Newborns and infants spend most of their time in a crib, where they may feel restricted and bored.
Enter baby mobiles, the colorful, musical toys to address the infant’s boredom and keep them engaged by stimulating their auditory and visual senses. Like any other infant toy, mobiles come in a variety of models from different brands. There are different types of baby mobiles too, from which you can choose.
Here is a MomJunction guide to choosing the right baby mobile and the list of 15 best baby mobiles to consider.
What Is A Baby Mobile?
Baby mobile, also called a crib mobile, is a hanging toy that you suspend on top of a bed, bassinet, stroller, or car seat. The mobile is a circular frame with several small toys attached to it with strings. The toy dangles above the crib such that it stays in the baby’s line of sight. The moving toys capture the infant’s attention and keep them engrossed.
Why Purchase A Baby Mobile?
Baby mobiles help the baby in the following ways:
- Help in object tracking: Watching the toys move on the crib allows the baby to exercise their eyes and improve their object tracking skills.
- Soothe the baby to sleep: Music from a baby mobile can calm the infant and may help them fall asleep faster with less fuss.
- Pacify and distract the baby: A baby mobile can come handy when you want to calm a cranky baby. The toy is also useful when you are strolling outdoors, where it can become difficult to handle a baby’s tantrum.
There are many varieties of baby mobiles, from which you may pick the one that suits you the best.
What Are The Different Types Of Baby Mobiles?
There are fundamentally two types of baby mobiles available:
- Crib-mounted: A crib-mounted baby mobile attaches to the crib with the use of a plastic attachment arm that latches to the crib rails. The top part of the holder has an axle where the toys hang. A crib-mounted baby mobile transfers all its weight to the crib.
- Ceiling-mounted: The string goes all the way to the ceiling where it attaches to a hook. Ceiling-mounted baby mobile may not be able to carry a lot of weight due to the risk of falling. However, you get the convenience of placing the toys at any distance above the baby.
You can buy either type of mobiles after checking the features.
How To Choose A Baby Mobile?
Explore the following features when shopping for a baby mobile:
- Type of baby mobile: Not all baby mobiles can be mounted on the ceiling, and some crib-mounted baby mobiles will only fit certain cribs. Therefore, pick a baby mobile that will work with your crib, bed or ceiling.
- Movement: Check for the movement options available with the toys of the crib. Toys with several movement options help keep the baby entertained for a longer time.
- The number of toys: Some baby mobiles only support a couple of toys while some support several. It depends on your baby’s preference.
- Music, light, and automatic movement: Battery-operated baby mobiles move automatically and have a light and sound feature. Some crib mobiles may also have a remote control to operate the electronic functions.
Next, we give you a list of the best mobiles you can choose from.
15 Best Baby Mobiles
1. Tiny Love Meadow Days Take Along Mobile
- The mobile has a universal crib attachment arm, which allows you to fix it to different cribs and bassinets.
- A screw at the base of the arm helps tighten the clamp, securing the mobile adequately and preventing the risk of falling.
- There are three colorful toys attached to the central axle of the electronic module.
- A switch on the module makes the toys spin. This crib mobile can also play five different melodies for up to 30 minutes of uninterrupted play.
- Take off the toys and the motor unit from the arm and attach it to a stroller or suspend them from the ceiling using the strap at the base of the central component.
2. Haba Nursery Wooden Mobile
- The toy is made entirely of beech wood sourced through sustainable forestry. Each ball is painted in different shades of colors using non-toxic, water-based paint. The variation in the shades is great for stimulating the baby’s vision.
- It is a ceiling-mounted baby mobile and can be placed above a baby’s cot, in any room. The manufacturer ships the toy with a string that lets you suspend the toy from any regular ceiling fish-hook screw.
- The wooden rods allow you to balance the weight of the toy so that it stays stable.
- A light touch is all that the toy needs to keep it spinning for 10-15 minutes.
3. Fisher-Price Precious Planet 2-in-1 Projection Mobile
- A projector at the base of the arm displays images of cartoon animals on the canopy attached to the arm. You can remove the canopy and the toys to project the images on a wall or ceiling.
- Four soft toys that spin in their place are attached to the canopy.
- A speaker at the base of the attachment arm plays music and natural sounds like heartbeat and womb sounds. There is also a selection of lullabies and classical music composed by Mozart, Bach, and Beethoven.
- Control the functions using the buttons on the crib mobile, or a remote.
- The baby mobile can attach to any crib using universal straps.
4. Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile
- It is a portable baby mobile with a universal clip on top, for attaching it to strollers, bassinets, and car seats when you’re on-the-go.
- The mobile has three reversible cards that keep rotating to engage the baby.
- High contrast patterns on the card attract the baby’s attention. The patterns are useful for the baby’s visual development.
- This baby mobile is ultra lightweight, which means you can carry it everywhere you go with your baby.
5. Tiny Love Meadow Days Soothe ‘n Groove Baby Mobile
- A sound module at the base of the attachment arm features six buttons each for a sound category. You can pick from 18 tunes and sounds across these categories.
- Three toys on top of the baby mobile spin in their place.
- The toys spin in conjunction with the music. Parents can adjust the volume using buttons on the console.
- Detach the crib mobile to use the sound module as a stand-alone music console for older babies and toddlers.
