Keep Baby Entertained With The Best Crib Mobiles (2018 Guide)

Keep Baby Entertained With The Best Crib Mobiles (2018 Guide)

As I was digging through my attic the other day, I came across a box full of my son’s baby items.

Blankets, toys, and stuffed animals—all the things that brought him lots of comfort in his nursery. 

Then, I came across his crib mobile and couldn’t help but smile.

I could still picture him, pint-size, laying in his crib, mesmerized by the soft sounds and dancing crocodiles above his little head.

His crib mobile brought him comfort and peace as he learned to sleep in his crib, and it brought instant memories back to me of his little baby days.

If you’re thinking about registering for a crib mobile, or picking one up for your new bundle of joy, go for it!

It will be a loved addition to your nursery.

Check out our guide to choosing the best baby mobile for your little one.

What Is a Baby Mobile?

A baby mobile is a toy-like object that either attaches to your child’s crib (on the side) or is ceiling mounted.

It generally moves slowly, has baby-friendly figures attached to it, and it plays soft, sweet tunes at nap and bedtime.

Some mobiles also light up, some play a wide range of songs. Some don’t move at all.

There are many mobiles on the market that complement your nursery’s theme and your home’s decor.

Do You Need a Baby Mobile?

A baby mobile is not really considered a need, but it’s certainly a want of many moms.

I swore by mine because every time I wound up the mobile and it started to play music and move, my son was aware that it was time to sleep.

I only used it during his naps and overnight slumber, so he eventually got trained to associate it being played with bedtime.

This, in my opinion, was very effective when it came time to sleep training him!

Benefits of Using a Baby Mobile

A crib mobile has many benefits for both you and baby.

A mobile can keep your little one “company” in their crib, in a safe way. Many experts do not recommend placing stuffed animals of any kind in a crib due to the risk of SIDS. A mobile was far out of reach, but still provided comfort and entertainment, the way a stuffed animal would, but with little to no risk at all. 

Crib mobiles also trigger bedtime, which for many babies who are creatures of routine need.

A mobile also can play for quite some time, so it’s great for background music. If you are very limited for space and don’t want to hook up an air purifier, white noise machine, or humidifier, a mobile doesn't require any additional space at all and can fill the room with soothing sounds.

Crib mobiles also gently stimulate a baby’s hearing and sight. Because the figures are slowly moving, it teaches your baby to refine their focus and concentrate on each item. It also exposes them to a wide range of colors and textures early on. 

Types of Baby Mobiles

There are two main types of baby mobiles: crib-mounted or ceiling-mounted. Here are the pros and cons of both.

Crib-Mounted

Crib mounted mobiles sit on the side of the crib, on top of the ledge.

They generally protrude upward and hang over top of the crib.

They can move, light up, play music, or you can set up the mobile to do just one of the three, depending on the brand and style you select.

Pros

  • Direct line of sight. Your baby can get a clear view and smile at the warm and wobbly figures.
  • Soothing. Your baby will love the slow, gentle motion of a mobile and it’s soothing sounds.
  • Safe. Your small baby will not be able to reach it since it’s propped high enough on the crib’s ledge.
  • Easy to install. Most crib mobiles snap or twist on, and require little to no hardware at all. Most can also fit on a variety of crib ledges, so they are universal.
  • Portable. Pop off the mobile and take it with you on vacation, to the sitter, or anywhere else your baby needs to sleep away from home.

Cons

  • Safety. When it comes to bigger babies who can pull themselves up, stand on their own, or even jump, you may need to watch out. They can rip the mobile down, put objects in their mouth, or even injure themselves. For this reason, the crib installed mobile, may have a short shelf life.

Ceiling-Mounted

A ceiling mounted crib mobile gets placed directly above your baby in their crib so they can view the mobile, but just from a farther distance.

They can also enjoy movement and sounds above them as they drift off to sleep.

Pros

  • Safe. This kind of mobile is safe in the regard that your baby will not be able to get their hands on it since it hangs from the ceiling, even well into the toddlerhood. You don’t have to worry about them pulling it apart, hurting themselves, or putting any small parts in their mouth.
  • Pretty. Most ceiling mounted mobiles have more of an antique look to them, as they become a true part of the design/decor of the nursery.
  • Light show. These designs boast a unique light show, which reflect images off the ceiling and disperse them throughout the nursery, which many crib mounted mobiles cannot and do not do.

