There are items you buy for your baby’s nursery because they’re beautiful. And there are items you buy because they’re beneficial. And every once in a while, those two ideas merge and serendipity is found! Enter: the baby mobile (and, ahm, SNOO). Learn all about what to look for in a baby mobile (beyond cuteness) and how this nursery staple can bolster your little one’s development.

What exactly are baby mobiles for?

Even though baby mobiles hang over a baby’s sleep space, they’re not actually intended to lull your baby to sleep. Instead, baby mobiles are designed to gently stimulate your tot’s brain, visual, and motor development.

Young babies can’t see very well, so having a mobile hanging close to their face—but still safely out of reach—allows them to practice focusing their eyes. And come 3 months, they can begin honing their visual tracking skills, too, which simply means following an object with their eyes. The catch, of course, is using a mobile that offers the right balance of stimulation: You want one that gently engages your baby without keeping them up all night! Here’s how to do that.

What to look for in a baby mobile

To strike the right balance with your baby’s mobile look for ones that are:

Mildly stimulating. Toys that feature lights and cheery music can be a great way to entertain your wide-awake baby, but having these bells and whistles in your little one’s sleep space might not be the best idea. Instead, look for a baby mobile that “dances” with the help of just the movement of the air, like Happiest Baby’s Sky mobile, especially designed for SNOO, that features nine billowy wool clouds that naturally sway to entertain your baby. (If you’re going with sound in the crib or bassinet, white noise is always the ideal choice.)

High contrast colors. Since babies’ eyes are still developing, it’s much easier for them to practice their visual exercises with high-contrast objects. That means mobiles that are, say, dark blue and white; black and white; or a bull’s eye pattern are more beneficial than mobiles that are pastel, pattern-free, or a brightly colored solid. If a black-and-white mobile doesn’t quite fit with your, say, farmhouse nursery aesthetic, don’t worry! Simply select a mobile that ensures the baby sees what they need, and you see what you prefer! For example, Happiest Baby’s Sky mobile, features aesthetically pleasing wooly white clouds…with a just-for-baby high-contrast sky design on the underside. 

Safely made. Handmade and antique items are often wonderful additions to your baby’s nursery, but not when it comes to your crib mobile. It’s far safer to purchase your baby's mobile from a reputable retailer, so you can rest assured that your mobile meets all U.S manufacturing and safety guidelines. And know that our Sky mobile is the only pediatrician-designed baby mobile especially made to fit safely and securely on your baby’s SNOO.

Flexibility. Okay, so this isn't a “must,” but if you're looking to extend the life of your baby’s mobile, select one that can convert from one that attaches to the crib or bassinet, to one that can be later hung from the ceiling as nursery decor. Once your baby is 5 months old—or able to sit up—the American Academy of Pediatrics notes that it’s time to remove the mobile from your little one’s sleep space. (Fortunately, Sky can be anchored to your nursery ceiling once your baby graduates from SNOO!)

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.