Health Canada’s warning, claiming its product isn’t intended for baby sleep. DockATot spokesperson Elina Furman told Today’s Parent:
“The DockATot is used by many for supervised lounging, chilling and play time,” she says. “We subscribe to Health Canada’s guidelines for the promotion of our products to Canadians. We do not promote our products to Canadians as intended for sleep accommodation.”
Apparently, Canadians don’t have access to social media. If so, they’d see a pictures of babies sleeping in DockATot’s in adult beds on DockATot’s official Instagram feed. Adult beds with pillows, comforters and other soft bedding can shift during the night and pose a suffocation hazard to babies.
Ditto for siblings and pets. DockATot’s social media is stuffed with cute pictures of siblings and pets in adult beds with DockATots. But siblings can unknowingly create a dangerous sleep environment for a newborn—putting a stuffed animal or blanket in the co-sleeper with a baby, for example.
Apparently, DockATot doesn’t consider its social media feeds (seen by hundreds of thousands of parents) as promotion or marketing. This is hard to believe.