Which baby mobile is best?
Babies spend a lot of time lying down on their backs, and they can get bored easily. A mobile is designed to keep your little one’s interest, and it can be soothing and entertaining. A good mobile not only keeps your baby content, but can be beneficial for their neurological development as well as motor skills as they reach out to touch the toys.
Mobiles come in different materials and accessories, so it can be difficult to decide which one is right for your baby. For a versatile musical mobile, consider the Tiny Love Meadow Days Soothe and Groove Mobile.
What to consider before you buy a baby mobile
Sleep vs. stimulate
It is a common misconception that mobiles are designed to put your baby to sleep. If sleep is the goal, a mobile is probably not your best option, as they are typically designed to cultivate mental stimulation rather than relaxation. Some mobiles do play soothing music, but the music will probably not be enough to calm your baby if the objects above them are still stimulating. If you do want to use the mobile for that purpose, consider moving it out of the baby’s sight when it is time for a nap.
Mobile object orientation
The cute objects hanging from your baby mobile won’t do any good if your baby can’t see them. When picking out a mobile, double-check which way the objects are facing. You want the objects on your mobile to face downward to the baby, not up or out toward the parents. So a mobile with cars may look cute, but your baby may only be seeing wheels, which isn’t nearly as fun as the colorful cars are meant to be.
Colorful vs. monochrome
Brightly colored mobiles are cheerful and fun, but they may not be the best for an infant’s development. Particularly in the first few weeks and months of life, babies cannot see a full range of colors. For this reason, some parents opt for a black-and-white mobile so that their little one can see the objects more clearly before they have full discernment of colors. For many children, a mobile is no longer as useful by the time they are old enough to see all the colors.
Most mobiles are designed to attach to the side of the crib. Often, a mobile will stay in place until the baby has outgrown them, but there are some mobiles that are designed to be more portable and have attachment options that allow you to clip them on the crib, the stroller or a car seat so you can keep your baby entertained everywhere you go. Some parents prefer a portable mobile to save money and get more use out of the mobile, while others prefer a stationary mobile so that no pieces go missing.
What to look for in a quality baby mobile
Baby mobiles will usually have objects made from either cloth, plastic or wood.
- Cloth objects are nice and soft, so you don’t need to worry about your little one getting hurt. However, cloth can gather dust and bacteria and should be cleaned regularly.
- Plastic objects are not often as aesthetically appealing as cloth or wood, but they are a bit more sanitary, as they can be cleaned more easily than other materials. Plastic also tends to last a long time, allowing you to pass the mobile along to the next child or to family or friends.
- Wood objects are natural and beautiful, creating a soft aesthetic for your nursery. However, wood objects are typically less durable and may not have as much definition as other materials.
Manual vs. motorized
Some mobiles move only when touched, some are motorized and others have a wind-up function that requires manual winding. Some parents prefer motorized mobiles since they don’t require extra effort, while others prefer manual mobiles as it allows the baby to have more freedom with reaching towards the objects.
Music and lights
Music and lights are both fun extra features to entertain and stimulate your baby, but they can also be distracting, especially during nap time. Music can be soothing as well as entertaining, and lights can also double as a nightlight so you can check on your little one without having to turn the light on. If you opt for a mobile that does have music or lights, try to get one that has a remote so that you can control these features at a distance.
How much you can expect to spend on a baby mobile
Generally, you can expect to spend $8-$50 on a baby mobile. In the $8-$15 range, you’ll find static cloth or plastic mobiles that don’t have motors or batteries but may have a wind-up music box function. Between $15-$25, you’ll be looking at wooden mobiles and more mobiles with music or lights or motorized functions. High-end models with lights, music, remotes and motor functions are usually around $30-$50.
Baby mobile FAQ
How long will my baby use the mobile?
A. Most babies can start enjoying a mobile from a few days old. Throughout the first few weeks and months of life, a mobile can stimulate and entertain your child and help them develop their eyes and their brain. However, by the time your child is able to reach out and grab the objects, it can become dangerous as they can get tangled in the strings or choke on some of the objects. That stage is different for every child, but it usually happens between 4 and 6 months.
Can I keep the same mobile for my next child?
A. Yes! Mobiles don’t get a lot of use compared to other baby toys, so they make a perfect hand-me-down gift for the next baby in your life. As long as everything is still holding together, you can use the same mobile for years.
What’s the best baby mobile to buy?
Top baby mobile
What you need to know: This versatile mobile has a variety of features that can adjust and grow with your baby.
What you’ll love: This feature-packed mobile is equipped with numerous colorful toys, battery-powered motion, large buttons and a music player with 18 different melodies. It comes with a nightlight and even converts into a standalone music box for when your child grows out of the mobile function.
What you should consider: It is pricier than others on our list. Some users report distracting clicking sounds made by the motor.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top baby mobile for the money
What you need to know: This simple and unique mobile is specially designed to be visually stimulating throughout different early development stages.
What you’ll love: This psychology-informed mobile features a collection of discs with black-and-white images on one side and colorful images on the other side, allowing you to change them out as your child develops their ability to differentiate color. You can also adjust the distance of the cards. Additionally, each card is marked for the typical age range that it is best suited for, taking out any guesswork.
What you should consider: It is not motorized and doesn’t have any sound features.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This adorable sea-themed mobile is perfect for colorful and ocean-themed nurseries.
What you’ll love: Featuring five lovable, brightly colored sea creatures, this mobile is motorized, easy to put together, made from a trusted brand and softly plays lullaby music.
What you should consider: It’s a bit basic for the price range and it doesn’t fit with all themes.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Colette Bliss writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.