Many babies are enthralled with the simple melody and the gentle bobbing motion of a mobile dangling above them. For young babies who are not yet able to see much further than a foot, the sway and fluttering of a mobile provides an enchanting visual attraction.
Mobiles hold the power to entertain or calm. Babies that are just developing their ability to focus on objects barely beyond a foot are also learning to concentrate and follow moving objects with their eyes. This makes a mobile captivating and exciting with all its flips and turns.
Mobiles have become a mainstay of the nursery since the 1930's when artist Alexander Calder created hanging sculptures. These sculptures were made from parts hanging at different heights that all swayed and danced in response to moving air. Since then, mobiles have advanced to become battery-operated or wind-up devices that move on a pre-programmed track with music. They can be as technologically advanced or as simple and classic as you want them to be!
If you want to add a piece of nursery history to your crib, the type of mobile you choose will depend on its intended purpose. Do you want it to entertain or calm? Mobiles intended to entertain and excite come in a variety of bright and stimulating colors. They are equipped with flashing lights, whistles, constantly changing movements, and engaging music.
Mobiles intended to calm and lull your baby off to sleep are often pastel colors, with soft lights, gentle movements, and lilting lullabies. Some do double duty and offer a simple black and white design with a variety of musical selections from upbeat melodies to lullabies.
Baby mobiles should meet safety standards that limit string length to seven inches or less. Shorter string lengths help to prevent risk of strangulation for older babies. Many mobiles now have two parts: the music box post that connects to the crib and the mechanical or hanging decoration that can be removed from the crib and out of baby's reach.
Regardless of any additional safety features your mobile may have, any mobile hanging over a crib should be out of reach of your baby. They must be removed from the crib when your baby begins to push up on their hands and knees, usually around 5 months. This helps to prevent risk of strangulation or suffocation.
If the bells and whistles of modern mobiles aren't catching your attention, you can always make one. Mobiles made from objects, pictures, or toys can fascinate your child. Choose from pinwheels, black and white photographs, or the Styrofoam balls from your Grade 7 class, painted to look like Mars and Saturn. All a mobile requires to entertain your baby is a little color, a little wind, and a gentle spin before you leave the room.
- I can't say anything bad about the Tiny Love Symphony In Motion Mobile. This mobile came recommended by my cousin who researched products tirelessly the year before my daughter came along and it was a hit with both our daughters! This mobile always calmed my daughter down when she was fussy or overtired. The black and white spirals caught her attention early on and the colorful animals engaged her when she was a little older. What I really liked was the music selections. There are three classical songs instead of one high-pitched song that drives most parents crazy. Each song was long enough to not drive me batty. The mobile detaches from the music box so you can remove the mobile around 5 months and still use the music box! Love this mobile!