Overview

Introduction

Do you plan on getting a baby crib mobile for your newborn? Let me explain the benefits of doing so. In the first year of life, your baby will develop cognitive and motor skills that will last for the rest of their lives. Parental interaction and toys are two of the best ways to encourage a baby to reach developmental milestones during the first years.

Almost everything your baby does is helping him/her in the development process. Toys can play a significant role in this – and, for newborns – one-year-olds, one of the most popular learnings and development tools is the crib mobile.

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Crib mobiles help your baby’s eyesight and hearing, as well as encouraging other motor and cognitive skills. Studies have shown that introducing babies to music helps them make better grades in the future as well as teaching them to control their emotions.

One of the first introductions to music for a baby is a mobile that hangs from the crib – playing music while teaching babies to focus on colorful objects.

 

Quick Summary Comparisons Chart

Photo:
Tiny Love Classic Mobile, Into...
Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson...
Fisher-Price Precious Planet...
Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Musical...
Stimulation:
Light Colors
Colors Patterns
Bright Colors/Lights
Bright Colors
Movement:
Rotates
Does Not Rotate
Rotates
Does Not Rotate
Sound:
Nine Tunes
No Sounds
Classical Lullabies
Rattle Crinkle Sounds
Rating:
Best Seller
Title:
Photo:
Tiny Love Classic Mobile, Into...
Stimulation:
Light Colors
Movement:
Rotates
Sound:
Nine Tunes
Rating:
Photo:
Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson...
Stimulation:
Colors Patterns
Movement:
Does Not Rotate
Sound:
No Sounds
Rating:
Our #1 Choice
Photo:
Fisher-Price Precious Planet...
Stimulation:
Bright Colors/Lights
Movement:
Rotates
Sound:
Classical Lullabies
Rating:
Photo:
Fisher-Price 3-in-1 Musical...
Stimulation:
Bright Colors
Movement:
Does Not Rotate
Sound:
Rattle Crinkle Sounds
Rating:
Photo:
Trend Lab Gray,Chevron,...
SHILOH Baby Crib Decoration...
Tiny Love Take Along Mobile,...
Wendy Bellissimo Baby Mobile...
Stimulation:
Rotates
Rotates
Rotates
Rotates
Movement:
Gray/White
Colors
Bright Colors
Bright Colors
Sound:
Lullaby
60 Tunes
Music
Music
Rating:
Photo:
Trend Lab Gray,Chevron,...
Stimulation:
Rotates
Movement:
Gray/White
Sound:
Lullaby
Rating:
Photo:
SHILOH Baby Crib Decoration...
Stimulation:
Rotates
Movement:
Colors
Sound:
60 Tunes
Rating:
Photo:
Tiny Love Take Along Mobile,...
Stimulation:
Rotates
Movement:
Bright Colors
Sound:
Music
Rating:
Photo:
Wendy Bellissimo Baby Mobile...
Stimulation:
Rotates
Movement:
Bright Colors
Sound:
Music
Rating:

Top Picks and Why – Full Review

1. Tiny Love Classic Mobile, Into The Forest

One of the best crib mobiles for newborns is the Tiny Love Magical Night Musical Mobile. This crib mobile has three stages:

  1. Musical mobile/overhead projection for 0-5 months
  2. Crib music box/overhead projection for 5-18 months
  3. Starry musical night light for children over 18 months.

Tiny Love’s main goal has always been to create products that promote baby’s development from the moment they are born (source). Tiny Love strives to provide parents with toys and products that stimulate a baby’s growth, promote emotional health, and help baby learn through fun and wonder.

What We Liked
  • Three stages that go from birth to childhood.
  • Three musical categories with nine relaxing tunes offer a variety of music choices.
  • After 30 minutes of continuous music, it shuts off, so your baby isn’t awakened.
  • Brightly colored animals spin while music plays to help baby learn to focus.
  • Helps develop fine and gross motor skills and promotes self-soothing.
  • Battery-powered so no need to wind it up to get it to work.
What We Didn't Like
  • Requires 4 C batteries for operation, which can be costly unless you purchase rechargeable batteries.

2. Manhattan Toy Wimmer

Manhattan Toy Wimmer-Ferguson Infant Stim-Mobile is one of the best mobiles for your baby’s development. This mobile uses high contrast images and colors to promote early visual and multi-sensory development. Start baby off with black and white; then switch to color cards once your baby has learned to focus. The Stim-Mobile has been one of the best crib mobiles for development, since 1988.

Since 1978, Manhattan Toy has provided toys that add a little humor to your child’s life as they promote their physical, emotional, and educational development. Manhattan Toy strives to use only wood from sustainable forests when manufacturing wooden toys – and they use only water-based paints for your child’s safety.

What We Liked
  • This mobile is a winner of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Award, which they award to classic toys that deserve to be recognized.
  • It has ten interchangeable cards that range from simple black and white designs to more complex models with bright colors.
  • Age-appropriately labeled cards, so parents know which cards to use for each stage of visual development.
  • The mobile has an adjustable cord that allows parents to change the distance of the cards as the baby’s eyesight and ability to focus improve.
  • Manhattan Toys are routinely tested to ensure they meet and exceed all international safety standards.
What We Didn't Like
  • This mobile does not play music or rotate.

