Our Honest Review of Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit
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From one new mama to another, can we talk about baby sleep? Or more like LACK of baby sleep. We can all agree that we would do just about anything for a solid stretch of night sleep and a few good naps during the day to get a workout and a load of laundry in, or let’s be real, scroll our Instagram feeds and finish that cold cup of coffee from early this morning.
I’m here to tell you that there is hope! In those early days it can truly feel like you will never sleep again. I know it. I’ve been there. I’m coming to you from the other side of sleep training feeling refreshed and well rested for the first time in months. I know you’ll get here too.
When I was in those early days I felt so overwhelmed by all of the baby sleep opinions, guidelines and products floating around out there. Add in some sleep deprivation and the new staggering responsibility of taking care of this tiny human, making a decision can feel nearly impossible. I first heard about the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit from Taking Cara Babies. I adore all of Cara’s courses and really feel like they changed my life, but we’ll save that story for another day.
One sunny Saturday morning, my husband, Justin, and I were sitting in our living room drinking tea and relaxing with our four-month-old son, Hudson. Hudson was laying on his activity mat cooing and gazing up at the singing monkey dangling from the brightly colored foam bars. Justin laughed and suddenly Hudson turned to him and rolled from his back to his tummy with ease. We both ran to him and cheered and applauded him for reaching this new and exciting milestone. Minutes later, the excitement left my body and turned to dread as I made the realization of what this meant. I turned to Justin and whispered, “Oh boy. This means we can’t use the swaddle tonight. What now?”
What is the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit?
Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit was developed by a mama, who also happens to be a Pediatric Physical Therapist, that wanted to provide a comfortable and secure sleep environment for babies once it’s time to transition out of their swaddle. Swaddling can be a great tool if done safely to help your newborn get those longer stretches of sleep. This keeps them cozy and prevents their own arm movements, or startle reflex, from waking them up. Once babies can roll over on their own, it is no longer safe for them to sleep in a swaddle since now they’ll need their hands free to push that little face off of the mattress if they roll to their tummy.
The Magic Sleepsuit allows your baby’s arms and legs to be free but is padded to keep them snug and muffle those movements.
At first glance, the sleepsuit is hilarious and adorable.The puffy material made my son look like a little marshmallow. The sleepsuit is made of two layers of either jersey cotton or microfleece. Between the two layers, it is stuffed with polyfil, which gives it the cozy factor. It has two zippers on either side of the front panel that stretch from the ankle to the neckline making for ease of wrangling your new little roller into it. The neckline is scooped, keeping any fabric far away from your baby’s nose and mouth, which is always a big concern for us new parents. The hands and feet are open to keep your baby from getting too warm.
The sleepsuit is intended as a swaddle transition product in your journey of movement towards more independent sleep. It can be used over a diaper, onesie, or pajamas, depending on the temperature of your baby’s room. For us, it worked well to use over footie pajamas to help keep Hudson’s feet warm. The one night we used socks, he kicked them off and his feet were like little ice cubes when he woke up in the morning. He did not seem too bothered by this. The creators of the sleepsuit stress that it’s important to evaluate your baby’s temperature by touching the back of their neck or chest, and not base the decision off the temperature of their hands or feet as their circulatory systems are still maturing. It is common for hands and feet to be cold when your baby’s core is at a comfortable temperature.
First Impressions of Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit
Back when Hudson was 11 weeks old, we tried Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit, or the “magical sleeping suit” as my husband refers to it as, for the first time. I panicked and ordered it on Amazon one night shortly after Hudson was born, upon learning that some babies start to roll over before three months, at which point we would have to give up our beloved Ollie Swaddle blanket.
We were desperate for some sleep and just figured we’d give it a try. We optimistically zipped him into the sleepsuit. He was completely inconsolable as we rocked him for a half hour and once he fell asleep and we placed him in his bassinet, he woke up within minutes. We stuffed the sleepsuit back in the closet and stuck with the swaddle.
On that sunny Saturday of the first roll over, we decided to try the sleepsuit for some naps to test out how the first night would go. I had given up all hope of getting any successful naps in for the day and relinquished the idea of meal prepping for the week. We zipped Hudson into his Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit and put him down in his bassinet. To our complete shock, he fell asleep on his own, which he had not done before without rocking and soothing, and took a standard 40-minute nap. We were beyond thrilled. The big question remained, would this success continue?
Pros and Cons
As with every baby product, prop and gadget, the magical sleep suit, certainly has its pros and cons.
- Cozy. This sleep suit is so cozy! Hudson just looks so cozy in it and it’s so nice to snuggle up with our “little puff ball” when he’s wearing it.
- Warm. As we enter the cold months, here in Minnesota, we are all about the warmth. The sleep suit keeps our guy warm through the night. This pro for us could be a con depending on where you live and the temperature of your house. It’s important to ensure that your baby’s room temperature is comfortable to prevent overheating no matter where you live.
- Movement. The best part of the sleep suit is that it helps to find a perfect balance of allowing your baby to start moving a bit more in their bed while preventing those movements from waking them up. As your baby grows and develops, they will naturally move around more in their crib. The sleep suit allows this movement more than the swaddle, while preventing them from rolling over and muffling that startle reflex.
- Double Zippers. The double zippers allow the sleep suit to open up all the way to slide your baby in and out easily. It’s less of a hassle than most swaddle blankets.
- Secure. It fits securely and has a scooped neckline so that the fabric can’t come up over your baby’s nose or mouth.
- Warm. Depending on where you live or the room temperature in your home, this pro could be a deal breaker for the magic sleep suit.
- Diaper Changes. There is no easy way to change a diaper in the magic sleep suit. You have to pull those little legs out which usually resulted in a full wake up for us.
- Laundry. The magic sleep suit takes longer to dry than our other swaddles and sleep sacks. This makes laundry a challenge, especially if you want to use it for naps. You may want to have an extra one on hand. This is not a bad rule of thumb for any sleep product since a middle of night leaky diaper will most likely be a part of your first few months.
How We Use the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit in Our Daily Sleep Routine
It’s beneficial to have some kind of sleep item that you can integrate into your bedtime and naptime sleep routine to cue that little brain that it is now time for sleep. In general, it’s good to have a consistent routine to lay a foundation for good sleep habits for your little one.
We have all come to look forward to our nightly routine:
- Our bedtime routine starts with a bath. It’s not necessary to bathe your little one every night, but Hudson really loves splashing around in his tub and playing with his bath toys.
- We then dry off, put on some lotion, a diaper and jammies. Then we lower the lights and I feed him in our recliner in our bedroom.
- Once he’s done eating we put him into his sleepsuit, cuddle up in our bed, give him his giraffe pacifier and read a few books; his favorite now is Fox In Socks in silly voices or Giraffes Can’t Dance.
- After reading, we bring him into his bedroom, turn on the sound machine and ceiling fan, sing a few songs and rock him.
Now that we are on the other side of sleep training, we put him into his bed awake. He plays with his giraffe pacifier for a few minutes and then puts himself to sleep. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends keeping your baby in your room for 6-12 months of age to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). We made the decision as a family and with our pediatrician to move Hudson into this own bedroom at five months.
This worked for us but you must discuss with your own pediatrician to make a safe plan for your baby - every baby develops differently and has different needs. For us, co-sleeping, with Hudson in our bedroom or in our bed, resulted in a very exhausted family. Since the move, we all sleep better and have adequate rest so we know it was the right decision for our little family.
What’s The Final Verdict?
Hudson continued to use the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit for every nap and for night sleep. The sleepsuit itself did not instantly turn our nights around, but it was certainly a helpful tool in our sleep journey. The magic sleepsuit was essential for us in transitioning out of the swaddle and into a sleep sack. The cozy plush material made our little guy comfortable. We started formal sleep training while he was in the sleepsuit and he did great.
On the fourth night of sleep training, I woke up for a night feeding and noticed that Hudson had rolled onto his tummy in his sleepsuit. This means that it’s time to transition out of the sleepsuit. The creator explains that besides being unsafe for tummy sleep, this is a good indicator that your little one is ready for some more freedom of movement in their sleep. This has been so true to our experience. Now our little guy loves to roll around his crib and flip over to his tummy for sleep. We were sad to say goodbye to our little marshmallow baby but, we now love his new Kyte Baby sleep sack.
I would definitely recommend the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit to help transition from swaddle to more independent sleep. Even just having it at home gave us peace of mind that we had a few tools should our swaddle blanket fail us. Though the sleepsuit can’t be used for a very long time, it helped us through what could have been a rough few weeks and to me that was worth it. Plus, when you peek into your baby’s crib or pack n play and see him all cozy in his little marshmallow suit, your mama heart will be so full.