Mobile: How to choose the best in 2021?
Today we are going to talk about an item that goes beyond the decoration of the baby’s crib: the mobile.
Accessory that completes the layette, the mobile is an item that helps in the development of your baby. From the first days, the children’s mobile stimulates the child’s vision, hearing and touch.
It is not by chance, nowadays, that the variety of mobiles is large and diverse. But not all models are safe and functional. Therefore, we will show here what you should take into account to buy the ideal mobile for your baby.
First, the most important
- The mobile is an important product for the baby’s development from the first months of life.
- Ideal for stimulating vision, hearing and motor skills, there are currently models ranging from simple to more technological.
- In this article, you will discover how to ensure your baby’s safety and development when choosing the ideal mobile.
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Ranking: The 7 best mobile models
More than a decoration, the mobile needs to be safe and functional for the cognitive development of babies. Manufacturers know this and have invested in technology and innovative designers. Therefore, below we will present you the best mobile models available on the market today.
The mobile is a dual function accessory: it adorns and promotes the baby’s development. But with so many different models and technologies you need to know how to choose the most secure and functional.
To help you in this endeavor, we created this Buying Guide. Here we will show you everything you need to know about the mobile and what to watch for before getting the best for your baby.
What is a mobile?
The mobile is an interactive and decorative accessory. With different themes – from dinosaurs to princesses, to the most abstract models – the mobile is formed by a vertical rod, a dome and moving parts hanging in a circle.
Attached to the crib, stroller or other baby products, the mobile spins, whether moved by the wind, touch or electronically. And so, they distract babies, encouraging them to recognize shapes, colors, sounds and movements.
Over time, this accessory has evolved a lot, especially after its role in helping the development of children has been proven. With technology, this product has become even more efficient and practical since it includes sounds, music, lights and image projection.
The mobile can be simple or technological. (Source: Cosmin-Constantin Sava / 123RF)
After nine months in the mother’s womb, the baby wants to see the world. See, hear, touch and feel what is around you. Thus, newborns respond to the stimuli they receive.
To contribute to this process, mobiles are highly recommended. The fact is, this is your baby’s first toy.
Lying in the crib, the child interacts with the stimuli of the mobile with the eyes, the head, neck and arms. Therefore, the mobile’s main objective is to stimulate the senses, concentration, curiosity, besides helping to calm the baby.
But, in the midst of so many model options, you need to know that not all mobiles are safe, effective and suitable for all stages of the baby.
What is the ideal mobile for each age group of the baby?
As the months go by, a baby’s vision develops and the variables of sharpness, contrast and color perception improve. Therefore, when choosing a mobile for newborns, you should give preference to pieces with pronounced contours and strong light-dark contrast.
As the months go by there is progress in the perception of colors, contrast and sharpness. The images are not so blurred. Time to insert a mobile with bright colors and more contrasting as well.
Then, the child begins to react to motor stimulation, first followed by the eyes and then with the arms. For this reason, a mobile with movement is ideal for the baby to raise his arms, seek coordination and movement.
Thus, the right mobile for each phase of the child, prevents the baby from being overloaded or stressed with the wrong stimuli. Experts say that until the age of five months it is not good to stimulate babies too much. Therefore, prioritize mobiles with light movements, soft colors and relaxing sounds.
To help you, we have gathered expert recommendations on when to insert the mobile into the baby’s routine and which is best for each stage of the child.
- 2 to 4 weeks : In this phase, the newborn’s eyes that are still adapting to the world outside the womb. For this reason, we recommend the simplest mobile, without light and without music, preferably with black and white colors and flat figures, which provide contrast.
- 5 to 8 weeks : Here, you can now introduce a mobile whose pieces have primary colors and a three-dimensional appearance, as well as movement and discrete sounds.
- 8 to 10 weeks : In this age group, the mobile may contain a subtle gradation of the same color, pieces with depth and at different heights, stimulating the refinement of the senses.
- 10 to 12 weeks : From this stage, the mobile can be more elaborate, with different and intriguing movements, but still soft, with relaxing music, lights and cozy images.
- 12 to 20 weeks : At 3 months of age, the baby can see better and more colorful, so parents can stimulate their vision with bright and vibrant colored mobiles.
During this period, it is also important that the accessory has movement, as it is the phase when the baby moves a lot with his hands, feet and tries to reach objects.
From the age of four months, you can let your baby touch the mobile pendants. But be careful with the chosen materials and avoid small parts.
- 20 to 32 weeks : At 5 months, your baby’s vision will be more developed and you can choose a more colorful model, with music and lights. But it is also at this point that parents should be concerned with the distance between the mobile and the child.
The recommended minimum is 50 centimeters so that the baby does not get hurt by pulling the mobile, which may fall, or use it to get up.
When to remove the mobile from the cradle?
