Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit is a funny product, in that if you don’t have children, you could happily live your life without knowing it exist. It’s not mainstream, like certain other products that child-free people may have heard of here and there, like the Baby Bjorn or the Diaper Genie. Perhaps it’s because the Baby Merlin targets such a specific time in a baby’s development that it hasn’t gotten widespread attention, but if you’re a new parent who likes to sleep, it can be a total lifesaver.
The role it fills is this: Most newborn babies prefer to be snugly swaddled in order to sleep contently. The sensation provides comfort and prevents babies from the weird and inconvenient habit of jerking themselves awake. However, after a few months, babies grow out of swaddles, breaking through them in their sleep in a manner that would be hilariously Hulk-like if it wasn’t for the fact that the baby breakthroughs result in an unhappy, awake baby.
Unhappy baby = unhappy parents.
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I came to learn of the Magic Sleepsuit after I lamented this unhappy stage of my first kid’s life on Facebook. A friend tipped me off to the product, which resembles a fleece snowsuit. The weight of it prevents babies from jerking themselves awake without the need of a swaddle, and this eventually sees them through to the age where they can sleep peacefully with just a sleep sack.
It promised the one thing new parents want and need—sleep—and actually delivered.
I was never great at learning how to swaddle—even with those fancy Aden and Anais wraps, even after having "The Happiest Baby on the Block" permanently open in the Pack 'N' Play—so even before the babies were big enough, their swaddles unraveled miserably. Eventually I wised up and used Velcro swaddles, but inevitably, my husband and I would be summoned to the crib at 3 AM to discover the baby angry and flailing like a horror movie mummy who had shed his wraps. So we were clearly desperate when we ordered the Magic Sleepsuit.
And for us, it worked like, well, magic.
Upon its arrival, we stuffed the baby in it, laughed at him (more on this below), and lo and behold, all slept peacefully. This is why I am writing with joy and gratitude about this somewhat bizarre baby product: It promised the one thing new parents want and need—sleep—and actually delivered.
And most parents know there were some baby products that worked well for one kid but not the next (damned pacifiers!), but the Magic Sleepsuit has worked awesome for both kids. Despite being spring and summer babies, the weight of the suit didn't bother them. On warm nights, we just used a onesie, and on cooler ones, light pajamas. Either way they were never too warm. They were simply sleepy and quiet—just the way I like ‘em.
Aside from getting both parents and children sleep, the best part of this product is how ridiculous babies look while wearing them—sort of like a starfish crossed with Randy “I can’t put my arms down!” Parker from "A Christmas Story." As a parent, there may be nothing more satisfying than getting your baby to sleep while simultaneously making him look ridiculous.
Photographs by: Claire Zulkey