Cons

  • Hardware to install. This can be a bit more difficult and time consuming to install because they require hardware, tools, and a ladder to reach the ceiling. This also means you’ll be left with some holes and marks after you remove the mobile from the ceiling. So, some light repair work may be in order. 
  • Must be installed properly. If they are not securely installed, you risk the chance of the mobile falling down on your baby, which could seriously injure them.
  • Can be difficult to see at first. While your baby may enjoy the sounds that get played from your ceiling mobile, they may not be able to see or appreciate the mobile itself until they get a bit older and can clearly see it circulating from above them.

Features to Look For in a Crib Mobile

Before choosing a mobile, make sure it meets the following criteria:

  • Mechanically operated. While wind operated mobiles are pretty and have an antiquated feel to them, they don’t and won’t move as well as a mechanically operated one. The whole point is to provide your baby with comfort and entertainment in their crib, and a wind up version will do this for them. Otherwise, you’ll have to depend on strong gusts of wind to move your mobile, and many parents don’t like to put their baby in a nursery with open windows (especially overnight) due to many factors.
  • Gentle movements. Mobiles don’t just move in a circle anymore. They can go every direction. While some babies may like this, rigid, non-circular movements could over stimulate a baby, or even stress one out. Consider going with something that moves slowly, gently, and in a circle. 
  • Universal fit. There are a number of cribs on the market. While most of them are rectangular or square, some are rounded. Some are made of metal, while many are made of wood. Some babies are placed in a bassinet for the first month of their life. Choose a mobile that fits a wide range of cribs and can be adjusted with ease.
  • Music. Choose something that allows you the option to play music or not. Some babies may like it, while others may hate it. Sometimes, it could just depend on the day. You can even look for an option that has an auto-shut off feature. So, music can play continuously for a designated amount of time.
  • Skip batteries. A battery operated mobile is just another thing you have to worry about. If you go for a basic, wind up feature, you can set it and forget it!

Safety Tips

Whenever you place an item in or around your baby’s crib, there are some safety tips to abide by. They include:

  • Length. Your mobile’s strings should not be longer than seven inches. Otherwise, they can serve as a strangling hazard. Always measure the length of strings before hanging it.
  • Avoid choking hazards. Sometimes, mobiles are made up of beads, small pieces, or parts. If not securely placed, they could fall into the crib, or even be ripped off. Never hang up a mobile if it poses a threat in this regard. 
  • Placement. Your baby should not be able to reach their mobile. It should be placed in their direct line of sight so they can enjoy it, otherwise they will have trouble focusing on the objects. A good rule of thumb is to ensure that the bottom of the mobile hands about sixteen inches above the mattress. 
  • Follow installation instructions. This is extremely important, especially if using a ceiling mobile. Each mobile comes with a specific, complete set of instructions. So, you should never just “wing it” when it comes to putting one together and securing it in place.
  • Call it quits. When your baby starts to push themselves up and support themselves while holding on to the crib to stand, it’s time to call a crib mounted mobile quits. They can easily rip the mobile down, put it in their mouth, or injure themselves. If you still want a mobile in your nursery, then move to a ceiling mounted model. 

Best Crib Mobiles

#1. Fisher-Price Precious Planet

Dimensions: 23.5 x 18 x 17 inches

The Fisher-Price Precious Planet (click here to check the price on Amazon) has a colorful animal-themed design with three options of music and a captivating light show that moves in the ceiling.

It attaches to the crib, and the canopy keeps images close, helping to focus your baby easily. It is made of plastic material, operated with batteries and has a remote control for parents.

You may want to purchase this option if you are looking for multiple sources of fun for your baby with a long-lasting mobile.

What a lot of moms like about this mobile is its long durability. When your baby gets bigger, you can remove the mobile and project the show directly on the ceiling. You can also keep the music or sounds playing along for better entertainment.

Another good thing about the Precious Planet is that it matches your baby’s mood. You have three different classic lullabies to choose from Mozart, Beethoven or Bach, as well as ocean and nature sounds or heartbeat and white noise womb sounds. Your little one will be comforted by the melodies no matter which you choose.

