Updated October 13, 2018 by Sam Kraft

The 10 Best Baby Mobiles

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This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in July of 2015. The right mobile will serve a dual purpose: aiding your baby in getting some shuteye, and providing important visual stimulation for early development. Check out these soothing and colorful options, which include models that hang from the crib and the ceiling. They're available in a wide variety of styles to brighten up your nursery and fit in with different types of decor. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best baby mobile on Amazon.

10. Goki Dragon

9. Flensted Shoal of Fish

8. I Love Bub Toy

7. Manhattan Toy To Go

6. Tiny Love Princess

5. Fisher-Price Precious Planet

4. IGE Birds of a Feather

3. Shiloh Baby Blue Sky

2. Project Have Hope Animal

1. Tiny Love Classic

Slumber And Stimulation At The Same Time

Many mechanical mobiles also feature built-in musical themes that can include wind-up operation for playing lullabies or licensed music from children's films.

As a growing baby's mind is like a sponge at such an early age; proper stimulation and relaxation is integral to forming their personality and experiences. Since eyesight and recognition of visual cues and sounds are part of this early stimulation, a crib mobile is an excellent way to both fascinate your little one and soothe them into a gentle slumber. But before we delve into the product from a baby's perspective, we must first define exactly what a mobile is.

From a creative point of view, a mobile is a type of kinetic sculpture consisting of several rods from which weighted objects are hung to create a sense of balance. Each rod of a mobile typically hangs from just one string, which allows it to spin or rotate freely on its axis. All of the objects built into the mobile are designed to balance one another horizontally so that the entire device is free to move as the objects remain suspended in the air. One of the advantages to a baby mobile in a nursery is that it's very easy to theme with respect to colors, objects, and symbols. The most popular themes include colored animals, clowns, and even licensed Disney characters like Mickey Mouse or Winnie the Pooh.

Baby mobiles come in two functional forms, ceiling-mounted and crib-mounted. Ceiling-mounted mobiles are hung from a screw hook drilled into the ceiling of a baby's room, while the crib-mounted variety are attached directly to the rail or frame of a baby's crib. Crib-mounted mobiles tend to have more elaborate objects on them because they can support additional weight when attached to a sturdy crib frame, as opposed to being suspended from a single point on a ceiling. Mobiles can also attach to either the crib's headboard or foot board, which some consider safer than having the device suspended directly over the infant's body.

Regardless of how the device is placed, it should be well out of a baby's reach to prevent choking or injury. Some mobiles are wind operated, meaning that a natural slight breeze from an open window will allow the device to spin. However, these have become less popular in favor of mechanical, battery-operated mobiles powered by an electric motor. Many mechanical mobiles also feature built-in musical themes that can include wind-up operation for playing lullabies or licensed music from children's films. Additional features for mobiles include flashing lights, removable toys that baby can play with when not in the crib, glow-in-the-dark objects, and even the ability to remotely control the devices.

In addition to visual stimulation for an infant, baby mobiles offer several other advantages. They will liven up most any nursery while enhancing the appearance of a crib itself. This also serves to fuel a baby's learning and mental stimulation when he or she has something fascinating to look at. These devices also serve to develop a baby's motor skills with eye movements to follow the hanging toys and the eventual desire to reach out and play with the objects as the baby grows. Relaxation is another important benefit provided by the device, particularly if baby is fussy and difficult to lull to sleep. The mobile can be an excellent alternative, especially if it plays soothing music to calm a little one down.

Let Baby's Imagination Run Wild And Mobile

The first consideration one must make when choosing a baby mobile is where the device should be hung. This will determine the type of mobile to invest in. If it's important for the baby to be able to see the mobile and its toys, then a crib-mounted option is the way to go. This offers the benefit of being more interactive than one installed on the ceiling, assuming the toys are safe to touch and play with.

On that same note, the way the mobile moves can also have an effect on how much interest your child will have in the device.

The objects attached to the mobile should vary in both shape and color to give your baby the proper stimulation and to maintain interest. On that same note, the way the mobile moves can also have an effect on how much interest your child will have in the device. Try to find a mobile with objects that spin both horizontally and vertically.

The shape of the crib is also important, as not all mobiles fit every crib style. It's important to take measurements of the crib while paying attention to whether its rails are rounded or square for ensuring a proper fit.

Think of the theme you prefer to have in your nursery, as this can determine the colors, shapes, and types of toys the intended mobile will have in order to complement the design of the room. The good news is that many options are available, so it shouldn't be too hard to find a mobile that closely matches your nursery's decor.

Since music offers many calming and therapeutic benefits for both babies and older children, a mobile with a built-in lullaby or other theme can only be an asset for calming your little one after a trying day. However, consider how the musical theme will operate on the device and how often it will need to be restarted, particularly if it operates with a wind-up mechanism.

A Brief History Of Baby Mobiles

Mobiles have existed in the form of wind chimes for thousands of years. People of ancient Greece, Rome, and Asia would construct these mobiles out of bronze or glass, often with bells attached to them and hung outdoors for good luck or to ward off evil spirits.

As an art form, the mobile didn't become popular until the beginning of the twentieth century. American sculptor and engineer Alexander Calder is considered the original inventor of the mobile around 1932, crafting sculptures equipped with circus animals made from wire and wood. At this point in time, the device was synonymous with the concept of kinetic art.

That said, Calder's invention sparked the birth of the mobile as a nursery tool (made from less dangerous materials, obviously) and as a way to entertain a resting child. Today, the device is available in many different forms, styles, colors, and themes, which means the sky is the limit for a parent and child's imagination.

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Sam Kraft
Last updated on October 13, 2018 by Sam Kraft

In addition to his corporate career as a marketing and communications professional in Chicago, Sam runs a popular blog that focuses on the city’s flourishing craft beer and brewery scene. He received his degree in journalism from DePaul University (which spurred his interest in freelance writing) and has since spent years developing expertise in copywriting, digital marketing and public relations. A lifetime of fishing, hiking and camping trips has left him well-versed in just about any outdoors-related topic, and over several years spent working in the trades during his youth, he accumulated a wealth of knowledge about tools and machinery. He’s a travel junkie, a health and fitness enthusiast, and an avid biker.

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