A crib is a safe place for your baby to sleep, rest and observe the world in the first few months of his or her life. And a baby mobile is an indispensable ornament of every crib. Here we explore why every baby needs a mobile and how to hang a mobile over a crib.
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Why should every baby need a mobile?
Babies need mobile as kids need toys. Being known as a baby thing that hangs over crib, the mobile brings huge benefits to your babies, including soothing them, stimulating their eyesight, developing their brain, and more.
Soothe fussy babies
The first benefit of a baby mobile is that it soothes fussy babies.
In the first few months after birth, your baby’s mobility is limited. He or she often feels the time in his/her crib is quite boring and tends to be fussy all the time.
When a colorful mobile moves in some way and plays pleasant music, it attracts your baby’s attention, entertains, and calm him or her down. It also makes your baby more curious, more interested in the world around them.
Especially, these soothing and gentle sounds from the baby mobile not only help sharpen the babies’ hearing, letting them fall asleep more easily.
A baby mobile also plays as a visual stimulus. When babies are born, they start to process what they see around them.
At that time, their vision is still blurry, which means they can barely distinguish several colors and only see nearby objects. Therefore, hanging crib toys with bright colored stuffed animals, flowers and other decorative objects will stimulate the baby’s eyesight.
Thanks to its ability to move and swing, it assists the baby to observe objects in many different aspects, thereby helping the baby’s visual cognition to develop completely.
From helping babies develop their senses, such as hearing and observing abilities, crib mobiles help your babies increase their cognitive development and awareness from an early age.
For example, when he is looking up at his mobile, he is watching how it turns and moves. You will see that his eyes do follow that movement, which benefits his concentration.
What’s more, while looking up to it, your baby can also start to develop the ability to judge distances and spatial awareness, as the objects move towards and away from their eyes.
Some mobile play soothing sounds which can lull the babies to fall asleep. And it is widely known that sleep is healthy for the brain and the entire body, especially for babies. If babies do not get enough sleep, their brain development will be negatively affected.
Is it safe to hang a mobile over the crib?
Hanging a mobile over a crib is safe if it meets all the safety standards, including the materials, the types, the length of it, plus the height it is hung.
If the crib mobile is made of toxic materials, hanging it over your baby’s crib is never safe. Although your baby will not touch the mobile as it is hung out of his reach, some of those toys are known to release harmful chemicals into the air if they are not made of non-toxic components.
The best option of baby crib mobile that you should opt for is something made of safe and baby-friendly material such as organic or natural wood, bamboo, and so on. These mobiles do not release any chemicals.
Mobiles integrated with small, detachable parts are also not ideal to hang over your little one’s crib. If those tiny parts broke and drop into the crib, your baby might grab and swallow them, ending up with a choking hazard.
Length of strings
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a mobile with strings or ribbons that is longer than 7 inches could put your baby at the risk of strangulation.
Hence, whether you are about to buy a mobile or make the item yourself, please pay attention to how long the mobile strings are. Always keep their length at 7 inches or under.
The height it is hung
When hanging a mobile over your baby’s crib, you have to ensure that it flies at a height he cannot reach when lying on his back. This is because your growing baby may manage to reach and pull those curious things, and end up risking injury if the mobile falls down on his body.
When your baby starts pushing up onto his hands and knees (usually at around 6 months of age), it’s time to get rid of those toys as they are now easily reachable to him. Most 6-month-and-above babies do not want to lie still in the crib watching the mobile, so hanging colorful things is no longer effective.
How high to hang the mobile?
Knowing how high you should hang the mobile is necessary. As a rule of thumb, baby mobile should be hung approximately 16 inches above the mattress of the crib. This requirement is important because it needs to be close enough for your baby to enjoy and far enough to be out of his arm’s reach.
The optimum sight range of a newborn baby is between 8 and 12 inches, hence if the mobile is hung too far, it is not effective.
How to hang a mobile over a crib?
Hanging the baby mobile is just like a DIY project that you can do with some simple tools. For this, you will need a drill, a hook, measuring tape, and a ladder. Here is the list of the main steps that you can follow to install a mobile over the crib safely and successfully.
Step 1: Decide the position
The first step is planning the placement of the mobile properly before you start drilling and hanging,
For this, find a location where there will be enough room for your mobile to move freely without bumping into any walls or hitting any people’s heads.
Then, measure for placement of the mobile (remember the gap of 16 inches between it and the crib’s mattress). Mark a spot where you plan to drill with a pencil and a step ladder.
Step 2: Drill a hole in the ceiling
The next step is to drill a pilot hole using a drill bit on the spot you have marked. Make sure that the drill bit is smaller than your hook thread.
Then, you can screw in the cup hook by hand until it is completely flushed with the ceiling.
Step 3: Assemble
You can skip this step if the purchased mobile is already assembled, but normally, it comes unassembled. So, you yourself have to get all parts of it together.
All you have to do is read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and follow every step. Once you have assembled it, look for the string provided with the mobile toy.
Step 4: Adjust the string height and hang
You will need a measuring tape to measure the height and determine the position of the mobile.
After determining the perfect position which is about 16 inches far from the crib’s mattress, adjust the string and attach it to the hook. Make sure the string is longer than needed so that you can adjust it later.
If the string is not long enough to reach the ideal position as you want, get a couple of extra strings and a hook to bridge the gap.
Step 5: Double-check the height
When you tie the string to the hook, it can be moved to a bit higher or lower than your expected position. Hence, you might need another check on its height to ascertain whether it is correctly hung.
What to be noticed
Do you think after all of these steps, you can rest assured that your duty has ended? Not yet, after installing the baby mobile, there is some work you need to do regularly to ensure your baby’s safety.
- You should avoid using mobiles with flimsy hardware or loose parts as this increases the risk of breaking off and falling on your baby.
- You also should not purchase a mobile that comes with little chokers as these will be quite dangerous if dropping on the crib.
- You need to inspect your mobile regularly to make sure that it is secured and fastened perfectly to the hook when in use.
- When it is in use, make sure that your baby cannot reach it by adjusting it to a higher position because your baby’s reach will increase over time.
To sum up, a baby mobile is necessary, with no doubt. As long as you know what to choose, what to avoid, as well as steps to hang the baby mobile over the crib, letting it fly on your child’s crib is all safe.