One of the most popular questions we get at DockATot HQ is about caring for your DockATot. Many new moms have written in wondering how exactly to wash their DockATot and then how to fit the DockATot cover back onto the DockATot after washing it. And it's a good question indeed. The unique design of DockATot baby loungers allows for exceptional breathability and air permeability of the bumpers. In order to achieve this level of safety, the bumpers of the DockATot need to fill the cover to the point of being stuffed. That's where the confusion happens. Here, we give a detailed account of how to wash your DockATot and cover along with how to put the cover back on correctly.
Taking the DockAtot Cover Off
Locate the child-safe zipper on the side of the DockATot and unzip. Gently remove the bumper filling.
Putting the DockATot Cover Back On
Now this is the tricky part. When fitting the cover back on, you will see that the bumper is, in fact, much longer than the bumper part of the cover. In order to get the bumper back into the cover, you'll need to push the bumper filling into the cover, doing this as evenly as possible. To make closing the zipper easier, you'll need to gather the two sides of the fabric (along the zipper) before attempting to zipper it closed. We suggest placing your index finger under the zipper slider and the thumb on top of it, this will prevent the slider from getting caught in the bumper’s fine outer cover fabric.
The outer material of the bumper tube is a thin non-woven, specially chosen to provide excellent air-permeability and to not harbor heat. Once you have done this a few times, you will begin to get the hang of it. We promise!
Why DockATot Covers Are So Small
It all comes back to safety. We designed our baby gear to have high density bumpers and the fit of the cover is purposely very tight for this specific reason. When designing our Deluxe cover, we wanted to make sure the bumpers were firm enough to prevent children from rolling out, as well as preventing adults from rolling onto the child when co-sleeping. We also wanted to create the correct density to make for a good tummy time aide. The bumper density of our Grand size is lower so an older child can use the sides as a comfy pillow.
Washing the DockATot Cover
It's very important to remember the washing instructions. Firstly, there is no need to wash the cover before first time use. We have pre-washed all materials, so they are completely clean for your little one. Since the cover is made of 100% cotton, and as opposed to synthetic fibers, natural fibers can shrink a bit. If you are washing the cover, make sure to wash in cold or lukewarm water with like colors in the washing machine. When drying, lay flat to air-dry. Shrinkage can occur if blitz dried, tumble dried or laid down on a radiator. We have taken special finishing and pre-washing procedures to reduce the shrinkage to about 2.5-3%. But if the cover gets washed in water that's too hot, or if it's tumble-dried or ‘blitz dried” (i.e. placed on a hot radiator), there is a risk of compromising the fit and the shrinkage might exceed the 3%. In other words, tread lightly with head and for best results, lay it flat to dry!
Washing the Inside of the DockATot
Again, it's not necessary to wash any of the inside fill before use, as they have been pre-washed in the manufacturing process. Generally, it's enough to simply shake and ventilate the pad and the bumper, rather than full on washing them. But, if you have a lot of accidents and find the need to wash, the mattress wadding pad must be hand-washed. If washing the tube, use a washing bag. The tube should be tumble-dried at low or medium heat then fluff and shake it by hand to regain shape. If it's still damp, lay flat to dry.
The Scoop on the Mattress Pad
Another inquiry we often get from moms has to do with the mattress pad. Many parents notice a creasing in the mattress pad. The crease is not a design flaw, it's just the way the mattress lays. Once the baby is placed on the mattress, the mattress pad flattens out and the crease disappears. To help keep the shape of the mattress while DockATot is not in use, or while traveling, we recommend inserting the piece of cardboard that came with your DockATot. Also, make sure not to store your DockATot in a small space that requires bending or folding of it, as this can compromise the shape.
And...good news, we now sell DockATot spare parts!