Why mobiles? Aren’t babies supposed to be sleeping when they’re in their cribs? Well — they’re not just for trendy nursery fashion, mobiles are actually great for early infant development.
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Safe Sleep Recommendations include a best practice of allowing your baby to sleep in their own bassinet or crib in the same room with you for the first 6-12 in order to reduce the risk of SIDS by 50%.
Whatever month you choose to transition your baby to their own sleeping space, placing a mobile above their crib or bassinet from the age of 2+ months can be a wonderful way to encourage the development of visual, motor, and cognitive skills.
When babies look at mobiles they develop what are called visual tracking skills (developed between 2-7 months of age) — visual tracking allows babies to follow moving objects with their eyes. Visual tracking is a very important skill as babies grow; it allows them to play, interact — and eventually, visual tracking is very important for school-aged skills.
Around 5-6 months, babies will begin coordinated reaching for objects — whether they are in tummy time or laying on their back in their crib, linking visual tracking skills with reaching helps to develop hand-eye coordination, another extremely important skill for littles to develop!
Now, if you’ve got a little one who is already sitting up in their crib or pulling to stand — you’ll want to make sure the mobile is hung from the ceiling high enough that is is out of reach. Clipping mobiles to the crib can be great in the first few months of life, but can be hazardous once the baby can reach to grab and pull on it.
I’ve also seen mamas who hang mobiles over the changing table, a great way to distract or play while completing diaper changes.
One more thing to keep in mind! Some babies may be soothed by mobiles while some may be excited by them! Some mobiles on the market these days light up, sing, spin — pay attention to how your baby interacts with the mobile. If it soothes them, the crib is a great location, if it stimulates them, maybe the changing table is a better choice! Each baby is different and you’re the expert on your little one.
These mobiles are custom-made mobiles from Atlas Rose, and they are handmade by yours truly! Check out the shop for other variations and to request your own custom mobile for your little one.