It is important to understand the moment to remove the mobile from the cradle. When your baby is reaching the hanging animals, to the point of pulling them, it is a sign that you should remove the accessory, for safety reasons.
This time can vary from child to child, but in general, it occurs after 32 weeks. That is, from the eighth month onwards, when the child is able to reach the ornament, there are two risks: that the mobile falls on top of the baby or that it hangs and falls out of the crib.
The mobile can be reused as a toy later to accompany the baby’s growth. (Source: Amazon)
In addition, when the baby starts to crawl or take the first steps, other stimuli become more attractive and this is when, in general, the mobile is no longer something interesting.
Some electronic mobile models, however, have the option of removing the pets from the rod and using only the musical part, for example. This way, you remove one part of the mobile, but the other part is used for longer.
What care should you take with the mobile?
In general, you need to pay extra attention to two aspects of the mobile: baby safety and installation. The ideal is to place the mobile 50 cm from the baby. And, as the baby grows, you need to increase the distance between the mobile and the child, for safety reasons.
In addition, the mobile must be in the baby’s visual field. That is, make sure that the accessory is directed between 30 to 45 degrees of the child’s vertical line of sight.
The most important thing is that the child should not look directly at the ceiling. According to experts, looking up – totally upright – makes it difficult to lubricate the eyes and force the baby’s head.
Regarding the installation, note that the base of the mobile that is attached to the cradle or the wall needs to be resistant, light and well fixed. The goal is to prevent the mobile from falling and hitting the child.
Also, dispense sharp ornaments that can also hurt the baby and very small pieces, such as doll eyes and buttons. These objects can come off and be swallowed by the child.
Embellishments with easy-to-remove fillers are also risky and should be avoided. Remember to always adjust the height and proximity of the mobile to the baby as the child grows. The most modern models allow this adjustment in a practical way.
Where can you put the mobile?
It is important that you know that the mobile can be installed in several places and not just in the cradle. Of course, this will depend on the model you choose and also the decoration you want to create in the environment.
But, in general, the mobile can be placed on the ceiling, on the wall and even on the crib mosquito net. What matters here is that the chosen mobile is installed safely and securely to prevent accidents.
Check out how the mobile installation works in different places in the baby’s room:
- Hanging from the ceiling : To install the mobile on the ceiling, it is necessary to ensure that the accessory is secure so that it does not fall on the baby. In general, this type of mobile is fastened with nylon thread and can be adjustable.
- Crib mosquito net: You can also hang the mobile on the crib mosquito net. But here, the mobile has to be very light so as not to create weight on the fabric.
- Wooden or metal square : Another possibility is to hang the mobile with the help of a square attached to the wall, or buy a French hand.
- Cradle arm : Attaching the mobile to the side of the cradle is the most used, practical and safe way present in most options.
What types of mobiles are on the market?
The crib mobile is not the only one that exists. It is important that you know that there are other types of accessories that are just as functional. Nowadays, it is possible to find exclusive mobiles for strollers, others that already come attached to the baby’s mat, changer or rest chair.
In general, however, all types of mobile have the same function. The big difference between them is practicality. The stroller mobile, for example, is portable and can be placed in other places as well, such as baby comfort, chairs, cribs, etc.
Many moms and dads prefer this type of mobile to keep the cradle free of distractions so that the child associates the place with the time of sleep.
The mobile that comes fixed on the mat or rest chair is another option for when the baby is not in the crib. Still, it is worth remembering that, today, there are mobile options with multiple functions.
That is, you can opt for a mobile that serves both for the crib, as for the stroller and other places where the baby usually stays. Later in this article, we will talk in detail about the factors that differentiate one mobile model from another.
How to increase the child’s learning with the help of the mobile?
As we have already seen, the mobile is a great tool to aid in the development of your baby, due to the colorful pieces that move, in addition to sounds and images.
But, even so, it is possible to optimize the function of the mobile making this object even more effective in your child’s learning. The following are some tips on how to increase the power of the mobile:
- Change the mobile position : Vary between the crib, the ceiling and the wall, stimulating the movement and perception of the child’s eyes.
- Switch stimuli : Vary between auditory, visual and tactile stimuli.
- Encourage the child’s interaction : Picking up objects with an attentive adult nearby can be very helpful.
- Use mobiles in other environments that are not just the cradle, such as the stroller, rug, rest chair and others.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the mobile?
So far you’ve seen that the mobile has great advantages. And it never hurts to emphasize that, the main one is that the mobile helps in the development of the baby.
Due to the variety of shapes, colors, movements and technologies, another advantage of the mobile is that it sharpens the visual, tactile and auditory senses, the perception of space, depth and cause and effect.
The fact is that already in the first weeks of life, the mobile allows the baby to practice concentration, visual focus and follow smooth movements. With this, the mobile also has the function of relaxing the baby, especially when used with soft music.
