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The Pros and Cons To the So-Called “Magic” Sleep Suit

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Most parents today are told to swaddle their new bundles of joy to mimic the womb and help your babe sleep better.  Sounds fantastic for us sleep deprived parents, right!?

Well, Lil B was NOT a fan of swaddling.  Don’t get me wrong, he CLEARLY wanted some sort of confinement and close quarters but could wiggle his way out of a swaddle faster than how quick I am to say yes to a glass of wine! (Yup, THAT fast!)

But then, he’d startle himself awake and we’d be back to starting the sleep routine all over again (and again, and again)

Sound familiar?

So we decided to try out the “Magic Merlin Sleepsuit”

baby in suit (alt text)

What Is the Merlin Sleepsuit

Perfect for babies like Lil B who just couldn’t care less for a swaddle but still yearned for the comfort of confinement, the Merlin Sleepsuit is basically a weighted sleepsack with arms and legs.  The baby sleepsuit gives the bambino a slight swaddle feel but doesn’t confine his legs and arms to a tight cocoon.

The Merlin Baby Suit basically allows them to have a bit more freedom of movement, making it a great transition swaddle suit from full blown swaddle or sleep sack.

Size and Color
(If You would Like 6-9 Months, Click On Image and then Select Larger Size)
ImageUse When Baby Is Fabric (Read Below For Best Fabric Choice)Cost and Reviews
3-6 Month Cream12-18 PoundsCotton
3-6 Month Yellow12-18 PoundsCotton

3-6 Month Pink12-18 PoundsCotton
6-9 Month Blue18-21 PoundsMicrofleece

Our First Night In The Magic Sleepsuit

As a first time, exhausted mama, I couldn’t WAIT to get Lil B into that so-called “magic sleep suit.”

I could just see it: a wonderful night of uninterrupted sleep, just like so many Magic Merlin Sleepsuit reviews on Amazon and the official site were claiming!  Aaaaah rest and Zzzzzs, how I have missed you so!

Well, not so fast.  

So we didn’t have a HORRIBLE night, but I wouldn’t say that I felt like the Baby Merlin was very “Magic” after all.  In fact, it didn’t even really feel like THAT different of a night compared to our norm.

We woke up roughly the same amount of times and putting him to sleep at the beginning of the night was pretty typical of what we normally saw.  But what I did find was that he went to sleep easier throughout the night after his wakings.  Small win, but I’ll take it!


Why I Use the Merlin Sleep Suit For Travel

And Now Every Night In Between!

So while I never found the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit to be life-changing, I actually did incorporate it into our nightly routine religiously.

As a family that travels frequently, I can tell you that having a solid bedtime routine and extremely strong sleep cues are ESSENTIAL for easy traveling (and sleeping) with babies.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that Lil B strongly associated his baby Merlin with “Time to Sleep.”  So whether we were at home or trying to get baby to sleep while traveling, he knew that within a few minutes of snuggling into the suit, he was expected to be off to dreamland sooner rather than later.

Our Other Essential Baby Travel Items To Help Baby Sleep Were:

  • Binkies (I know not every baby takes a pacifier, but since Lil B did, we ONLY used it for sleep, creating another strong sleep cue)
  • Lotus Travel Crib: We actually used this at home instead of a crib, so that when we traveled, he was always in the same bed no matter where we were at
  • Lovey: He actually never really took to the lovey, but we had it in his crib at all times, just for continuity
  • Sound Machine: We had an old tablet that we took with us for our sound machine, but you can buy really light-weight ones, like this one, which are perfect for travel

Click Here To Read Reviews on This Portable, USB charging White Noise Machine


A Great Alternative to a Baby Sleeping Bag When Camping

Speaking of travel, one thing that my family LOVES to do is go camping.  The problem is I have been in a freezing cold tent more times than not during those brisk dawns before the sunlight heats up everything in it’s path.

