Twinkling stars hang, suspended from strings, and rotate peacefully. In the background, quiet, calm music plays the tune of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”
It’s a beautiful mobile, perfect for your baby to watch while going to sleep.
However, going far beyond nursery decor, mobiles offer many benefits to your baby. Here are just 4 reasons you might consider using a gorgeous mobile in your baby’s nursery:
1. Visual Development
Did you know that when your baby is born, she has poor eyesight? Over the first few months of life, babies’ eyesight improves quickly and in important ways. During the first year or so of life, big changes happen in the baby’s eyes and brain to build the vision center. In order to improve their eyesight, babies must see lots of different objects of different colors, shapes, and at varying distances.
Mobiles are the perfect way for babies to work on developing their vision. According to Infant Brain Development by Paula Wiggins “Caregivers can provide a variety of opportunities to enhance visual development by putting attractive things, like mobiles and pictures, in the baby’s line of sight. Make sure that the baby’s eyes are always looking at something interesting.”
One important skill that babies need to learn is to track moving objects with their eyes. When mobiles spin or move, they provide great practice for the young baby’s eyes.
2. Motor Coordination
Have you ever watched a baby moving their arms? Many newborns move their arms in jerky, uncoordinated ways. That’s because babies must also learn to have control over their movements. They must improve hand-eye-coordination and both gross and fine motor movements. In other words, babies must learn to control both small and big movements and to touch what their eyes see.
For this reason, it’s important to give babies toys like rattles and teethers. However, babies can’t hold onto an object until they are a few months old. Before then, it’s important for babies to have something to look at and reach for. According to Wiggins, parents should “provide toys they can reach for...when babies are in their cribs.” Mobiles are great practice for babies to reach up and move their arms around. In this way, baby practices moving their arms in more and more coordinated movements. Even if the baby can’t touch the mobile, they may just reach toward it and practice their arm movements in this way.
In addition to a mobile, you might consider hanging toys above your baby’s crib. That way, you can make sure the toys are safe for the baby to grab onto or whack around. This takes motor coordination to a new level since the baby can touch and interact with the objects.
3. Language Development
Many mobiles, in addition to dangling beautiful animals and shapes above the baby, also play songs and music. This is an important part of helping your baby develop their language skills.
Babies are born ready to learn to speak, understand, and engage with language. However, they need lots of practice. One of the best ways to practice is to listen to music. Slowly, over time, babies learn the melody and the lyrics. If you sing along to the mobile, it’s even better! Eventually, when your baby begins to make intentional noises, they will try to repeat the songs they’ve heard.
4. Relaxation and Sleep
Have you ever watched a baby watching a mobile, mesmerized? Eventually, they may become so relaxed that they simply fall asleep. Many mobiles feature peaceful relaxing themes, such as sheep, moons and stars, or owls. Often accompanied by peaceful music, these mobiles help your baby relax and even fall asleep.
You can make the mobile a part of your sleep routine. For example, you might give your baby a bath, read a book, and then put them in their crib with the mobile on. That way, your baby will come to associate bedtime with the peaceful mobile.
How to Use a Mobile:
Wondering how to gain these benefits? After you’ve purchased a mobile or two, you can take advantage of these wonderful benefits. Here are some suggestions:
- Hang the mobile above your baby’s crib. Hang it so that the mobile hangs out of reach above your baby’s head.
- The use of a mobile is especially important from 0-3 months of age. During this time, mobiles are one of the main toys and sources of simulation a baby can use because they can’t grasp objects on their own.
- Use a peaceful mobile with a relaxing song before bedtime or naptime.
- Consider hanging an additional mobile above your changing table. That way, you can distract your baby with the mobile during diaper changes.
- For maximum stimulation and interest, purchase a few different mobiles that you can use in a rotation. That way, your baby will always have something new and interesting to look at.
- Talk to your baby about the mobile, what it’s doing, and what objects are on it. You might mention the names of animals, colors, or how the mobile spins.
The Bottom Line on Mobiles in Baby Nurseries
Ultimately, mobiles are a wonderful and beneficial addition to the nursery. With mobiles, babies slowly improve their visual development, motor coordination, language development, and may even relax and fall asleep.