3. Fisher-Price Woodland Friends 3-in-1

Your baby will meet many milestones in brain and cognitive development during the first year. The Myhouse Colorful Insects Baby Plush Hanging Toys Mobile is one of the best crib mobiles for brain development. It can be attached to the side of baby’s crib or attached to a car seat or stroller to encourage cognitive and motor development anywhere you go.

Bright colors and plush animals help encourage development in several areas. This feature promotes cognitive development, promotes self-soothing, promotes gross and fine motor skills as baby reaches for and grasps toys, and promotes healthy emotional growth.

What We Liked
  • Plush Toys are soft with bright colors that encourage baby to reach for and touch.
  • Attaches to crib, car seat, and stroller for fun at home or on the go.
  • Spiral design makes it easy to attach and remove.
  • It encourages exploration of the world around the baby.
  • Also, it teaches baby colors and names of animals (with mom or dad’s help, of course).
What We Didn't Like
  • Smaller babies may not be able to reach the animals.

4. Trend Lab Mobile, Dove Gray Chevron

Bright, colorful mobiles are great for encouraging your child’s development. However, the best crib mobile for sleeping maybe a little less vivid to encourage self-soothing and help baby fall asleep. One of the best-rated baby crib mobiles is the Trend Lab Mobile in Dove Grey Chevron. Four gray, stuffed elephants rotate to Brahms’ Lullaby to soothe and relax baby at bedtime.

Based in Minnesota, Trend Labs has offered creative, quality products for baby’s nursery that is safe and fashionable. Certified as a women-owned business by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, Trend Labs have offered quality baby products that adhere to the day’s trends since 2001.

What We Liked
  • No flashy colors – gray elephants with white trim provides a relaxing setting rather than an over-stimulated baby at bedtime.
  • Brahms’ Lullaby also provides a relaxing atmosphere that allows the baby to fall asleep on his/her own.
  • Easily attaches to most cribs.
  • Elephants slowly rotate, so baby is not over-stimulated but encourages sight development as baby learns to focus.
  • No batteries required.
What We Didn't Like
  • Mobile must be wound for music and rotation, making the length of time for the music erratic, and may require parents to rewind if the baby does fall asleep quickly.

5. Fisher-Price 2-in-1 Projection Mobile

One of the best musical crib mobiles available is the Fisher-Price Precious Planet 2-in1 Projection Mobile. This animal-themed mobile rotates and plays music to keep your baby entertained while encouraging baby’s development. The mobile comes with four plush animals with smiling faces such as a white polar bear, yellow lion, green alligator, and teal whale. This variety provides plenty of stimulation and brain development for your little one.

Fisher-Price has been providing fun and safe toys for children for over 75 years. They also place their focus on providing safe and innovative toys with sturdy construction that promote your child’s development from birth. Fisher-Price toys promote cognitive as well as gross and fine motor skills – skills that will last your child a lifetime.

What We Liked
  • Plush animals have correct coloring with detailed designs that encourage baby to reach out and explore the world around him/her.
  • For infants, close-up images are projected on a canopy to promote healthy sight development and focus.
  • Music includes classical lullabies by Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach.
  • Other sounds include heartbeat, womb, and nature sounds.
  • Converts from mobile to a music box with ceiling projection as your child grows.
  • It has up to 20 minutes of continuous sound.
  • Includes a remote for parents to control the sounds and adjust to baby’s mood.
What We Didn't Like
  • Mobile requires 4 “D” batteries and 2 “AAA” batteries for the remote.

6. SHILOH Baby Crib Decoration

The SHILOH Baby Crib Decoration Mobile is one of the best baby mobiles on the market. The colorful, plush animals spin to music to keep baby engaged as he/she learns to focus. This mobile also enhances the development of fine and gross motor skills, cognitive development, and promotes healthy emotional development.

Baby learns to focus his/her eyes and follow the animals as they “dance” to the music. Parents can also use this mobile as a tool to begin teaching the baby to recognize assorted colors and learn the names of animals. One of the best-rated crib mobiles, the SHILOH plush animal mobile provides a baby with plenty of stimulation as well as relaxation when it is time to fall asleep. Mobiles are one of the best tools to help baby learn to self-sooth and fall asleep on his/her own.

What We Liked
  • Plush animals can be removed from mobile as baby grows and then they can play with them individually.
  • Each plush animal is equipped with a bell, squeaker, or music player so to promote the concept of cause and effect. An example would be, baby presses or shakes the animal, and a unique sound plays.
  • The mobile construction is from environmentally safe, non-toxic materials for your baby’s safety.
  • It includes 60 modern and classical tunes for one full hour of non-stop music.
  • Automatically shuts off after 30 minutes if there is no interaction.
What We Didn't Like
  • Will only fit 1.8-inch rails, so may not fit all baby cribs.