Studies show that the child who is playfully stimulated in this way will have a much more effective cognitive and social development than children who do not experience moments of interaction and learning.
In addition, another advantage of the mobile is that it is an object that makes up the decoration of the baby’s room. More than that, the mobile is versatile and can be used in other accessories besides the crib.
On the other hand, there are also some disadvantages in relation to the mobile. The main one is that not all are safe, especially those that contain parts that can come off or those that do not have a firm enough fit or installation.
In addition, the most modern and technological mobile models can be very expensive. The following are the main advantages and disadvantages of the children’s mobile:
- Stimulates vision, hearing and touch
- Stimulates motor coordination and concentration
- Develops notion of space, cause and effect
- Promotes relaxation
- Not all are safe
- The most technological ones are very expensive
The mobile is an accessory that has a wide variation in price. This is due to the material used in manufacturing, the technology applied and its functionalities.
So, you will find mobiles costing between R $ 40 to R $ 700. Of course, you do not need to buy the most expensive of all.
But extra attention is needed with very cheap mobiles that may not have the quality necessary to ensure your baby’s protection.
Where to buy?
You will find mobiles for sale in layette and toy stores, as well as department stores and hypermarkets.
Still, our recommendation is that you purchase this product from online stores like Amazon. That way, you will certainly have more advantageous options to choose from, besides, of course, buying the comfort of your home.
Purchasing criteria: Factors to consider before purchasing the mobile
Now that you know the importance of mobile and how to use it safely and effectively, it’s time to understand what are the factors that differentiate one model from another.
With this information in hand, you can choose the best option for your baby’s safety and development. Therefore, below we have listed the main factors that you should take into account when choosing the children’s mobile.
- Manufacturing material
In the following, we will explain in detail each of these factors so that you can choose the ideal mobile.
The material of manufacture is an essential factor to be considered before purchasing the children’s mobile. The ideal is that you choose the mobile made in non-toxic plastic and with pieces of plush or antiallergic fabric.
But you will also find mobile models made with wood, felt and even paper, or a combination of different materials. Remember, however, that this accessory needs to be sturdy, but at the same time light.
The fact is that the simple touch of the child’s hands makes the mobile make smooth movements, helping not only in the development of the eyes, but also in tactile perception.
Solid wood mobiles, as they are very heavy, and therefore should be avoided. Hygiene is another issue that deserves attention. The mobile must be easy to clean. The mobile made of fabric is, in general, very delicate, but requires periodic cleaning, for example.
Therefore, if possible, prefer the models made with washable fabric and malleable rubber, which are the most practical options when cleaning.
When choosing the mobile it is important that you observe the functions offered by the product. Nowadays there are several mobile options: simple, musical and visual.
The simple mobile is one that contains only the pieces, which can be balls, stars, pets, among others. Its function is to arouse vision, curiosity and attention.
With the musical mobile, it is possible to transform the device into two: the rod with the parts is removed and the music box can be used as a toy for children.
The musical and visual mobile is one that also includes an image and light projector in order to further attract the baby’s attention and promote relaxation.
In addition, some models are portable, so you can use the mobile attached to the crib or stroller. Below, you can see the differences between the types of mobile according to their functionality:
If you choose a mobile that has sound reproduction, you need to take into account the types of music. You just need to know how to choose the right sound for your purpose. So, opt for a mobile that has quiet sounds and different tones.
In general, mobile models offer three to up to 20 different types of sounds and music, including classical music, nature sounds and relaxing noises.
In addition, there are some models that reproduce sounds for up to 40 minutes uninterrupted. Not to mention that you can choose the mobile that has the function of stopping the sound automatically or manually.
It is also important that you take into account the type of image reproduced by the mobile and the number of variations. In general, you will find the mobile with one to three different types of reproductions.
Some models even have the option to stop the image playback automatically after 15 minutes. Thus, you will find models that reproduce only night lights, others that display more elaborate images of stars and animals, and versions that have the two options combined.
The mobile that projects lights and images helps the baby to relax and sleep. (Source: Bastien Jaillot / Unsplash)
Also note that some mobile models project images only on the ceiling, while others also reproduce on the walls.
In addition, it is important to ensure that the mobile offers the function of regulating and selecting the type of light or image according to the objective: either to keep the baby calm, focused or on alert.
As we have seen, for each phase of the baby, a type of color is recommended, stronger or softer, according to the child’s visual ability.
Nowadays, you can find a very wide variety of colors on mobiles. The recommendation is that, until the first 5 months of life, you should avoid very strong and varied colors.
Very glaring colors can have the opposite effect and end up leaving your baby very agitated. Therefore, if you are going to place the mobile in the crib, always choose neutral colors. Make the colors more vivid for the moment of play.