It’s a given that baby mobiles are decorations, and their details and colors enrich the lives of parents and infants – and everyone knows that babies can be soothed by slow-moving mobiles, and entertained my more active mobiles. But did you know those nursery mobiles also aid in physical development, muscle strengthening, and brain development?
A nursery mobile not only functions to decorate and entertain, but it also plays an important role in a baby’s physical and mental development.
Not all babies will react to mobiles the same way. Some will be fascinated by the suspended toys and colors, while others will find other items of interest in their rooms. A mobile can be attached to the side of a crib or changing table. If you find that diaper changes are your baby’s least favorite time of day, the distraction of a mobile may help both of you get through those few moments. Baby mobiles can help a child in the following ways:
Eye Muscle Strengthening
The simple act of your baby’s eyes following the movements of a mobile in motion helps strengthen the muscles that control this eye movement, and helps those muscles develop properly.
Improved Head Control
As your baby gains more head control your baby will begin to follow a mobile’s movements by turning or lifting his or her head. The muscles that control head movement are further strengthened with these actions.
Around the age of 3 months your baby will begin to reach for the mobile with little hands and learn that he can control where those hands go. By now your baby’s vision has improved to the point where he is able to follow the moving objects in a mobile, and he will enjoy reaching for the mobile and swatting at it.
Reaching for the mobiles also helps your baby’s eyes comprehend the depth and the brain to understand distance, helping with the development of spatial awareness. Having a mobile that captures your baby’s attention does so much more for his or her development than meets the eye.
Mobile Safety Tips
These safety tips may not be as important when you first bring home your bundle of joy, but as he grows and begins to pull himself up, they’ll be useful for your child’s safety:
Make sure baby mobiles are securely attached
It may seem easy enough to set a baby mobile up on the side of a crib, but make sure it’s attached firmly. If it falls on top of a baby, it poses strangulation and choking dangers.
Choose mobiles with short strings
If you buy a brand new baby mobile today, especially in countries that have strict standards for children’s toys, chances are that the strings which hold the mobile toys are a sufficiently short length so as not to pose a strangulation hazard. However, if you shop at antique or vintage stores or sites, it’s possible that older mobiles contain strings that are too long.
Check mobiles for loose parts
Gently tug on a mobile’s toys to make sure they’re attached well. You don’t want any objects falling off the mobile and presenting a choking hazard.
In addition, once a child can sit up or pull herself up, it’s best to take the mobile out of the crib. Babies are often stronger than you think and may pull themselves up and tug toys off the mobile.