The mobile hanging above the crib is an essential part of any dream-nursery, but like crib bumpers and pillows and blankets, there is much debate about whether mobiles are safe. The AAP and other organizations have come out strongly against bumpers and other items in a young baby’s crib, so is the mobile the next thing to be eliminated in the transformation of the crib? Or is it one of the only safe holdovers from your dream-nursery?
There are two main schools of thought about having mobiles in cribs, and what they do to your baby’s sleep. Both ideas sound plausible, and both were developed as a way of working towards a goal that’s near and dear to your heart – encouraging Baby to sleep through the night. Unfortunately, these two schools of thought completely contradict each other – there isn’t really an opportunity for a happy medium.
Two opinions on the mobile
Fans of crib mobiles argue that they entertain babies when they wake in the night, which means that they’re willing to wait for you more patiently if it takes you a little longer to get to them. The theory suggests that if they aren’t waking up for a feeding or a change, but rather just for the sake of waking up, they might be distracted enough by it not to end up calling for you at all.
On the other hand, the argument against the mobile is that it can transform babies’ associations with their cribs from places to sleep to places to play, which could make it harder for them to fall asleep. In the end, it may come down to a question of Baby’s personality, whether a crib mobile will help or hurt their sleep. In either case, in the first few months, as long as the mobile is securely attached to the crib or ceiling so it won’t fall down into the crib, and all of the hanging pieces are both securely fastened and fastened on strings no longer than 7 inches, mobiles don’t present any danger – besides the danger to your sleep schedule that Baby might be one of those children who likes their mobile enough not to want to fall asleep when it’s around to watch!
The end of the mobile
The only point when the mobile starts to present a safety hazard is when Baby is around 5 months or whenever they start sitting up. This is when they start getting close to being able to reach up and grab things, or sit upright. Even if Baby isn’t quite at that point physically, when their fourth month rolls around, it’s a good idea to move the mobile preemptively. After all, they will be mobile enough to start going after the mobile soon!
- Mary L. Gavin. “Household Safety: Preventing Injuries in the Crib.” KidsHealth. The Nemours Foundation, August 2013. Web.
- “Suitable Sleeping Sites.” Healthy Children. American Academy of Pediatrics, November 21 2015. Web.