While sleeping in pretty frigid (or even just “cold”) temperatures isn’t a huge deal for me as an adult, this really hindered us after we had a baby.  The last thing we wanted was for Lil B to be too cold just so that we could camp.

However, we weren’t about to use even a toddler sized sleeping bag out of fear of it covering his face or getting tangled in too many blankets.

Honestly, the Magic Merlin Sleepsuit was the perfect option for us.  Here is what we did to ensure he was extra warm (but completely safe) while camping in a bit of colder weather

  • LAYER LAYER LAYER! Underneath his baby sleep suit, we adjusted his layering underneath depending on just how cold it was going to be.  Anywhere from nothing but his diapy underneath (in the warmer months) to 1 onesie, 1 flannel sleeper and 1 long sleeve shirt on under his magic suit.
  • Gloves + Multiple Socks: This was obviously for the colder nights and gave us options to take off if we felt he was getting warm
  • Feel The Baby’s Neck: I use the touch of the neck (and sometimes nose as well) to tell if baby is too hot or too cold.  I’d adjust the layers as need be, peeling some off when warm or snuggling in closer with me if more heat was needed (do note that the official Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit site technically does not recommend co-sleeping while wearing the baby sleep sack)

If you have an older tot, here are are absolute top picks for the best kids sleeping bags, perfect for camping!


Pros for the Magic Merlin

  • Helped to create an amazingly strong sleep cue
  • Has two sizes available for growing babes (3-6 months and 6-9 months)
  • Is available in the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit Cotton or Microfleece (I chose microfleece) 
  • Comes in a multitude of colors
  • Machine Washable
  • Easy to change diapers in
  • Can still easily nurse while baby is wearing the sleepsuit
  • Transitioning out of the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit was pretty easy when he was developmentally ready (starting to roll, no longer needed the confinement for comfort, etc)


Cons of the Merlin Suit

  • Should not use in dryer and therefore takes FOREVER to dry
  • Not all babies are meant to be good sleepers….despite any sort of “magic sleepsuit”
  • Has a limited life for usage (should be stopped as soon as a baby can roll)
  • Is just one more item to buy for baby (but is a GREAT registry gift!  Click here to add the Merlin Sleepsuit to your Amazon Baby Registry)
  • You need to be able to monitor baby’s heat.  If too warm, remove layers immediately
  • Some experts are skeptical of it’s developmental appropriateness.


Other Baby Merlin FAQs

How Is This Different From a Swaddle?

It is more of a “transition” from a swaddle, starting closer to three months, rather than birth.  I loved it because it was an extra layer without the need for blankets (safety concern)

It also had a slight “weight” to it, that I came to realize REALLY helped my kiddo.  Just enough to give a bit of extra comfort without being heavy.

Finally, I liked it because Lil B needed the comfort and weight, but couldn’t STAND his hands being pinned down.  He was a big hand sucker and needed THAT comfort.

The sleepsuit allows for JUST enough arm movement that he could still hand suck (or if yours is a thumb sucker) but still get the comfort of confinement.

Should I Get the Mircrofleece or the Cotton Sleepsuit?

They are both actually the same insides, but the outsides are the difference in materials.

  • Microfleece= warmer
  • Cotton= more breathable (but also more susceptible to shrinking with machine wash)

Is the Baby Merlin Machine Washable?

Yes! I LOVED this because well….babies.  Need I say more?

Whenever we had an “accident” or a bit too much spit up, I was so glad to be able to toss my sleepsuit in the washing machine!  Just be sure it is on cold and a gentle cycle (recommended with like colors buuuuuut I’m never good with that even with my own clothes!!).

They say you can dry it on low heat (for the microfleece), but I was too afraid of shrinkage, so I always tossed it over a door or something to air dry. Do not put the cotton one in the dryer.

Tip: If air drying, turn it inside out to dry a bit faster

Expert Tip: If you find that you just LOVE this suit, I’d recommend two.  There were several nights that the suit wasn’t dry (it takes a loooong time) and wished we would have had a backup.

