Is Baby Merlin's new product as good as its best-selling Sleepsuit?
We tested it to see if it can help older babies sleep better.
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When it comes to the wide world of baby sleep products, there is one thing pretty much every parent can agree on: Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit is the G.O.A.T.
But, along with tight-fitting swaddles and cozy bassinets, babies eventually grow out of this unicorn of a sleepsuit. This means you’ll have to say goodbye to quiet nights, probably when your baby is around 7 months old, and hello (again) to your puffy under-eye bags. You’ll also have to call your parent friends and beg them to tell you the secret to sleeping after the Magic Sleepsuit.
At almost 7 months old, my daughter was ready for the Magic Dream Sack. And based on reviews like, “I'm in love with this sleeper! It's everything I could have ever dreamed of for my 8-month-old! It’s warm, and so snuggly! We're just in love! I've been telling everyone about it!” my husband and I were also ready for it to deliver on its promise to help her sleep.
What is Baby Merlin’s Magic Dream Sack?
Designed for 6- to 12-month-olds, the Magic Dream Sack is the second product in Baby Merlin’s three-part Sleep System. It’s a “wearable blanket” that’s meant to be used once your baby is ready to transition out of the Magic Sleepsuit. But unlike the Magic Sleepsuit, the Magic Dream Sack doesn’t have long sleeves or leg openings—it’s the familiar shape of traditional sleep sacks.
The Dream Sack Walker is almost the same as the Dream Sack, but it’s designed for 12- to 18-month-olds and has openings at the feet so your little one can walk around. Both the Dream Sack and Dream Sack Walker come in three colors: blue, cream, and pink.
How much does Baby Merlin’s Magic Dream Sack cost?
The Magic Dream Sack costs $29.95, which is far from the most expensive sleep sack, but it’s also not the cheapest, either. Plus, considering you may want to buy two to have a backup in the event of a midnight blowout, you’re looking at $60.
While this is well worth the investment, especially if it actually works for your little one, it’s still a good chunk of change.
What if we didn’t use the Magic Sleepsuit? Can we still use the Dream Sack?
Yes! In fact, this is exactly what happened with us because, by the time we heard about the Magic Sleepsuit, our daughter was turning over in her crib at night. This isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker. On the Baby Merlin website, you’ll find details about when a baby should stop using the Magic Sleepsuit—which is, in fact, when they’re rolling over in the Magic Sleepsuit. For us, we didn’t want to transition her into it for just a short amount of time and then have to do another swap, so we decided to jump to the second product.
Even with my friends’ high reviews of the whole Baby Merlin Sleep System, I was still skeptical, since one of the main reasons babies do so well in the Dream Sack is because it’s designed to be used right after the Sleepsuit, which we didn't use. Also, it’s made with the same fabric as the Sleepsuit so babies are familiar with the feel of the material on their skin—another thing we were missing out on.
But, even though we didn’t use the Sleepsuit, I’m happy to report that after an adjustment period, our daughter did really well in the Dream Sack, eventually sleeping for six- to eight-hour stretches.
What we thought of Baby Merlin’s Magic Dream Sack
It’s thicker and cozier than other sleep sacks
Like I said, I was skeptical going into this experiment. After I held the Dream Sack up for the first time, I was even more skeptical. And to be honest, a little disappointed. "Is this actually any different from any other sleep sack?" I thought. I went and pulled out the 18-month Burt’s Bee’s sleep sack we’ve been storing since our baby shower to compare.
After closer inspection, I was reassured that there are in fact a few key differences. First, the Dream Sack’s two-layers of fabric—versus the one-layer design that most sleep sacks use—does actually make it a bit heavier than other sleep sacks I’ve handled. Second, it has a two-way zipper that allows for smoother on and off and easier middle-of-the-night diaper changes (thank you!). And, third, the cotton material that Baby Merlin products are known for is actually really soft and cozy.
It looks big, but it’s just right
One thing you’ll immediately notice about this product is that it looks enormous. You’ll wonder if you ordered the wrong size. My recommendation is to put your little one in the sack and then see if it’s still too big. It should be roomy—remember it’s a “wearable blanket.”
There’s a transition period
We didn’t end up using the Dream Sack for about a week after getting it because of an intense end-of-summer heatwave. We thought there was too much fabric for her to sleep comfortably in those high temps, and since she was already waking up three to four times per night, we worried that it might make it even worse.
Once it cooled down enough, we gave the Dream Sack a try. The first night, she slept with just a diaper under it since it was still pretty hot, and unfortunately, we didn’t notice any improvement. We did this for another night but still no noticeable changes. One thing we did notice, though, was that she was still able to roll to her side to sleep, which is her preferred position at this point, so that was a positive.
The next night we switched her back to her usual footie pajamas because we were staying with my in-laws for a week, and we didn’t want to make even more changes in the hopes of a good night’s sleep for all of us. This ended up being a particularly sleepless night that pushed me and my husband to commit to at least four nights in a row of using the Dream Sack—giving it an honest try.
By the fourth night, she was down to waking only once to eat and then going right back to sleep. Depending on the temperature, we used a short-sleeved or long-sleeved onesie underneath, which seemed to be better than just a diaper for our little one.
I’m happy to say our daughter enjoys the Dream Sack, and all things considered, she sleeps pretty well in it too. Was it magic? Not so much. Was it worth it? Yes. I think it was especially worth it since she’ll be familiar with the next item in the Sleep System, the Dream Sack Walker. Fingers crossed that transition is seamless.
Should you buy Baby Merlin’s Dream Sack?
Yes. Even if your little one didn’t start out with the Magic Sleepsuit, you should give the Dream Sack a try. Not only is the price tag reasonable as far as sleep sacks go, but the quality of the material is great for the price point—it’s extra soft! Plus, the two layers of fabric add a bit of weight to the sleep sack, which is something that helps babies feel cozy.
Also, once your baby is familiar and comfortable in the Dream Sack, it’ll hopefully be a relatively easy transition for them to the Dream Sack Walker, which is the third product in the Sleep System and has foot openings for when your little one starts to crawl and walk.
The overwhelming feedback I get from friends whose babies started out with the Magic Sleepsuit is that the Dream Sack is an absolute must. Your baby will already be familiar with the Dream Sack’s material on their skin since it’s made with the same material as the Sleepsuit, and the extra bit of weight will also be comforting as they’re transitioning out of the heavier Sleepsuit.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.