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At around 3-4 months, babies must transition out of sleeping swaddled as they become more active and learn to roll. This can mean less sleep for Mom as most babies sleep longer when swaddled due to not being able to flail their arms at night, startling themselves awake.
My son slept so much better swaddled. Our favorite swaddle was the HALO SleepSack because it zipped up from the bottom allowing for easy diaper changes without having to un-swaddle his arms.
I was nervous about how his sleep would be affected when transitioned out of the swaddle. He slept so much better with the swaddle compared to when I just had him in a sleep sack.
This is where swaddle transition suits come in such as Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit and the Zipadee-Zip . These swaddle transitions are designed to muffle the startle reflex while still allowing the baby the ability to move their arms and legs should they roll over onto their stomachs and need to roll back or move their heads to avoid suffocating.
I have used both swaddle transitions with my son and loved both of them. They did extend his sleep like being swaddled. It is hard to choose between the two as they are so different but I outline my favorite features of both and the drawbacks of them as well.
Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit:
This is what we call my son’s marshmallow suit because he does look like a little marshmallow. I love snuggling him in this, it’s like hugging a teddy bear!
The pros of the Sleep Suit are that the movement from both the arms and legs are muffled by the thick padding. He also feels secure in it.
I have to put my son fully to sleep by bouncing with him on the corner of a bed and then lay him in his crib. With the suit on, he is much less likely to wake up when I set him down than when he is just in pjs.
Another plus is that it is very thick and warm if your house stays on the cool side.
The thickness is also a drawback- it is difficult to keep the baby cool and he can get too hot in it. To combat this, we dress him in just the suit and a diaper and keep his nursery cooler at about 69-70 degrees.
Another drawback to the thickness is that it takes a very long time to dry. We only had the Sleep Suit to start out with so washing it became a hassle. You have to hang the suit to dry and it takes 24 hours for it to dry fully. To make it dry quicker, flip the sleeves and legs inside out halfway through the dry time.
We were impatient a couple times (he truly sleeps so much better with it) so we have dried it on low heat before. While the suit is still perfectly fine, the sleeves have shrunk a bit from drying it.
My son hates being constricted and I can tell he dislikes this one more than the Zipadee Zip. He also hated being swaddled but when he got past it, he slept way better.
The Zipadee Zip:
This is what we call my son’s starfish suit because his little arms are at points like a starfish. Yes I know, my husband and I are children on the inside.
We love this suit because it keeps his hands and feet inside the sack, keeping him warm and limiting scratches. An added bonus- he can’t grab hold of my hair while I am bouncing him! With how much hair I have been losing since the baby, I definitely don’t need any more ripped out.
It also allows freedom of movement while muffling the startle reflex.
He definitely likes this suit better because he is still free to move and bring his hands towards his face. When I put it on him he just stares at his little hands in awe that he can’t see his fingers anymore, it is so cute.
The fabric is thin so the baby does not overheat. Depending on the temperature, you can dress baby in warmer clothing underneath the suit.
I dress my son in a long sleeve or short sleeve onesie and socks when it is warmer but have also put him in a sleeper when it is cooler in the room.
A plus side to this suit is that because it is so thin, it can be worn in a car seat. We will be making a long flight overseas in a couple weeks and I plan on letting my son wear this on the flight while he is in his car seat.
The ease of movement can also be a negative because the baby is less restricted. This may leave some babies feeling less secure.
Swaddle transitions like the Zipadee-Zip and Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit are perfect for transitioning from the swaddle. Typically at four months babies can already have a sleep regression due to many factors such as teething. If you are anything like me, you are looking at anything and everything to make your little one get better sleep.
A swaddle transition can help to extend the baby’s sleep by muffling the startle reflex. This can give Mom more rest and ease the stress of the transition for both Mom and baby.
Have another type of transition method that worked for your children? Please let me know in the comments!