The educational benefits of this mobile are also nice, as it includes four animal characters. These can be used by the parents to teach new words to the baby, and talk about the animals and their habitats.

This unit comes with a handy remote control, which allows you to turn on the mobile without entering your child’s room. You won’t be providing an even further distraction to them.

What’s not to love about the Precious Planet? For one, the automatic turn off. The mobile comes with the function of turning off automatically after 22 minutes. This can be a useful feature, but if you require more time for your baby to fall asleep, it can be a pain. If you are close to your child, as you can manage it with the remote control.

Another thing to note is that the volume is a bit low. Although you want your baby to be quietly lulled to sleep, this mobile can be quieter than some. The benefit is it won't clog up your baby monitor.


#2. Fisher-Price Rainforest Peek-A-Boo Leaves

Dimensions: 26 x 25 x 20 inches

The Fisher-Price Rainforest Baby Mobile (click here to check the price on Amazon) features shiny leaves that move gently up and down while a smiling dragonfly plays peek a boo with your baby.

Music accompanies the moment, and other colorful rainforest characters spin around along with the mobile. This mobile includes a remote which allows you to choose between Bach, Beethoven and Mozart music, or soothing sounds from nature.

You can convert it to a music box with a soft night light when the time comes to remove it from the crib. It also displays soft and entertaining lights to keep your baby focused.

The adaptable operation is a great feature here, with three soothing settings for baby including, motion and lights, music, and motion, or music with night light. You can choose your baby’s favorite option for a custom mobile.

The Peek-a-Boo also moves on multiple levels. The leaves and characters can move in different directions; spin around, as well as up and down. Your baby will surely love to see so much fun going on.

You can also get great versatile usage out of this mobile, as it converts to a music box with a light to create a soothing environment. This ensures your baby a sweet, dreamy sleep for years to come.

One minor issue that a couple of moms noted is the possible issues with the movement of the leaves. The leaves are designed to move up and down, moving around with the rest of the mobile. Occasionally a leaf gets stuck and the mobile stops spinning.

Another thing to be aware of is this mobile is built for cribs with smaller railings. If your crib has larger slats than most, this unit might not fit properly.


#3. Tiny Love Classic Developmental Mobile

Dimensions: 15.4 x 25.2 x 20.5 inches

This engaging mobile is surely going to become your baby’s favorite toy. The eye-catching Tiny Love Classic Developmental Mobile (click here to check the price on Amazon) features four types of baby-friendly movement.

It has colorful shapes and three animal friends hang from the high-contrast black and white spirals, while colorful beads slide down the arms as the mobile spins, capturing your baby's attention.

The music and the movement will fascinate and calm your baby.

Bottom line, the Tiny Love Classic is colorful and fun. It features different functions of movement, two music melodies, and nature sounds while keeping high-contrast graphics easily recognizable by your baby.

It's also very easy to install, as it's designed in a way that you can install it in the crib in just a few minutes. This will also make it easy to carry it with you when needed.

This mobile has pretty good audio quality. As you may know, many mobiles offer music, but the sounds are not as good as you would expect. This is not one of those cases. The audio is of high-quality, suitable for baby’s sleep and for any of the melodies you choose.

Note this is another unit that turns off automatically. As many mobiles in the market, it can stay on for 20 minutes, but then it automatically turns off without giving the option of keep functioning continuously.

Also keep in mind that it's battery operated. While the bright colors and lights are entertaining, they can burn a lot of battery power. Be prepared to have a house full of batteries in case your baby’s mobile decides to die at an undesirable time.


#4. Tiny Love Soothe 'n Groove

Dimensions: 22.8 x 16.9 x 14.4 inches

The Tiny Love Soothe 'n Groove (click here to check the price on Amazon) is a uniquely designed musical mobile that offers 18 different melodies in 6 separate categories, so you and your baby will be sure to enjoy the variety.

The Soothe 'n Groove has two high-quality speakers with up to 40 minutes of continuous music, and includes a unique music shuffle button.

Your baby will also love the patented multidimensional movement and restful night light. This mobile helps visual development with the use of three plush spinning animals that engage babies with their movements and bright colors.

