Six music categories with 18 melodies allow for 40 minutes of uninterrupted play. Colorful toys and soothing motion entertain smaller babies. Large, colorful buttons are easy for older babies to operate. Converts to a standalone music box with handle for toddlers. Comes with nightlight.
Some reports of clicking sounds when mobile is set to rotate.
Features a variety of strikingly designed cards with high-contrast patterns. Designs range from simple to more complex for age-appropriate stimulation and visual development. Cards are marked by age for easy selection. Adjustable card distance. Easy to set up and use.
A basic mobile with no sound or movement features.
Features adorable sea creatures with cute expressions. Fascinating for babies. Easy to put together and use. Made by a top name in baby products, and matches the brand's sea collection for nurseries.
Pricey yet basic, as it only plays one song and requires frequent rewinding. Not as practical for boys as others on our list.
Affordable and easy to use. Features user-friendly play/pause, previous/next, and volume controls. Battery-operated for convenience. Comes with a generous selection of 60 songs. Effectively saves battery life by automatically switching off after 30 mins.
Arm and other extras need to be purchased separately.
Quickly and easily connects to cribs and most types of travel gear, including strollers, bassinets, car seats, and travel cribs. Comes with three separate connectors. Five melodies and three colorful toys to keep babies entertained at home and on the go. Convenient and affordable.
No volume control. Spinning mechanism is a little slow.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
Baby mobiles are designed to interest a baby who can only lay on his or her back.While they don’t always help your baby get to sleep, they can be an important soothing tool as well as a delightful form of entertainment.
A good mobile not only keeps your baby content but can also help with their neuro-development and physical strength as they attempt to reach out and grab the objects above them. Visually stimulating and fun, mobiles can either be very simple with a few colorful objects dangling from its arms or come fully loaded with battery-powered motion, a variety of songs, lights — even a remote control.
Before you buy, check out our shopping guide to help you think through the advantages and disadvantages of various mobiles on the market to make the best choice for your nursery.
Sleep vs. stimulate
If you’re looking for sleep help for your baby, a mobile is probably not the way to go. While some mobiles play soft music and other sounds designed to soothe baby, this does not mean the mobile will actually help your child fall asleep. In fact, mobiles are designed to stimulate brain and eye development. If your baby is having sleeping problems, it could be that the swirling objects or soft music is too stimulating. Instead, think about a mobile that plays white noise or removing the mobile when it’s time for sleep.
Mobile object orientation
It doesn’t matter how cute the objects on the mobile are or how many of them are flying overhead if baby cannot see them. When choosing a mobile, look at how the objects are designed to hang. The best mobiles will have objects or smiling characters that face the baby, not the parents. For instance, some animal or vehicle mobiles will have baby staring at legs and wheels. Those with objects facing baby will be more likely to keep a baby interested.
Movable or attached?
Most baby mobiles are designed to clip to the side of a crib. They are usually an item that stays in place until the baby outgrows or loses interest in them. Some mobiles, however, are portable — with attachment options to allow you to easily clip them on the crib or take them on the go. By attaching it to either a car seat, stroller, or a pack ’n‘ play, you can use the same mobile to help keep your baby content when you are away from home. This style of mobile can save money and give you an item you will use more often.
Colorful vs. monochrome
While it may seem that a cheerful mobile that matches your baby’s nursery colors is best, keep in mind that newborns don’t see clearly. Many studies have shown that black-and-white images or objects may be preferable to babies who are unable to see well in the first few weeks of life. It’s not believed that babies are color blind, but rather that their developing eyes can see high-contrast images more clearly. Babies will be able to see a full range of colors by about five months of age. But by then, baby is also beginning to move around, pull up, and grab — all indicators they are outgrowing the mobile anyway.
Manual or motorized
Some mobiles are motorized — often with battery-powered operation. Others either need to be manually wound or are not created with any kind of self-moving function. Before you buy, consider the turning hooks or brackets that allow you to wind or turn on the mobile. They should be sturdy yet allow you to easily remove any hanging objects for cleaning or replacement. Mobiles that do not turn on their own can usually be spun or blown easily with a fan for movement. Some of these static mobiles can transition to toddler life easier than their counterparts designed only for crib use.
Mobiles that play music can be extra soothing for your baby. The most basic are wind-up music-box mobiles that turn as they play. The disadvantage of these is that they do not turn and entertain very long if you’re not there to wind it again. However, it may be long enough to soothe baby. Other mobiles offer music that can play for an extended period or some other kind of white noise to aid with sleeping. If you want this kind of mobile, we advise you look for a volume control, and choose one with many song options so you and baby don’t get bored.
Some mobiles have lights that twinkle as the music plays. These are usually stimulating lights to help with brain development. Some can project lights and images onto the ceiling. The most useful light on a mobile may be one that functions as a nightlight, so you can check on baby with minimal disturbance.
Sometimes you want the mobile to start playing again, but you don’t want your baby to see you — because then nap time will definitely be over. That’s where the remote comes in handy. It typically only comes with high-end models, but the function could be worth the cost.
Inexpensive: The less expensive models in the $8 to $15 range will most likely be static without a self-propelled or battery-operated turning mechanism. However, it may come with a wind-up music-box function.
Mid-range: For $15 to $25, you’ll find wooden mobiles and some mobiles that have a more sophisticated design that parents will enjoy. Some in this range will play music and may have lights, but most will not.
Expensive: High-end mobiles will cost around $30 to $50. These mobiles will have lights and sound and possibly remote controls. Most will be battery-operated.
Q. How long will a baby use a mobile?
A. Mobiles — if properly hung — can interest babies from a few days of age. They can be an important tool to help stimulate your child’s brain and encourage nervous system development. When baby begins to be able to pull up, a mobile goes from being a helpful device to a potential safety hazard. While every child is different, watch for your child’s ability to reach out and grab the objects hanging above. If they can reach the strings, they can get tangled in them. Some of the objects may also become a choking hazard. For most children, the age to put away the mobile will be between four to six months.
Q. Can a mobile be used for more than one child?
A. Absolutely! A mobile is a baby toy that will not get extended use. After a few months, you will pack it away because your child will be interested in the world well beyond what is hanging right above his or her head. As long as the device is still functioning properly and the hanging items are all firmly attached, the mobile you buy for your first child can certainly work for your second or more.