Getting a baby to sleep, especially during the first months of life can be quite challenging. We don’t miss the days where you’d place our boys down and they’d take a while to settle. We’d be wondering, what’s bothering them? Are they hungry? Do they need changing again? Is it gas? Are they warm enough?
We found keeping a baby warm is one of the things you can truly control as a parent in those early days. Choosing the right clothing will help keep your baby warm and comfortable to help provide a good night's sleep. It’s recommended to swaddle babies during the first three months but what should your baby wear after this period? We recommend the use of a Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit which is available on Amazon for $39.95.
Why do Babies get Unsettled During the Night?
Before we talk about why magic sleep suits are great for your baby, it’s important to discuss why babies get unsettled at night and how magic sleep suits are only one part of helping make your baby feel comfortable in bed. We think it’s vital that you address everything for your baby rather than buy a better sleeping outfit and hope for the best. Below is a checklist of things we often check for when our baby wakes up unsettled.
There’s a few things that are known to cause your baby being unsettled in the first few months. If you’re concerned about your baby being unsettled, please stop reading this article and book in to see your doctor.
We know that babies take a while for their circadian rhythm to adjust to the real world. In case you’re not familiar, circadian rhythm is our internal body clock which is closely aligned to the sun which regulates our sleep cycle and kicks off every 24 hours. During the pregnancy, your baby lives in a world of darkness and while they catch glimpses of light during the day, it means there is a delay in their circadian rhythm starting. This in turn results in your baby being unsettled at night.
While your baby will be super sensitive to light in those first few months, we found taking them outside during the day to help expose them to day light and begin the progression to a regular circadian rhythm.
Another reason for this unsettling behaviour is that their brains are growing amazingly fast, doubling in size in the first year. They absorb lots of new information and experiences such that by evening, they are exhausted and excited, which may take them a long time to settle down and sleep. This in turn means they can’t just relax and sleep due to the overstimulation but will need lots of help to calm down.
Most adults shower before they go to bed as they prefer the feeling of going to bed feeling nice and clean. Babies are no different and will often get upset and unsettled if they are being placed in bed with a dirty nappy. If your baby is unsettled we recommend a quick check of the nappy to ensure they haven’t soiled it since you last changed it.
Colic can be another reason for an unsettled baby where we see the baby frequently cry when they are otherwise well fed and comforted. Don’t be alarmed though as this is quite normal in babies especially upon the 6 week mark when you’ll begin to see your baby find their voice and make it known with plenty of crying.
According to Raising Children, babies in the first few months will cry roughly around 3-4 hours a day and generally be worse in the afternoon/evening. Unfortunately we still don’t know what causes Colac but it’s recommended to see a doctor in the first instance if you’re concerned about your babies crying. They will be able to help rule out any of the below:
- Infection such as ear infection or a urinary tract infection
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Allergy which may be exposed when being breast fed via the mother’s diet
- Nappy rash
Gas pains are another culprit for unsettled baby during the night. We know that babies that have gas pains generally will squirm around or pull up their legs, a sign that they are uncomfortable. Gas can be caused by the way the baby is drinking their milk where as they drink too quickly or too slowly, they may gulp in too much air and create a build up of gas. We know that baby formula can cause a greater build up of gas than breast milk.
To help the baby ease the gas, you can use pacifiers and bouncing movements to stimulate the stomach.
What is a Magic Sleepsuit?
A magic sleepsuit is a baby product for transitioning from swaddling which provides your baby with a cosy and calming sleep environment. They offer a comfortable and secure feeling for the baby to help them sleep well, especially when transitioning from the swaddles or smaller sleeping environments like bassinets into more spacious cribs.
But you’re probably wondering to yourself, how do magic sleepsuit differ to other sleeping bags on the market? Good question. Magic suggested they prevent the need for loose blankets thanks to the warmth that comes from the magic suit while containing your baby more than a sleeping bag may.
Magic sleepsuits are designed for back sleeping only, in a crib and in a room with the right temperatures recommended for babies (18-22 degrees Celsius). The crib should not contain any items which are a suffocation risk like loose blankets. If your baby begins to show signs of movement in their sleep like rolling over, we’d recommend beginning to transition them out of the magic sleepsuit into something more loose fitting where they are able to better roll around.
From a sizing perspective, magic sleepsuits run in two sizes:
- Small - Designed for babies of 3-6 months of age and 12-18 pounds
- Large - Designed for babies 6-9 months of age and 18-21 pounds
Is the Baby Magic Sleepsuit too Warm?
Magic sleep suits come in either a micro fleece or cotton version. By design, the cotton version is more breathable while the micro fleece is more puffy and less breathable. For this reason, we recommend the micro fleece magic suit for anyone looking for something a bit more warmer. While the cotton version uses a breathable material that is better suited for warmer evenings.
What to Wear Under Under a Magic Sleepsuit?
If you’re worried about whether the magic sleepsuit is too warm for your baby, we’d recommend assessing how many layers you have on your baby underneath the magic sleepsuit and also the indoor room temperature. Generally we found having our boys in a onesie covering both their hands and feet was a great way to keep them warm under their magic sleepsuit while providing a layer over their hands and feet which the Magic Sleepsuit doesn’t provide.
If you feel that the room and also your baby are too warm, we’d suggest stripping back the layers under the magic sleep suit first. If you find even then that they are too warm then we’d suggest taking them out of the magic sleepsuit as the conditions may be too warm.
Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit
What We Liked
What We Disliked
The Baby Merlin Magic Sleepsuit provides your baby with a warm, cosy and secure environment which in turn is meant to help improve the quality and duration of a baby's sleep.
To ensure maximum comfort, the Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit is made of a jersey cotton inner layer which is soft and breathable. Its outer layer is made of soft microfleece or cotton, and in between, there is a layer of polyfill for increased comfort.
The Baby Merlin's Magic Sleepsuit comes with double zippers with covers, on either side, to help you get the baby in and out of the suit easily while being able to conveniently change diapers. The hands and feet are open to ensure that the baby is at the right temperature for comfort. This magic sleepsuit is designed with a scooped neckline to keep the fabric away from the baby's neck to avoid any chance of suffocation.
One down side we noted with the Black Merlin Magic Sleep Suit was how long it takes to clean and dry. The recommendation is that it must go through a gentle wash and only air dried. If you’re like us and only own one, you may find you’ll need something else to put your baby in while the Black Merlin Magic Sleep Suit dries.