I've always thought baby mobiles were rubbish. Cheap plastic. Annoying music. Cutesy teddy bears. No child of mine was going to spend its first 5 months looking up at something so tacky.
With my first son, I opted for a mobile I bought at the Tate Modern. It wasn't baby friendly, so it hung from the ceiling over his cot, but was too far away for him to try and reach. I ended up getting him a proper baby toy for the side of his cot which he loved far more than the poncey, yet well-designed mobile I'd forced upon him.
With this baby, I don't have the option of hanging something from the ceiling. The bedroom's ceiling is double height, so I couldn't even reach the it to fix anything there if I wanted to. I thought maybe I wouldn't even bother with a mobile... until a few weeks ago.As he started to be aware of the world, I decided to bite the bullet and get him a mobile. I was hoping that I'd be able to find something at least vaguely stylish or at least one that didn't play annoying music.
And I did.
I went through every website around, visited shops, the whole shebang, until I finally stumbled upon the Tiny Love Symphony Remote Control mobile (Phew! What a mouthful of a name...)
First, the music. The best thing about this is that it plays music for a whole 15 minutes. No more going to wind it up again or sneaking back into start it up again after 3 minutes. And if you need to re-start it after 15 minutes without disturbing your little one, it has a remote you can use from the doorway to start it up again.
The mobile has three different tunes - one by Bach, one by Beethoven and one by Mozart. When you turn it on it plays snippets of each of them for 15 minutes or you can press a button -- either on the music box or on the remote -- to play only one of the songs. I've decided to play Bach only when my son is going to sleep and the other songs when I've got him in his crib to 'play' whilst I get dressed/tidy up the room/etc.
Second, the mobile. It's pretty big. I've got it on my son's crib and if it wasn't so amazingly well-designed, I'd have a hard time getting him in and out of it. Because it's so amazingly well-designed, the mobile bit rotates on its pole so I can move it out of the way to put him in or take him out. Brilliant!
It's colourful. Everything you read about babies' eyesight is that they start off only really seeing contrast - so black and white, basically - then they start seeing bright bold colours (so why are so many other mobiles made in rubbish pastel shades?). This mobile is made of bright colours with both black and white strips on the animals legs and coloured stripes at the top of the three different sections.
There's a LOT going on which will keep your baby glued to it. Other mobiles just turn round and round, over and over. Boooring. This one is set at an angle so one movement has it rotating around and down towards the baby. Each of the different animal sections 'floats' free so they rotate as well. On each of the three arms there are little rings which kind of rise and fall as the whole thing rotates. You have to see it in action to really understand what I mean. Just believe me when I say there is a lot going on.
The downside is that it's pretty expensive (£30-£40ish) for something that your little one can only use until they are 5 months old... Ahhh, but once they are sitting up and trying to rip the mobile down, you can always just get rid of the mobile and keep the music box.
If, like me, you have been using the music as part of the bedtime ritual, then in theory you could be using that music box for several years to come. 15 minutes. Remote control. For me, those two things were more than worth the price tag...
You can find the Tiny Love Symphony Remote Control mobile at: