You must have seen that unusually attractive thing that hangs over a crib. If you’re wondering what it is, it is called a baby mobile. While you must have heard music and chimes coming out of it, a baby mobile is also used to store the toys that the little one plays with.
Basically, the baby mobile or the cot mobile, as some call it, is something that parents usually use to keep the baby engaged when he or she wakes up from sleep. Some cribs even come with changing tables. If you are looking for an attractive baby mobile for your baby’s crib, then in this article, we shall tell you what all things you should consider before buying one, and which are the best baby mobiles available in the market these days.
Types Of Baby Mobiles
The baby mobile is a traditional piece of equipment that hangs above the baby crib. However, with time the features of the good old cot mobile have also changed significantly. Today, besides being able to hold little toys, court mobiles are also able to play music, have a Bluetooth connection, and can also spin.
Besides different kinds of baby mobiles having different features, there are three basic types of baby mobiles available in the market these days:
1. Conventional Baby Mobile
The most simple and commonly used variety of baby mobiles are the ones that can be attached to the side of the baby’s crib, using a simple clip. A major problem that parents face with these kinds of baby mobiles is that some of them cannot fit properly over the rounded or square edges of a baby crib.
2. Portable Baby Mobile
Portable Baby mobiles have become very popular these days. Besides being very easy and convenient to carry along, these can be attached to either a regular baby crib or even a baby stroller. Many new and exciting designs of portable baby mobiles are being sold. However, many safety concerns are associated with the cheap-quality ones that are readily available in the markets.
3. Ceiling Baby Mobiles
The baby mobiles that can be mounted on the ceiling by just drilling a small hole into it are the safest options these days. While they cannot be attached using a clip onto the baby’s crib or the stroller, they are still a very easy-to-manage option for parents. When the child is staying indoors, parents can simply fix these baby mobiles and do not have to worry about them afterward.
Factors To Consider Before Buying
As you can see, all three kinds of baby mobiles are very much related to the kind of cribs or ceilings that you have at home. Therefore, besides the brand itself, there are several other considerations that you should make before finalizing a baby mobile for your child:
1. String Length
Firstly, the height of the baby mobile has to be appropriate so that it does not hit the baby every now and then. While hanging the baby mobile, you should maintain a certain distance between the child and the mobile itself. For this, the string of the baby mobile has to be long enough. If the mobile has to be attached to the crib using a clip, then there must be some other mechanisms to change the suspension height of the baby mobile as per requirements.
Moreover, the American Pediatric Academy has recommended that the string length for any baby mobile should not be less than 7 inches. In general, all kinds of baby cribs are compatible with baby mobiles that have a string length ranging between 8 to 15 inches.
2. Age Of The Child
During developmental milestones, children learn how to grasp and reach things around them. Until the age of about five months, using a hanging baby mobile is safe. However, beyond that, it is not recommended to keep a baby mobile hanging around your child’s crib because once the child starts sitting up by himself, he will certainly be very close to this hanging object and can eventually get hurt by it, too.
3. Secure Fixing
Whenever you buy a new baby mobile, always check if you can securely fix it against the ceiling or the crib. If the fitting is somewhat loose, and there are chances of the baby mobile falling off, you should certainly get the product replaced. This is because there have been instances where baby mobiles containing toys have directly fallen on children and hurt them badly. So, to avoid this situation, always ensure a secure fitting for the baby mobile.
Benefits Of Baby Mobiles
Now that you know what those things that hang over baby cribs are called, it’s time to get familiar with the benefits of having them at home:
1. Sensory Development
According to child health experts and developmental psychologists, equipment like baby mobiles is very helpful in providing sensory stimuli to babies. The sensory stimulus helps encourage sensory interaction from an early stage, which is instrumental in promoting better neural development. This process of neural development has several other components and carries on till adulthood. However, an early intervention like this is always helpful in making the developmental process faster and more effective.
2. Relaxation And Sleep
Parents always have a hard time making their babies sleep. Moreover, when children start crying, it becomes difficult sometimes to pacify them. Baby mobiles have been playing a role in managing both these things effectively for ages now. Baby mobiles play soothing music, which helps relax the child, making them fall asleep faster. Many parents have made it a constant routine to keep the baby mobile near the child whenever they want him or her to sleep on time. Even if the baby mobile does not play any kind of music, it still creates a very attractive visual stimulation that effectively stops them from crying.
3. Keeps Them Engaged
Babies tend to become fussy when their parents are not around. However, parents have got a lot of other household work to do as well. So, whenever parents go away for some kind of work, these baby mobiles help keep the child engaged and do not allow them to get distracted or bored. Thus, we can say that baby mobiles help buy some time for the parents so that they can complete their work and then get back to their child.
4. Sense Of Movement
Visual stimulation is linked to the development of motor skills as well. When children start observing how the baby mobile is moving to and fro in the air, they start developing a sense of movement. While it may seem preliminary or insignificant, the sense usually builds and progresses in time. Hence, the presence of a baby mobile will turn out to be very significant in the movement sense development of the child. Later on, it will help them get better at judging distances and create spatial awareness, too.
Solving Safety Issues
All equipment used for babies is frequently under scrutiny when it comes to safety issues. While there are risks in changing a baby mobile over the child’s crib, in most cases, they have been very safe to use. If the baby mobile hangs at least 15-16 inches away from the child and the fitting is tight enough, there are very few chances that the baby mobile will fall off and hurt the child in any way.
Secondly, as a parent, you need to understand that beyond a specific age, you cannot use equipment like a baby mobile. Therefore, as soon as your child is five months old, detach the baby’s mobile and do not use it. If you only want a baby mobile for visual stimulation, it would be best to hang it from the ceiling. This way, it will be very far off from the child, and even if it falls, you have a chance to catch it midway.
In general, it is recommended that parents clip the baby mobile against the crib rails and not nearer than that. Moreover, while choosing a baby mobile, you should ensure that the mobile does not have any loose parts that may fall off at any time.
Lastly, it is better to buy baby mobiles with a soft plastic casing around them that protects the children from getting hurt badly, even if the mobile falls over them. The positioning and fitting of the baby mobile have to be ideal with respect to the room and the crib, respectively. Therefore, you need to plan the placement well before fixing the baby mobile eventually.
We hope that you now know what that spinning thing above a baby crib actually is. Special attention and care must be given whenever you are about to hang or place any object near a baby. It should not harm them in any way and should be completely safe for him or her.
Baby mobiles have been around for quite some time now and are a good way of keeping babies engaged. Directly or indirectly, baby mobiles play a role in the development of a child. Moreover, they are beneficial in making them fall asleep quickly. Overall, baby mobiles are an important thing to buy when you have a baby at home, and if you select the right product, it will never harm your child in any way.
Carly Link, a 33-year old mother of two toddlers. She is a parent and goes through a lot of the usual parenting difficulties herself. Carly shares all her experiences and knowledge about the best baby products through this blog.