7. Tiny Love Take-Along Mobile

The Tiny Love Take Along Mobile is another top-notch mobile for baby. This mobile can attach to cribs, pack-n-plays, strollers, and infant carriers – making this one of the most portable mobiles on the market. Soft music and rotating characters promote sight development as well as allowing baby to learn to self-sooth and fall asleep on her own.

The perfect travel companion, this mobile attaches to baby’s car seat and keeps baby entertained on long rides. The soft music provides a relaxing atmosphere for your baby to fall asleep on long road trips. Learning to self-sooth and fall asleep on their by themselves helps contribute to healthy emotional development. These advancements will build confidence and allow your child to be more successful in social situations.

What We Liked
  • Can be folded for easy portability.
  • Versatility allows you to use this at home or on the go – wherever baby needs to be entertained or soothed.
  • It includes five unique melodies.
  • After 30 minutes of continuous music, the mobile shuts off and goes into sleep mode.
  • Use the Velcro fastener to attach to an infant seat or the large clip to attach to the stroller.
What We Didn't Like
  • There is no volume control.

Final Thoughts

Babies reach certain developmental milestones throughout life – some of the most important occur during the first year. While all babies do not reach milestones at the same age, some guidelines help parents determine if their child is facing developmental challenges. Below are some of the milestones your baby will reach by the time he/she is 1.

1. 2 Months

  1. Emotional/Social – Baby should begin to smile when people talk. They should try to look at people when they hear them in the room and should begin calming him/herself.
  2. Communication/Language – At this age, a baby will begin turning his/her head toward sounds as well as making noises – cooing and gurgling sounds.
  3. Cognitive – Baby begins to recognize people, follow things with his/her eyes, and pay attention to different faces.
  4. Physical – Baby moves arms and legs smoothly and begins to hold head up. Tummy time is essential for your baby’s development at this stage.

2. 4 Months

  1. Emotional/Social – Baby begins to copy movements and facial expressions (smiling, frowning), and likes to interact with people. They become upset when that interaction stops and smiles when hearing parents’ voices or seeing their faces.
  2. Communication – Baby begins to babble and copy sounds he/she hears; develops different cries for different circumstances (hunger, tired, pain).
  3. Cognitive – Begins to develop eye/hand coordination by reaching for toys he/she sees; watches facial movements closely, and begins to recognize familiar things and people.
  4. Physical – Baby can hold their head steady without being supported. They can begin rolling over and push up on elbows during tummy time. They can also start holding toys and shaking or hitting at dangling gadgets (mobiles).

3. 6 Months

  1. Emotional/Social – Recognizes familiar faces and begins to understand the concept of strangers. They like to play with others, and often responds to others’ emotions (upset if someone else is angry, happy when others are happy).
  2. Communication – Begins to learn to make sounds that turn into words; copy sounds others make; responds to name;
  3. Cognitive – Pass things back and forth between hands; puts things into mouth accurately; tries to get to items that are out of reach.
  4. Physical – Can roll over both ways; baby begins to sit on their own; begins to support own weight when standing; begins the first stages of crawling.

4. 9 Months

  1. Emotional/Social – Maybe shy around strangers and clingy with familiar people (parents, siblings); begins to choose favorite toys.
  2. Communication – Begins to form words such as “Mama” and “Dada”; begins to point at things; mimics sounds and gestures; comprehends “no.”
  3. Cognitive – Begins to pick up small things with their index finger and thumb; plays peek-a-boo; will look for things they see you hide (stuffed animal under a blanket).
  4. Physical – Can move into a sitting position and sit with no support; begins to pull self into a standing position and stands while holding onto something; begins to crawl.

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5. 1 Year

  1. Emotional/Social – Picks favorite toys and people. Sometimes cries when dad or mom leaves and begins to show fear. They start to connect with books during storytime and begins to help dress him/herself.
  2. Communication – Can respond to simple requests; begins to use gestures to communicate (shaking head “no” or “yes,” waving goodbye); begins to repeat simple words; tries to mimic words others say.
  3. Cognitive – Can begin using cups, brushes, utensils correctly. They also start to bang on things to make noise, shake rattles or toys that make noise, and throw toys. They can put stuff in and take things out of a container and follow simple directions.
  4. Physical – Begins to walk while holding on to something; begins to stand alone; Could start to take a few steps without hanging on.

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Conclusion

There are many fantastic crib mobiles on the market today – all with unique features. The mobile that is best for you depends on what you need. Do you want a mobile that soothes baby to sleep? Do you want a mobile that stimulates your baby and encourages your baby’s development? Some mobiles have some of these features, and some have them all.

Baby’s development begins at birth and never ends. Crib mobiles are an excellent way to promote a baby’s growth in the first year – when the baby will reach some of his/her significant milestones. Allowing your baby to self-sooth and go to sleep on his/her own promotes healthy emotional development and helps to create confident and independent children.

While baby products, such as crib mobiles are great at promoting your child’s development, always remember YOU are your baby’s best teacher!

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