6. Disney Winnie the Pooh Mobile
- There are four adorable plush toys on the baby mobile: two toys shaped like Winnie the Pooh, one honey bee, and a jar of honey.
- A music box on top plays music without the need for batteries.
- The attachment arm easily affixes to a standard crib rail.
- You can rotate the toys with the flick of the hand.
7. Bedtime Originals Roar Dinosaur Musical Mobile
- You can fix the mobile to any crib using the clip at the base of the attachment arm.
- There are four lightweight dinosaur-shaped plush toys on the crib mobile.
- It can play three lullabies: Rock-A-Bye Baby, Brahms Lullaby, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
- The music plays for 20 minutes. Parents can turn the music on and off, and control the volume. This crib mobile works on batteries.
8. Tiny Love Starry Night Mobile
- This three-in-one product works as a baby mobile, musical toy, and night light projector.
- You can pick from three categories of sounds such as lullabies, nature, and classic melodies. It can play a maximum of nine melodies for 30 minutes at a stretch.
- It has a projector that displays images on the ceiling of the canopy.
- The standard attachment clip allows you to place the mobile on any crib.
- Once your baby has outgrown the baby mobile, you can detach the projector, put the canopy on top it, and use it as a lamp for the baby’s room. The projector then throws images on the ceiling.
9. Shiloh Baby Crib Musical Mobile
- The crib mobile attaches to the crib rail using a proprietary attachment bracket, which is sturdier than a standard clip.
- There are four hanging toys. One toy works as a squeaker, another as a jingle bell, and another as a rattle within.
- The sound module on the top can play up to 60 tunes. Parents can switch between the tunes using buttons.
- The music shuts automatically after 30 minutes when the device is idle but can continue playing for an hour when used or operated in between.
- The base of the hanging hook can move 360° thus making the toys spin in both directions.
10. Manhattan Toy Skwish Crib Mobile
- The crib mobile features multiple levels of wooden beads that attach to the main attachment arm.
- A wooden base that is made from sustainable wood and painted in water-based colors goes over the crib rail and is compatible with most types of cribs.
- Just flick the mobile with a finger to make the beads spin in their place.
- The bright colors are excellent at stimulating the baby’s vision.
11. Tik Tak Design Co. Felt Ceiling Mobile
- The stars and the balls in the crib mobile are made from felt, which is non-woven wool.
- It is a handmade, ceiling-mounted baby mobile.
- The crib mobile suspends from a natural wooden frame. The cluster of felt balls balances evenly on the wooden frame.
- Parents can push the baby mobile to make the softballs spin around.
12. Carter’s Jungle Collection Musical Mobile
- The attachment arm comes with a giraffe-shaped cover, with the crib mobile strings coming out from the mouth of the giraffe.
- The plush toy has a sound module that plays Brahms lullaby music to soothe the infant.
- The clamp fits the rails of most cribs.
- Pushing the strings make the plush toys spin.
13. Mini Tudou Baby Musical Mobile
- The attachment arm clamps to the crib rails, and you can tighten the grip by turning the plastic screw. It keeps the baby mobile secure at its place even when the baby is moving within the crib.
- Four removable rattles are suspended by a string. You can take the rattle out for the baby to hold and play.
- The electronic module has several features such as night light, projection, and music playback.
- There are over 150 sounds and melodies to choose from. Parents can also select the desired duration to play music: 20, 40 or 60 minutes.
- The toys spin when you turn on the music.
14. Lambs & Ivy Oceania Musical Nursery Crib Mobile
- An octopus-shaped central part with strings that suspend four fish-shaped plush toys.
- The toys rotate while playing the songs like Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Brahms Lullaby, and Rock-A-Bye Baby.
- Parents can manually turn off the music or let the toy turn it off after 20 minutes of inactivity.
- A clamp sits on the crib rail and keeps the baby mobile secure.
15. Wendy Bellissimo Baby Mobile Crib Mobile
- The toy contains four adorable, elephant-shaped plush toys attached to a wheel.
- The attachment arm clamps to the rail of the crib. Fabric covers the attachment arm.
- The baby mobile spins while playing the Brahms Lullaby. It can play music for three minutes.
Tips For Using Baby Mobile
- Keep the mobile out of the baby’s reach: A baby mobile is meant for an infant’s visual stimulation and entertainment, and not for them to hold and play. Always place the baby mobile at a height where the baby cannot reach it with their hands. If the baby can reach it, they may pull and cause it to fall on the face, increasing the risk of suffocation due to the several strings present on a baby mobile.
- The hook must be secure: Check and double check the sturdiness of the ceiling hook when hanging a ceiling-mounted baby mobile. Be watchful of any loose strings or toys on both ceiling-mounted and crib-mounted baby mobiles.
- Remove once the baby can reach out: The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends removing the baby mobile once the infants are five months old, or when they can reach out for objects, whichever happens first (1). The risk of the mobile falling and causing injury increases when your baby is around six months old, when they can reach out and grab things that are out of their reach (2).
Baby mobiles can be an exciting new toy for infants. They entertain and distract the baby, while also saving the parent’s time spent on cajoling an upset baby. Pick a mobile of your choice but take precautions to keep your infant safe and happy.
Have you used a mobile to distract your baby? Do share your experience with us in the comment section below.
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2. Important Milestones: Your Baby By Six Months; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention