Baby mobiles are an almost ubiquitous part of raising a child. Not only do these products act as a calming and reassuring anchor in the brand new world as experienced by a baby, but they can also provide great development stimulus as babies become more sensorily aware of their surroundings.
While this will be one of the baby’s first toys, it also is something that parents will be dealing with just as much or more than the baby. From the installation to the aesthetic, there are aspects of various mobiles that may make them better options than others. We’ve taken a look at some of the more popular offerings, here is what we learned:
Tiny Love Take Along Mobile
- 30 minutes of music. A great aspect of this baby mobile is that it has up to 30 minutes straight of uninterrupted music programmed. This allows parents to let the mobile lull their babies to sleep more efficiently.
- Song variety. This product features 5 different melodies, which is more than many competitors. This variety can keep the mobile engaging time and again.
- Rotation. This mobile has a feature where it rotates itself. This is great for keeping a baby’s attention.
- Size. Though it is easy to transport, the mobile is actually rather small. Parents will need to position their babies underneath it for maximum visibility.
- Motor noise. While babies will probably not notice or mind, the motor does emit a soft sound. Parents may become irritated with the noise over time.
This series of mobiles from Tiny Love features cute plush animals in different assortments. The mobile has a rotation feature and can play up to thirty minutes of uninterrupted music.
Wendy Bellissimo Baby Mobile
- Elegant design. From the hanging characters to the fabric-sheathed arm, this product has a thoughtful and elegant design. It is great as a gift for a new parent.
- Cute animals. This line of mobiles features different animals, ranging from teddy bears to whales. The difficulty involved is deciding which adorable set of plush animals to choose.
- Easy assembly. This product requires very few steps to assemble. Most parents will probably be able to put this together without reading the instructions.
- Music length. Though the song from Johannes Brahms that this mobile plays is the quintessential lullaby song, it is only three minutes long and doesn’t play on repeat.
- Hand-wound. This mobile needs to be hand wound in order to rotate. This may require parents constantly winding and rewinding to get a child to sleep.
The Wendy Ballisimo line of baby mobiles features cute animals set in a colorful but appropriately subdued mobile structure. It is easy to assemble and plays a classic lullaby.
Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile for Cribs
- Adjustable. This product features several ways parents can customize or adjust the product. Not only are the cards interchangeable, but the string distance can be adjusted to match the baby’s developing vision.
- Age-appropriate cards. Each of the ten patterned cards has an age associated with it. Not many mobiles allow parents to alter the mobile to cater to their baby.
- Cost. This is one of the more affordable mobiles available. The fact that it allows so much customization and variety makes it an especially good value.
- Discs can fall off. Customers may discover that the discs can fall off when adjusting the mobile.
- No spin mechanism. This mobile does not spin on its own. Parents need to move it themselves by hand.
This mobile from Manhattan Toy employs the use of high-contrast images and patterns to aid in baby’s visual and sensory development. It is highly adjustable and one of the more affordable products available.
Tik Tak Design Co Felt Ball Mobile
- 15 color options. These mobiles from Tik Tak come in fifteen different color varieties. This is great for matching the mobile with other furniture items.
- Moveable shapes. The felt balls and stars can be moved along the strings so parents can adjust the mobile as they like. This helps with keeping the mobile engaging and fresh.
- Size. This is one of the longer mobiles one will find. It is about 16 inches long and features five feet of string to hang it from.
- Price. This is one of the more expensive mobiles one can find, especially considering it has no music or motor.
- No hardware. Parents will have to figure out how to hang this product on their own. There is no apparatus or hook to hang it from provided.
This mobile from Tik Tak Design Co features an array of fuzzy felt balls and stars made of wool that are hanging by strings. Available in many color schemes, this product is lightweight and adjustable.
Best Music Selection
GrowthPic Musical Mobile
- 20 songs. This mobile has one of the widest collections of songs for parents to choose from. The music is organized in three different categories to help parents navigate.
- Easy to clean. Due to the plastic design of the mobile, it is easier to clean by simply wiping off the surface. Other products that are made of cloth-like materials can collect dust more easily.
- Adjustable volume and timer. This mobile has an easy-to-operate volume control. Users can even adjust the amount of time the device will play for.
- Music can be too loud. Though it is nice that the music volume is adjustable, some may find that it is still a bit too loud to calm a baby to sleep.
- Heavy. Because it is made of plastic, it is a bit heavier than other mobiles. This may make it more cumbersome to install and less stable.
This mobile from GrowthPic has a bevy of features that make it one of the more versatile products available. It has a selection of 20 songs, a timer, adjustable volume, and can stand alone as a music box as the child ages.
How We Picked
When comparing baby mobiles, it is important to keep in mind their function. While one option may seem cuter to a parent, another may simply be easier to operate. We have chosen a few categories to consider that may help shoppers better differentiate between different brands:
Though most mobiles share the fact that they hang above a baby’s crib, there are some major differences in how they are meant to operate beyond that. The classic mobile simply consists of different strands hanging down with objects at the end of each strand. This can be set into motion by being pushed by a parent or even if light enough when there is natural or fan-produced wind.
Parents can also opt for mobiles that have actual motors. These keep the mobile rotating on their own so parents don’t need to keep it spinning themselves. Some have timers built in that parents can adjust to their baby’s sleeping pattern, while others simply need to be wound in order to rotate.
These products can be babies’ first visible glimpses into the wider world. As their eyesight develops, they may begin to formulate very rough ideas of what animals, planets, stars, and shapes are. The choice of theme can be something that babies peer at night after night and thus can have some influence.
Many brands choose animals for their mobiles. These characters tend to be more cartoonish and cute than realistic, though each brand has its own style. Those hoping for more generic or even developmentally-conscious products can find brands that feature various shapes, colors, or patterns.
Whether buying a mobile for one’s self or as a gift, these products are not going to be very useful if they can’t be assembled properly. Most mobiles are relatively easy to put together, but that is not a steadfast rule. The majority of them will clip or screw to the rail of the crib.
Some mobiles are only compatible with crib railings of a certain size, so parents should check for assembly requirements. Some producers are making mobiles that are more traditional in design, meaning they are made to attach to a hook that needs to be installed on the ceiling above the crib. Mobiles that attach to cribs can be easier to install than these ceiling-mounted ones, but parents will have less room to adjust the placement with these crib-mounting units.
Not sure which baby mobile is right for your baby? Don’t make your purchase before checking out these helpful guidelines:
- Are you handy with tools?
- Some mobiles will need light assembly and may need some tools to install to a crib.
- Mobiles that hang from the ceiling will usually need parents to screw a hook into the ceiling.
- What is the decor of the baby’s room?
- While some baby mobiles have a subdued appearance, some feature bright colors that may stand out more.
- Those who have outfitted their rooms specifically for a boy or girl can find products that match colors typically associated with those baby genders. Gender neutral offerings are abundant as well.