What Size Should I Order

Just like swaddling, if the sleepsuit isn’t snug, it won’t do its job.  However, if it’s too big, you are encroaching on safety issues, just like you would with loose blankets in the crib.

Hey, I’m am about as cheap as they come, but the reality is, don’t buy bigger in hopes for a longer usage.  Get the right size if you actually have any hopes of it working (and want your baby safe)!

I suggest going more off of weight, rather than the age of your baby, since all babes are different.

If your baby is

12-18 Pounds: Get the 3-6 Month Size

18-21 Pounds: Get the 6-9 Month Size

This Looks So Hot!!!! Can I Use the Sleepsuit in the Summer?

We did- but this is going to vary greatly by the temperature in your home (not necessarily the outside temp).

The hottest we used the sleepsuit was in the 80s (inside temp).  He was only in a diaper underneath and by the middle of the night, I removed the suit because I felt he was getting too warm (by reaching down and feeling his back, I could feel he was starting to get warmer than I was comfortable with).  Lower 80’s (inside) was about my cutoff.

This is a “USE YOUR JUDGEMENT” kind of call, but I would say I was surprised that despite how HOT IT LOOKS, Lil B was still able to keep a pretty regular temperature in the sleepsuit in all kinds of temperatures (with the variance of what layers were underneath).

How Long Can My Baby Wear the Sleepsuit?

Like all swaddles, if your babe is able to roll, they should not be in any sort of swaddle or sleepsuit anymore.

Does the Baby Merlin Use Flame Retardants?

The official site says no and also states that it doesn’t use any other chemicals.

Is it Hard To Change Diapers In?

I was so afraid that it would take forever and wake up Lil B even more when we had to change diapers, but like most parenting obstacles, you figure out how to be quick!

The front has a zipper panel, so the “hardest” part is getting the legs in and out quickly, but other than that, we never had issues and just learned how to be fast!

Is it Difficult to Breastfeed My Baby In While Wearing the Sleepsuit?

I happily breastfed Lil B while he was in his suit.  It took a night or two to slightly adjust for best comfort and positioning but never struggled to make it work.

Is it Hard To Transition OUT of the Magic Sleepsuit?

I am a HUGE believer in watching for developmental cues in your child (in all areas).  When Lil B was able to roll (telling me he needed more movement, even in his sleep) and was sleeping a little longer at night, I knew it was the window of opportunity.

I don’t have scientific evidence to support this, but I might argue that people who struggle to transition out of the Baby Merlin might either be doing so too early or waiting too long (when the baby is then dependent on the comfort of the suit).

For us, that magic sweet spot was just around 6 months.  The suit was getting too small as well, so all signs pointed to transitioning and it went pretty smooth!

Final Thoughts: Would I Buy Another Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit?

If for no other reason than to create a REALLY strong sleep cue that helps to signal to the baby “HEY! It’s Time to Go To Sleep Now!!!” then yes, I would.  If you couldn’t tell from above, I’m a huge believer in sleep cues and this was perfect for that reason alone.

Before going out and buying one, If you are still expecting, I’d put it on your Amazon gift registry first and hope that you just get one.

If you’ve already welcomed your bundle of joy and are now desperately needing some sleep, I’d say it’s worth the $40ish dollars that it roughly costs to give it a try.  Worst that can happen is you are out the cost of a night’s out dinner and you get a funny picture of your baby looking like the Michelin Man!

If all else fails and you find it didn’t have that elusive magic-ness to it that you were hoping for, just pass it down to a future expecting friend to see if they have more luck! They’ll appreciate the kindness and maybe it will work better on their little one!

Click Here To Look Over Sizes, Colors and Fabrics of the Baby Merlin Sleepsuit


Know someone who travels a lot that could use a great tool to help their baby sleep anywhere?  Share this with them now so they can (hopefully!) get a wee bit more sleep regardless of where they are at!

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