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.
The benefits of baby mobiles for newborns
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.
The different factors to consider when selecting a baby mobile, such as color, design, and material
When purchasing a mobile, you should consider its features, size and weight, and how easy it is to install and use. You should also be mindful of safety measures, such as the proper place to hang a mobile in your child’s nursery. When selecting a baby mobile, there are several factors to consider, including:
- Color: High-contrast colors, such as black and white, are recommended for babies as their eyes are still developing.
- Design: Mobiles that feature a simple and visually stimulating design, such as a bull’s-eye pattern, can help with a baby’s visual development.
- Material: Look for a mobile made from safe and non-toxic materials that are free from any sharp edges or small parts that could pose a choking hazard.
- Safety: Choose a mobile that is manufactured and sold by a reputable retailer and that meets all U.S. safety standards.
- Flexibility: Some mobiles can be converted from a crib or bassinet attachment to a ceiling decoration, which can prolong the use of the mobile.
- Sound: Some mobiles play music or make other noises. If you choose a mobile with sound, consider using white noise, which has been shown to be calming to babies.
Safety considerations when using a baby mobile
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.
Regular inspection and maintenance of baby mobiles is essential for ensuring their safety and ensure that the mobile meets all relevant safety regulations and standards, such as those set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). These inspections should be performed periodically to check for any loose parts, frayed strings, or other hazards that could pose a risk to your baby. It is also important to make sure that the mobile is securely attached to the crib or bassinet and is not within reach of your baby’s hands or face. Regular maintenance can also help prolong the life of your baby mobile, ensuring that it remains a safe and beneficial addition to your baby’s bedtime routine.
Our suggestions of Baby Mobiles at A Matter Of Style