As a parent, I can totally understand the desire to turn to products that claim to help your baby sleep better! Baby sleep is complicated and incredibly overwhelming. Anything that claims to make things easier is usually welcomed with open arms, especially when you’re exhausted and at a loss of what to do! I urge you not to get sucked into the marketing ploys! A lot of these products are expensive and cause more sleep issues later on. Today, I want to dive into the Merlin Sleepsuit!
“The Magic Sleepsuit® is an innovative swaddle transition product that provides babies with a cozy, calming, and safe sleep environment. The Magic Sleepsuit is designed to be used for back sleeping only in the crib.”
It sounds pretty glorious, doesn’t it? The suit is meant to be used after the swaddle, and before the sleep sack. While babies do love being cozy, the sleep suit can hinder them from learning how to get comfortable sleeping on their own, and in different positions. I always suggest placing your baby down on their back for sleep, because this is the safest position for them. However, once they are strong enough to roll both ways, they are safe to sleep on their tummy or their side. If you put them in the Merlin Suit, they will not be able to roll, and therefore they will not have the opportunity to learn how to be comfortable in different positions.
Babies love to practice their new skills in their crib, and the suit robs them of that opportunity. One thing is for certain though, they will look absolutely adorable in the suit, like a little baby marshmallow! But it will make it very difficult for them to move freely. While this is safe, it can cause them to become frustrated, and it can hinder their development by preventing their movement.
The Merlin Sleepsuit is only considered a safe sleep product when your baby is unable to roll in it. Once they can roll to their tummy when they are in the suit, you have to transition them into a sleep sack. It is very normal to experience at least a few days of sleep regression when you take them out of the suit. To me, it just seems like an expensive and unnecessary middle man!
What do I recommend instead?
I would stop swaddling when your baby starts rolling, or at 12 weeks old, whichever comes FIRST. Many babies do need a few days to get used to the sleep sack because they often have a bit of Moro (startle) Reflux remaining at this age, and the swaddle keeps that at bay. Once their arms are free, they will learn how to keep them under control! (All I think of is Will Ferrell, “I never know what to do with my hands!” lol).
You can transition them to a sleep sack more slowly, to help them adapt to the change. Instead of just jumping right from the swaddle to the sleep sack, you can swaddle them with one arm out to start. Switch between which arm is out for a couple of nights, then swaddle with both arms out, before making the switch to a sleep sack. And if they are going to regress for a few days anyways when you stop swaddling them, why do it TWICE by using the Merlin Suit in between? It’s just an unnecessary step that can cause more frustration for your baby, and hinder their ability to learn the rolling skill.
If you want to help your baby feel more comfortable in their sleep sack, I suggest getting a weighted sack! My personal favourite is the Dreamland Baby (use this link to get my discount, or enter discount code: countingsheep15). Weighted sleep sacks are proven to reduce stress hormones and aid sleep. And I do recommend that you use a sleep sack until they are at least 2 years old, at that point you can safely switch to a blanket it you could like.
If you used to Merlin Sleepsuit with your baby, I would love to hear your thoughts! I know that a lot of parents swear by it and feel like it is a magic product. As a sleep coach, I tend to look at how it impacts sleep long term, and how I will need to teach babies to sleep independently, after that product is gone. There are a lot of opinions on this one, but now you know mine :)
Let’s talk about it!
As always, thanks for reading!
P.S. In case you missed it, use discount code "COUNTINGSHEEP15" if you purchase a Dreamland Baby swaddle, sleep sack or blanket!
P.P.S. Follow me on Instagram for daily sleep tips! @countingsheepwithjane