Now that we seem to have regained our sanity and are once again living in sleep land, I thought I’d share my review and experience with Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit! It’s been a week exactly now since the glorious thing first came into our lives, and after receiving several questions through Instagram I thought I’d just do a more formal review and answer some of those questions along the way. Let’s get to it!
What’s the background of this? Wasn’t he sleeping ok for a while?
Let me start by saying that B hasn’t always been a terrible sleeper. He was actually a great sleeper for about the first 12 weeks. But then I went back to work, he hit 12 weeks/3 months, and things just kind of started to slowly unravel. Then we all got sick over Thanksgiving and never really recovered. And THEN he hit the 4 month sleep regression/baby brain development explosion. And THEN it was the holidays, so everything was naturally a little more crazy than usual. And THEN he just basically decided to stop sleeping at night and started waking up screaming bloody murder, which is where you probably jumped on board upon seeing my Stories, and now we’re up to date! His sleep has just basically been completely unpredictable since around Thanksgiving. We never knew when he was going to wake up, how many times, no consistency, some nights he’d be up once or twice before midnight, some nights it just 3 am with no rhyme or reason, and it was just becoming more and more exhausting and frustrating. We kept chocking it up to growth spurts, maybe teething, and just a phase.
So how is B sleeping now?
So if you’ll remember, we were so desperately in need of more than 1.5 hour increments of sleep that we one-day Amazon Prime’d a Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit last Saturday. After 3 solid nights of sleeping just a hand full of hours in total, and almost two months of no consistency, we were looking to try just about anything! I’d always heard good things about these sleep suits, and just thought they look hysterical. But, don’t knock it ’till you try it! So, we did.
I can get on board with a 4-6am feed, no problem. It’s the getting up with him 3,4,5,6 times a night thing I’m not so down with and the fact that there didn’t seem to be any reason for it. Plus, I know he doesn’t NEED to be up that often at night, which is why I knew he could handle being pushed to sleep longer. He’s plenty old, and weighs more than enough to safely sleep through the night.
Here’s how our first week with Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit went:
- Night one, he “woke up” a couple times for his paci, then to eat at 4:45, so 9-4:45 basically, and he went back down until about 8. (Definitely better than the previous days!)
- Night two, he woke up at 2 and again at 5:30, if I remember correctly, and both times he ate because he was screaming. (Great, we thought, night one was a fluke.)
- Night three, I think he went 8:30-3 ish, ate, then went back down until about 8.
- And night four, he slept 8:30-6 straight! NO WAKE-UPS. Then back down until about 8.
- Night five, he slept 9-4:45, ate, and went back down until about 8.
- Night six, he slept 8:45-6:45, nursed, then snoozed in bed with me until about 7:30. With the exception of 3 paci “wake ups” where we heard him start to stir for his lost paci, he did really well.
- Night seven, he slept 8:45-7:30 straight! No wake-ups of any kind. AND he took a 2 hour mid-day in his crib, in his HALO sleepsack with his arms out.
What is your routine with B now that you’re using the suit?
I’ll go into more detail about our routine with B on his 5 month update later this week, but we haven’t really changed much other than adding rice cereal at dinnertime, and the suit at bedtime. Timing wise, we usually try to stick to something like this – nurse him after work around 5 or 5:30 pm depending on timing of his last bottle, dinnertime around 6 or 6:30 pm and B has been getting rice cereal while we eat, bath time around 7:30 pm, nurse in his nursery at 8:00 pm and down for the night at 8:30 pm in the pack n play in our room. I’ll be honest, he pretty much nurses himself to sleep every night, and when he’s done I just carry him downstairs to our room, put him in the suit (and he’s usually passed out and doesn’t even wake up), then lay him down. I could nurse him in the suit, and I do if he needs an early morning feed, but it’s just pretty bulky and easier if he’s not in it. My favorite feed of the day is the bedtime one, and I really enjoy the sweet snuggles I get from him in the glider while we rock, and the suit just limits his snuggly-ness.
What does he wear in the suit?
I’ve just been putting him in his regular jammies. Not fleece ones, though, of course. The suit itself is pretty stinkin’ thick, and micro-fleece, so I would think fleece jammies would be a no no. The inner layer however is like a breathable jersey material, so it’s not as hot as it looks.
B likes to have his face on something soft, so he actually sleeps on a really soft blanket, pulled tight across the crib sheet. Someone asked if he was hot in the sleep suit on top of that blanket, but I’ve yet to notice him feeling hot whatsoever. I also still cover him from the knees down with a light blanket some nights, but he honestly doesn’t need it. I’ve just always done that and do it out of habit. But when we unzip him and change him, his little body has never once felt hot, overheated, or sweaty. We keep our house around 67-68 at night, and whenever we get him up in the morning or in the middle of the night, his hands are always like ice cubes. So, I’m not sure how to keep his little hands warm now that they’re not in a swaddle, but it obviously doesn’t bother him!
What is Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit like? Is it annoying? Is it easy?
You know in A Christmas Story when Ralphie can’t put his arms down? It’s kind of like that. It’s a stiff-ish thick fleece body suit that adds just enough weight for the baby to prevent their startle reflex from waking them up. Thee are two zippers on the front that make it easy to do diaper changes and you only have to pull their legs out. I was worried it would be kind of a pain, or more difficult than every other sleep contraption, but it’s super easy and he loves putting it on. I’m not kidding when I say the first time I put him in it, he woke up for a second then basically melted back into it and passed out instantly.
