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Nursery Mobiles

As parents prepare a nursery, the crib and mobile play a role in the room's overall theme. Along with the choice of what type of animal or fun objects like stars or happy faces will hang from the mobile, there are other features to consider, like crib mobiles that play classical music or flash lights. Whether their theme is farm animals, sea stars, or musical instruments, parents can find a fitting mobile to help their new baby get to sleep.

Why do people get mobiles for cribs?

For the first few months of life, a baby spends most of his or her time lying down facing toward the nursery ceiling. Whether with stars, animals, or some other colorful toys, crib mobiles help entertain the baby and offer some educational and developmental benefits as well. Plus, they help parents get their child to sleep faster. Some specific benefits follow.

  • Stimulate vision and hearing. When first born, a baby has blurry vision and hearing, but as he or she gets older and experiences more colors and sounds, these senses drastically improve. The mobile music and movement of the hanging toys speeds up this process.
  • Relaxation. The moving colors of the mobile give the baby something to focus on and help lull him or her to a sleep filled with peaceful dreams.
  • Develop hand/eye coordination. After the baby starts visually tracking the stars, flowers, or other toys, he or she will begin reach for them, practicing hand/eye coordination. This is safe as long as they are out of reach.
How do mobiles attach to cribs?

Most crib mobiles attach to any standard crib using a padded clamp to attach an arm onto the railing. The arm raises up and over the crib so that the mobile hangs centered over the baby. Some models of mobiles attach to the ceiling instead. Regardless of which type, the toys hanging from the mobile need to be at least 12 inches away from the baby which is roughly 16 inches from the top of the mattress.

Do crib mobiles need batteries?

Some crib mobiles require only a slight breeze from a nursery fan. This type of mobile generally has very lightweight pieces that easily move and spin. Electronic baby mobiles run on batteries and can be heavier and more elaborate than the wind-powered models. Most musical mobiles run on batteries, but some have a wind-up system and play music for a short time before needing to be wound again.

Are crib mobiles safe?

When properly installed, mobiles are appropriate for a baby younger than about 5 months old. After this age, the baby starts pushing his or her body upwards and could potentially get caught in the mobile pieces. When no longer safe to hang over the crib, parents can hang them from a wall as a decoration or above a changing table. Also, safe mobile strings are less than 7 inches long to prevent choking hazard.