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Often to be found hanging in the nurseries and bedrooms of babies and young children, mobiles are a great source of colour and entertainment for children as they start to establish themselves, introducing to them the concept of characters, movement and different colours and patterns.
From soft toy bunnies hanging from a central hoop, to decorated cut outs which reflect light differently across various surfaces in the room and onto the ceiling, mobiles can very easily add dimension and texture to the appearance of a child’s room – but aesthetics and visual interest are not their only benefits.

Benefits of nursery mobiles

It has been found through various research that nursery and bedroom mobiles actually aid in the development of a child’s brain function and muscle strength, as they learn to focus on the shapes and movement, and train their eyes to follow the characters and hanging features as they spin and move above them.

Generally, we find that mobiles are hung directly above where a child will sleep, with the optimum age to benefit from the advantages of a mobile being from newborn age upwards.

The key benefits include:

  • Eye training, as the muscles in the eye are utilised to follow the moving shapes of the mobile

  • Increased movement and control of the head and neck, as your baby uses these key muscles to follow and track the mobile’s movement

  • Hand-eye coordination. This will increase over time, as your baby becomes stronger and more able to raise their arms and hands to reach out for the hanging parts of the mobile

  • Brain development, including an understanding of how space works. As your baby spends more time understanding the presence of the mobile above them, their brain will start to develop an understanding of spatial awareness and where the mobile is hanging in relation to them

  • They look warm and welcoming, and can provide some visual stimulation both for your baby and for you as a parent, for the many hours you will spend in the nursery or child’s room during both day and night hours

Innovative mobiles

There is a fine line between mobiles which sit up high and encourage your baby to reach upwards towards them, and those which dangle low down and invite direct interaction and touch. Some of the best examples of mobiles we have seen on the market are made from very soft materials, with some using characters and identifiable shapes while others rely more on colour and size to stimulate the brain and provide interest.

In terms of innovation, there are some mobiles which simply hang straight with a very simply design, while others can spin, play music and even provide light depending on the structure and construction of the arm which holds them aloft. The more mobiles are able to do, the more engagement your baby will get – with those mobiles featuring lit shapes and playing different sounds better able to link your baby’s senses and their cognitive functions. Some of our favourite designs showcase full scenes from popular children’s stories, for example aquatic underwater scenes and tales of princesses and pirates, with complimentary light sources and musical tributes to these stories playing when the mobile is switched on.

For the bets selection of mobiles which combine visual interest with engaging features, head to nursery and children’s retailers, as well as department stories. Some of the more innovative and electronic designs will come at a premium, though members will find that many regular mobile designs are both affordable and high in quality.

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