Which one did you order? Are there different sizes?
B weighs about 17 pounds, so we went with the 6-9 month option, which is made for 18-21 pounds. The smaller one, is 3-6 month and 12-18 pounds. I knew he’d outgrow the smaller one way too fast, and I’m glad I went with the 6-9 month one because it fits perfectly. It’s $39.95 on Amazon Prime, and so far it’s been worth every penny. A good splurge, for sure.
So is the Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit a win?
I would say yes. As soon as I put him in it after his bedtime feeding, he’s PASSED OUT COLD. It’s so thick and cozy, and he can barely move around in it so he’s just warm, and comfortable, and can’t startle himself awake as easily. B has always had a pretty strong startle reflex, obviously, so swaddling was always our friend. But he’s getting close to rolling from back to tummy, and has been showing signs that he’d rather sleep with his arms unswaddled. However, he also loves his paci, but he would constantly startle himself and knock his paci out, which resulted in more crying. And even if he didn’t do that, I don’t think he felt secure enough yet with his arms out to sleep soundly. He’d nap for about an hour or so during the day with him arms out, but bedtime hadn’t been a success yet. Enter, the magical wizard suit. It’s been good to us, so far, and I would highly recommend it. I’m not sure how long we’ll use it for, but it’s already helped us fully break the swaddle, and ease into sleeping with just a sleep sack, and hopefully soon nothing at all. For right now though, in this very moment, we’re all sleeping more, and I’d count that as a win. I’m anxious to get him moved back up to his own crib, sooner, rather than later. But guys, I love having him so close to me! It makes me sad every time we put him upstairs, ha! And also, um, we have a lot of stairs. (A was in her crib from two weeks on, so baby #2 has just been so different!)
Can he roll over in the suit?
B still can’t fully roll from his back to tummy yet, and I think it will be a while before he could manage to do it in the suit. I’ve been told that babies CAN roll to their sides in the suit once they’re bigger, but I honestly don’t know for sure because we’re just not there yet. He can move his arms around enough to rub his eyes, but he just doesn’t really move a lot with the suit on while he’s sleeping and hasn’t acted like he wanted to lay on his side in it. He does like to lay on his side occasionally, but he’s only done it a handful of times in the sleepsack.
Being joyful even though it sucks.
Having a rough sleep weekend/week like last, really brought us together though, and reminded us that this is all a phase. It will pass, and we are beyond blessed regardless. It might suck, and be really crappy to be so tired, and up all night, but it’s not going to last forever. Even though he may not sleep well, he’s healthy, and happy, and ours. We made a pact and promised each other to try our best to never be negative in the middle of the night again, but to try to be joyful, and positive. We can either waste what very little energy we have being negative, and grumpy, and pissed off about being tired and awake when we don’t want to be, or we can be happy, and positive, and embrace it. Plus, we’re on the same team, so there’s really no point in being grumpy towards each other. It’s no one’s fault when the baby doesn’t sleep well. We’re learning to communicate better at night, and find ways to better switch off during wake ups, and implement more bottles when we need to so I can get more rest too. I’m completely guilty of staring at my snoring husband at 3am while I nurse the baby back to sleep for the umpteenth time as he snoozes away with his useless man nipples. We’ve all been there, mamas! But just remember how lucky you are, to be in that position in the first place. I’m hopeful though that for now, our sleepness nights are behind us, even though baby sleep is truly unpredictable!
Baby’s first solids!
Along with Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit, we’ve also started giving B rice cereal! With A, I was a huge stickler about no solids until 6 months and I made sure we EBF until 6 months on the dot. #firstbaby There are so many opinions out there about starting solids, but you really just have to shut them all out, and do what feels right for your baby. B is already two pounds heavier than A was at this age and little dude just has the appetite of a hungry hippo! We’ve been giving him a serving of rice cereal at dinnertime every night, and some nights before his bath too, and I DO think it’s helping him sleep better. I think he honestly just needs those extra calories to help sustain him through the night and fill that big ole tummy up. Our pediatrician gave us the go ahead to start working on other solids as well during the day anytime now, so I’m excited to start experimenting with more than just rice cereal, but I’m not in a rush and plan to take it really slow.
It takes a village.
I posted this on Instagram last week, but, it truly takes a village. And you know that, and I know that. But just to reiterate it, it takes a village. You cannot do everything by yourself. You just can’t. You can’t balance everything perfectly all the time and not expect to fall at some point. Ask for help, lean on others, accept help, and let anyone who’s willing to love on those babies of yours! I told my MIL that I was so embarrassed calling her sobbing with a 102 fever asking if she could take the kids because I just couldn’t do it for another second. But there’s nothing to be embarrassed about, and if you are at your breaking point too mama, you go ask for help right now! If you are at your wit’s end because your baby isn’t sleeping, ask for help. Take a night, have someone else do bottles, and give yourself a break.
*We also have not done any formal sleep training yet, so typically we do lay him down mostly asleep, right after a feeding, as opposed to awake, which I know can effect their sleep patterns. But we will cross that bridge when we feel like we need to cross it. Whenever we do decide to, or need to, implement more formal sleep training, we’ll probably stick to a gentle cry it out method.*
I’ll report back if anything changes. And like I said earlier, I’m not sure how long we’ll use it for, but for now it’s become just a part of our nightly routine and it seems to be working. If you are a mama desperate for sleep, it might work for you too!