Friday, July 15, 2011

The Seriously Magic Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit

Sleeping has never been an issue for Zoey (watch, I just jinxed myself and she'll be up all night screaming). When we brought her home from the hospital, her longest stretch of sleep during the night was 6 hours - from 9pm-3/4am, then 4am-6am. We don't really know if there was anything in particular we did to facilitate good sleeping habits, but we didn't try to impede her, either, by pushing her to do things when she wasn't ready.

Since she popped out of the oven, she has enjoyed being swaddled. I've heard that some babies don't like to be swaddled and I don't know if that is a personality thing, or if it depends on when you start doing it. We did it right from the moment they handed her to me mainly because we were just following the nurses lead and figured swaddling was the rule. When we got her home, we swaddled her with anything we could find.

 New Daddy with New Zoey swaddled in a receiving blanket that I would have used for breastfeeding had we stuck to it.

First semi-nap in her crib (she only slept for a little bit like this) swaddled in the afghan her Great Aunt Karen gave her before she was born. She loved that blanket, for awhile being wrapped in it was the only thing that really made her comfortable.

Swaddling is a bit of a challenge, though, especially as they start to get older, more aware, and are introduced to their appendages. Swaddling is hard with arms and legs flying about so, luckily, they made a pre-made burrito wrap that I just happened to find. And she was hooked.

She used that blanket until she couldn't fit in it anymore. But, ultimately, she was reaching the age where she didn't want to be swaddled anymore. Jacob and I feared the no-swaddling, it seemed like such a jump from one extreme to the other. I found suggestions of leaving one arm out for awhile, then the other arm, but I didn't see that working too well since babies are prone to smacking themselves in the face unintentionally. I heard other mothers rave about Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit and how it was the perfect next-step from the swaddle. They weren't kidding.

Sure, your baby looks like the Michelin Baby, and everyone and their uncle will say to you, "It reminds me of that little kid in that Christmas movie. Have you ever seen it? I think it's call A Christmas Story, or something like that." But it really is magic. It is designed to keep the baby at an even temperature despite it's misleading appearance (and it actually does), keep them from rolling over when they haven't mastered going from belly to back, and limit smacking themselves in the face.

Her first Magic Sleepsuit. She was just over three months and had been sleeping through the night (9pm-6am) from 10 weeks. As she got too big for her swaddle, she'd start waking up every few hours between 2am-6am. So we paid the seemingly astronomical price of $45 (seriously, though, worth every penny) and off we went to sleep-full nights. Her first night in the sleepsuit she slept from 8pm-7:45am.

Sadly, though, she started to grow out of it, and after we got the next size up, she grew out of that even faster. Theoretically, babies aren't supposed to be sleeping in the sleepsuit once they're able to roll over. Zoey did this pretty early, though, and adamantly refused so sleep without her sleepsuit for the longest time. The only reason I think she recently gave it up was because the weather got too warm. Either way, it was still easier on her than it was us.

Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit recommends weaning from the Sleepsuit by piling on the pajamas to create a similar feeling. But with it being so warm lately, we just put on a onesie then foot-less pajamas, then put the sleep-suit in the crib with her to snuggle.

We decided it was time to give up the suit when the rip in the back kept getting progressively larger, her legs wouldn't bend the right way to get her into it, and we really didn't want to send her to college with a sleep-suit. It's interesting enough that she carries the suit around and snuggles it like a blankie. It has had a longer life than most baby-related items and has long surpassed being worth the money, if for nothing else than being a great conversation piece.