If you're looking for a mobile with non-repetitive entertainment, this one is perfect for you and your baby.

What we love about the Soothe 'n Groove is that it's a convertible toy, so that once your baby no longer uses the mobile, it can be converted into a fun music box that your toddler can carry around. This makes for endless and portable fun with lots of melodies.

This mobile is also adaptable to virtually any crib, and designed to be mounted in every type of crib rail, making it almost universal for installation.

The height of mobile and music box can also be changed, so you can adjust the mobile characters to where your baby prefers them. It’s easy to set up and won't be intrusive.

One thing a few moms have noted is the unwanted clicking noise. Sometimes a faint clicking noise can be heard, which is due to the disks where the animals are held. Just rotate the disk so it can turn and the noise will disappear.

Also keep in mind that this mobile turns on at default volume. Once the mobile is on, you have the option to raise or lower the volume. However, if your baby is already asleep, it might be too loud and disturb them.


#5. VTech Baby Lil' Critters Musical Dreams

Dimensions: 3.3 x 3.9 x 2.1 inches

Comfort your baby with the calming Lil' Critters Musical Dreams Mobile by VTech (click here to check the price on Amazon).

It includes five colorful, plush animals that hang and spin with soft music and sounds.

The mobile also has a sensor that recognizes when your baby wakes up from sleeping and start crying. This sensor begins to play a melody for a predetermined amount of time.

You can choose between songs, melodies and nature sounds.

This is a perfect fit for parents looking for a smart, stimulating and soothing mobile.

What we love about this mobile are its highly customizable functions: you can set the timer to turn off the device in 10, 20 or 30 minutes of music and sounds.

The Lil' Critters also makes for a versatile toy. This is a 2-in-1 mobile, allowing you to keep the light and music once your baby needs to remove the mobile. This will ensure sweet dreams all night long.

The voice sensor to automatic music is probably one of the best features; it can turn on and play a peaceful song or melody when your little one starts crying. You can input the amount of time the music should be playing, so you baby can get back to rest.

Keep in mind that this mobile doesn't have an arch from where to hang. While this wouldn’t be a problem for some, you should check first with the manufacturer to determine if it will fit your crib before purchasing.

The battery backing is also a bit too secure. While you don’t want small parts to potentially fall into your baby’s crib, this backing goes a bit overboard. To change the batteries, you need to unscrew the entire back which can be annoying if you're ready for bedtime.


#6. Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile

Dimensions: 13 x 3.5 x 13 inches

This developmental mobile from Manhattan Toy (click here to check the price on Amazon) features high contrast images and colors for helping your baby on visual and multi-sensory skills.

It includes ten interchangeable graphic cards that go from simple high-contrast images to more complex colored patterns and graphics to foster visual development.

Experts say that babies develop visual skills while they are focused on simple and high-contrast images. If you prefer a mobile that your baby can fully experience, this is the one for you.

What's great about this mobile is that it's designed for visual development, carefully crafted with images that can be easily recognized by your baby, providing playful opportunities to practice developmental skills.

It's also adjustable to your child’s age; your baby is growing and so are her skills. The graphics of the mobile can be changed over time but maintain some similar shapes they have grown to love.

The lightweight design is another nice feature. This mobile is easily portable and safe to install since the structure has a very light weight.

A couple of things to keep in mind: one, the plastic pieces must be properly attached. Several pieces have a tendency to fall if not properly aligned. It is important to check that everything is correctly placed with each use.

Two: it does take some skill to put together. While this mobile may look simple, it is pretty hard to put together. You may want to consider a different option if you are short on time.


Wrapping Up

While there are specific guidelines you need to adhere to in regard to safety and installation, I never once regretted having a mobile on my son’s crib.

It provided him with endless entertainment, enjoyment, and excitement.

And, it helped soothe him to sleep at every nap and every evening.

Just be sure to choose a safe model that boasts lots of fabulous features, and watch for cues when your baby has outgrown it in order to stay in the safe zone!

Kate Trout
 

Hi there, I'm Kate! I started Maternity Glow to be a place for new and expecting moms to come to for practical pregnancy advice, parenting tips, and baby care tricks.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: