What to look for in a baby mobile

Choosing a mobile for your baby is a symbolic moment for new parenthood. Nevertheless, you've got to be mindful. The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) specifically calls out "mobiles in the crib or playpen" as choking hazards, and choking is a "leading cause of unintentional death in infants and toddlers."

What to look for in a baby mobile

Safety guidelines

Luckily a little diligence is all you need. Here are some general guidelines:

  1. Don't get a mobile that has small parts that are detachable or might come loose. The CPS advises that "any household item that can be passed through an empty toilet paper roll… is a choking hazard."
  2. Baby must not be able to reach the mobile or any part of it. Never let strings or cords from a mobile dangle into your baby's crib.
  3. Securely attach the baby mobile to the crib. Mobiles can be placed in other locations, too, like over the change table, but always make sure they are solidly installed.
  4. Be mindful of where your mobile is manufactured and with what materials. There have been millions of child product recalls in recent years because of safety concerns.
  5. As soon as your baby is able to sit up and reach the mobile (around four to five months), it's time to remove it.

Is it worth it?

With all these safety concerns, is it worth getting a mobile? The general consensus is that it can be. Babies need stimulation and a mobile's colours, shapes, and movement can perfectly fit the bill. Infants spend a lot of time in their cribs, so having something to look at can help calm and entertain them. Here's what to look for:

  1. Visual stimulation: Think of what the baby is going to see. Is it any fun seeing the undersides of those floating toys?
  2. Colours: For very young babies, experts say high contrast black and white is best because it's all they can see for the first few months. As they develop, however, colours and shapes will become just as important. Ideally a mobile can have both qualities.
  3. Movement: A good mobile will move horizontally and vertically to help stimulate your baby's vision and develop hand/eye coordination.
  4. Sound: Soft lullabies and classical music might help your baby relax. But ask yourself: do I want to hear those songs over and over for the next few months?

Some infants may find a mobile a distraction that keeps them from falling asleep as quickly as they might. Chances are, your baby will let you know if he/she likes the mobile or is indifferent to it. If you think it might be causing a problem, remove it and see what happens.

As always, if you have specific concerns, talk to your doctor.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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