Just when you think you’ve figured out the secret to a baby’s sleep, they throw you a curveball. If you’re having trouble transitioning your child from the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleep Suit into a regular sleep sack, then you’ve come to the right place. I have been in your shoes.
Below I will show you in detail how I was able to do it. I hope you have a successful outcome as I did.
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My experience with the magic sleepsuit
For the first 3 months of my son’s life, I struggled with getting him to sleep through the night. The most he would sleep was 2 and a half hours before waking up again for a feed.
Needless to say, I was a walking zombie during the day. I was so exhausted and desperate for sleep. I couldn’t use the sleepsuit for 3 months because the manufacturer recommends it only for ages 3-6 months and 6-9 months.
The first night I put the Merlin Sleep Suit on, I was shocked to see my baby sleep through the night. It truly was magic.
I had finally found a solution to my sleepless nights. Everything was smooth sailing from there until he was 6 months old. When he got too big for the suit, I bought him the bigger size for 6-9 months old.
That was the biggest mistake I made. Looking back now, I should have started transitioning my son earlier before he hit 6 months.
According to The Sleep Foundation, it is better to start sleep training or transitioning your child out of their favorite sleep prop between 4-6 months of age.
At this age, they have not fully developed their circadian rhythm, which is responsible for them sleeping through the night. So, they will easily adjust to whatever changes you make to their sleep routine.
After their circadian rhythm is fully developed, it gets harder to change their routine. Any new change usually leads to sleep disruption and more trouble for you.
All hope is not lost though. Read on to see how I did it.
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When should you stop using the merlin magic sleepsuit?
Is your baby rolling over in the sleepsuit? If the answer is yes, then you need to stop using the sleepsuit ASAP.
I know it’s tempting to want to continue but don’t. You may tell yourself there’s no harm in doing so, but that’s not true.
According to the manufacturers, babies who are rolling over in the magic sleepsuit are ready for more freedom and movement in their sleep.
If your child rolls over on their belly while wearing the suit, and are unable to roll back again, they may suffocate. It is better to stop cold turkey than to risk such an incident occurring.
Continue reading to find out how you can transition your baby easily.
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What is the TOG rating of the merlin sleepsuit?
Before we can talk about how to switch from using the sleepsuit, we first have to understand the TOG rating of infant sleepwear and clothing.
TOG stands for the thermal overall grade, and it is a number assigned to infant clothing to signify how thick the layer of fabric is.
If you know the TOG value of a type of sleepwear, then you will know how to appropriately dress your child to avoid them being too cold or too hot in it.
The higher the TOG number, the warmer/thicker the clothing is. TOG clothing of 2.0 and above are thicker clothing, while TOG ratings of 1.5 and below are lighter clothing.
By law, all baby sleepwear must have a TOG rating.
So what is the TOG of the Merlin Sleep Suit, you may ask?
The Merlin Magic Sleep Suit does not have a TOG rating. This sounds crazy, doesn’t it?
The company explains that the reason they don’t have a TOG rating is that the suit opens in the hands and feet. This allows air circulation in and out. Other sleep sacks are enclosed, and as such, traps heat.
Regardless of the lack of a tog rating, we know that the magic sleepsuit is VERY THICK and gets hot. It is so thick that there is nothing like it on the market.
If I were to give it a rating, I would say it’s closer to a tog of 3.5 to 4.
To wean your baby from it, you have to recreate the environment of the suit as closely as possible.
Here’s how I did it
Transitioning from the merlin sleep suit – week 1
The first day without the suit, my son was not a happy camper. He had come to rely on the suit as his sleep prop for 8 months.
Without it, he was lost. When it came time for a nap, I put him in a regular sleep sack that was about 1.5 tog. That was the only one I had lying around. He refused to sleep.
He tossed and turned, and eventually became overtired at which point he started crying. I tried to pull on all my tricks to help soothe him to sleep, but there was no consoling him.
He cried for about 45 minutes. That 45 minutes felt like 45 years. It was so bad that I gave in and put him in the sleepsuit.
This time though, I did not zip it up. I rolled down the flaps and tucked them below his stomach. He was able to fall asleep almost immediately.
We had the same struggle at bedtime, and I caved again. But just like before, I didn’t zip up the sleepsuit all the way.
I was on a mission to find a lasting solution to this newfound problem. I didn’t want to keep putting my son in the suit when I knew that it was a safety hazard.
So I went on Amazon and ordered different brands of sleep sacks with a tog rating of 2.5 (for semi-warm weather).
Disclaimer: the links below are affiliate links. This means I’ll get a small commission if you make a purchase. Note that I only recommend products that I have tried and love!
While I was waiting for my amazon order to arrive, I needed to be creative in replicating the cozy environment the magic sleepsuit provided for my son.
The second night, I followed our usual bedtime routine, then I put my son in fleece footy pajamas. I would say that the pajama was thick enough to be classified as 1.5 tog. See the image to the right
I made sure his room was cold so he wouldn’t get overheated. I always try to keep his room between 73-75 degrees when he was using the sleepsuit.
After I got him dressed in his pajama and put him in bed. I wrapped him in a blanket (up to waist level) and tucked it underneath the crib so that he could not pull it out or pull it over his head.
I am very conscious of sleep safety. I know using a blanket is controversial, but at the time, I didn’t have the new sleepsacks on hand.
I do not recommend you do the same. Wait until you have the sleep sack before trying to transition.
The result was successful! My son actually slept through the night. He only cried for about 20 minutes before falling asleep.
Transitioning from the merlin sleep suit – Week 2-3
When our sleepsacks arrived in the mail, we were able to stop using the tucked blanket and switch to using the sleepsack. It didn’t take long for my son to get used to sleeping in them.
I had to experiment with about 5 different brands to find the one that he found easier to sleep in.
In the end, we settled on the baby Deedee sleep sack. He’s been using it for the last 2 months with no issues falling asleep at naptime or bedtime.
Switching from fleece pajama to cotton long sleeve onesie
My ultimate goal is to train my son to sleep in a short sleeve onesie in his sleep sack. Right now, we’ve achieved the goal of sleeping in just a thin cotton long sleeve onesie.
Here’s how I did that.
After a week of using the baby Deedee sleep sack, I put him in a light cotton pajama as opposed to the fleece one he was used to. I made his room a little hotter (about 78-79 degrees).
The goal here was to ease his transition to the lighter material as smoothly as possible. At first, he was uncomfortable.
He would wake up often at night crying for about 10-15 minutes sporadically. I’m not sure if it was due solely to the change in sleeping material or to his development of separation anxiety.
Regardless, this stage did not last long. He eventually got used to it.
Switching from cotton long sleeve onesie to short sleeves
By the time week 3 came around, my son was already used to his new sleep sack. This made it easy to switch him to a cotton short sleeve onesie.
All I did was put him in one at bedtime after following all our usual routines. It usually takes him about 10 minutes or so to fall asleep independently now.
In conclusion, I would say that it was a huge challenge transitioning from the Merlin Sleep Suit to a sleep sack but it wasn’t impossible. It takes a lot of patience to do, but once it’s done, it is totally worth it.
I don’t have to worry about bringing a special suit with us when we travel with him. I know it’s difficult to hear your baby cry when you’re transitioning him, but rest assured that the final outcome will be worth it.
I hope I’ve given you some helpful solutions to getting your baby to sleep again without the Magic Sleep Suit. Until next time. May you and your little one have a restful and beautiful sleep.
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