I'm Brianna. Pennsylvania based wedding + portrait photographer to those who love adventure, laugh a lot, worry little, like to spoon & kiss (and I mean kiss a lot), loves mother nature, values family traditions, and believes in soulmates.
The Dock-a-Tot. I had seen this snuggle nest of sorts populating my instagram feed alllllll pregnancy long. It looked like a comfy little spot to…dock my tot (obviously), however, I was not in a place where I truly felt like I needed one. Moving into a new house with baby #1 on the way…the list of things we truly needed was LONG. Not to mention, all the baby paraphernalia out there is overwhelming. Justin & I decided that we didn’t want all the fancy things and we did not want excess of anything (I say this now as there is a baby seat, swing, and jumpy thing in my living room…all at the same time). Plus, coming from a practical Dave Ramsey trained first time mom, it was just expensive! So I wasn’t sure if it was worth it.
Then the famous “4 month sleep regression” hit. Charlotte was doing pretty darn well before 4 months. Then miraculously, she was like a newborn all over again. She was up every 2 hours. Nursing constantly. AND I MEAN CONSTANTLY. As you can tell :) She would cry when I laid her on her back in her crib. She really wanted nothing to do with her crib. I was exhausted, Justin was at a loss, and we just ended up letting her sleep with us so I could atleast get some type of sleep. During this time, she was very happy to snuggle & nurse at night and slept great while this was happening. However, I would try to transition her back into her crib in the middle of the night…boom…awake. Crying. All over again. She would honestly only sleep if she was laying next to me in our bed or in my arms. She just loves feeling held and cuddled. Plus she is with me around the clock, every day.
WELL! Enter Dock-a-Tot. I laid her in it when we received and I thought – “Girlfriend. You are to big for this thing.” It REALLY hugs her snug. First, I just laid her in it here and there to play for her to get used to it. As the days went, I tried having her nap in it. There wasn’t much of a change at first but there were 20 minute naps in her crib here and there and this alone was an improvement.
THEN IT HAPPENED. She slept 11.5 hours straight through the night, in her crib, in her dock-a-tot.
And she slept the entire night the next night.
And the next.
And the next.
I was very skeptical of any type of “sleep gimmick product” in general. However, when you’re overly exhausted, you’re willing to try ANYTHING. I could not find one negative review about the dock online. Everything I read was oozing sleep miracles and positivity so I was honestly thinking…”Are these things all they’re cracked up to be?” WELL. This post is sponsored by Dock-a-tot however, this statement is 110% mine and I’m free to say whatever I want about it: I LOVE THIS THING. It makes my snuggle loving child comfy at night, it helps her get a a full night sleep, it gives me my bed back, my sleep back, and cuddles with my husband back. It was not a quick miracle fix, it did take 3 or so weeks of using the dock for her to get used to it and truly sleep for long periods. It has created a more consistent bed time routine for us and we can take the dock anywhere and provide a very similar home sleep environment for her wherever we are. I highly recommend them to momma’s everywhere, truly. I think it’s worth every penny. It has made transitioning back into her crib much smoother and it makes her feel snuggled which is her favorite thing. It’s also nice just to lounge around in on lazy sunday mornings like we are in these photos!
The only negative thing I have to say about it is I think we will need the bigger one before she is 8 months old. But hello…we have a child in the 96th percentile for height, weight, and head. The Deluxe Dock-a-tot is designed for 0-8 month babies. Charlotte is about 18 pounds in these images and she’s pretty long already so we have to unbuckle the bottom to let her feet out. The product is designed to allow for this. However, she is just getting all around big and I know we will need the larger one before too long, already.
On a random note – sleep or not – having Charlotte is the best. Having a child is in a way, a very ordinary thing. It’s been happening since EVER. However, when it happens to YOU, its extraordinary. We love parenthood & our Charlie girl so so so much.
Of course…here is some lovely proof of her ACTUALLY sleeping in it! It’s officially in my top ten of momma must haves. Maybe I should do a post on that? Mmmm….