If you’ve seen the Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit at Isis, you may have wondered why we are selling what looks like a snow suit in the summer. I know that was my initial reaction when the sleep suit was given to me in the summer of 2011!
My son was born in June and I brought him into Isis to show him off to my co-workers. The Merchants asked if I’d be willing to try out a new sleep product that a vendor sent them for feedback. I was given a pink Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit (yes, pink- for my son). If you know me, you know that I am all about sleep safety so I had a lot of questions about this product; but I agreed to take it home and try it out.
I put the Merlin in a dresser and forgot all about it for a few weeks. My son was sleeping a good 4-5 hours straight in the Woombie, so there was no need to think about the Merlin quite yet. But then James turned 10 weeks old and learned how to roll from his back to his stomach. After finding him not once, but twice, face down in the Woombie, obviously very upset (and obviously not in a very safe position), it was time to stop using any type of swaddling. The first night was tough. He woke up every 45 – 60 minutes due to his arms moving all around. He was not a happy baby. I was not a happy momma. Night two was even harder. He was waking up every 30 minutes. Around 2 am I said to my husband, “Where is that pink suit?” We put him in the Merlin and he slept until 7 am. We tried it again the next night and he gave us a 7 hour stretch of sleep. Could it be? Was the Merlin really magic?
We continued to use the Merlin with my son until he was almost 8 months old. Soon after we started using it, he was giving us 9-10 hours of consolidated (beautiful) sleep. The only reason we stopped using it was because he was strong enough to roll while wearing it (and the Merlin is only safely designed for back sleep).
The Merlin is, without a doubt, my favorite sleep product! Although it is not designed for newborns, it is helpful beginning around 3 or 4 months, or when baby can no longer be swaddled. It makes this transition easier, since it keeps baby feeling “cozy”, and helps to minimize the baby’s startle reflex and other movements that can impact sleep. I recommend this product often during sleep consultations for babies ages 3-7 months old, especially as a useful tool in helping a baby transition from sleeping in a swing to sleeping in a crib, or sleeping in the crib instead of in the arms of mom or dad!
If you’re wondering if this product can be used during the summer, the answer is YES! Next time you’re at an Isis Parenting center, feel it. The material is breathable and lightweight. There is a scooped neck and open feet for ventilation. You’ll want to keep the room cooler rather than warmer (but this is true no matter what your baby is wearing while sleeping), but this product can be used in any season. If you’re concerned about the room being on the warmer side, then dress your baby in a lighter pair of pj’s, or perhaps only in a onesie (and a pair of socks) underneath the Merlin.
Teresa Stewart, MS, MPH
Isis Parenting Program Manager: Safety, Wellness, Sleep Support