[singlepic id=14 w=320 h=240 float=left]The first time I looked over a list of baby “must-haves”, I was really confused as to the need for a mobile for the crib. I just couldn’t figure out why you need a phone in there. Was it to hear it crying? Did the baby really need to start texting so young? Well, that’s just an example as to how clueless expecting can be at the beginning. I eventually found out that the “mobile” was that rotating set of little ornaments circling over the crib. Still not sure how it got that name.
So I set out to purchase the mobile, but it was not something that you really need to have as soon as the baby is born. The baby’s eyesight is still developing during those first few weeks and she can’t really see that far anyway. We purchased ours after a couple of months after the initial rush.
If your nursery is a highly decorated, themed-to-perfection nursery with aspirations to be featured on Oohdeedoh or Martha Stewart, then this post is not for you as the matching mobile is de-rigueur. But while utterly cute, those types of mobiles are generally less visible to the baby, less functional and will have a shorter lifespan of us. So if your nursery is not necessarily matching from floor to ceiling, then read on.
So what should a mobile do?
In this dad’s opinion, a good mobile is there to work for you. It should…
- Run for a while
- Easy to attach
- Not have any easily removable (as in, by a child) pieces
Older mobiles were wind-up types while most current models are battery operated (usually the big C and D types) and often play some music.
We already liked our Fisher-Price Rainforest Activity Mat so we were interested to see that there was a mobile in the Rainforest series by Fisher-Price. After doing some additional research, we were satisfied enough and got ourselves the Fisher-Price Peek-A-Boo Leaves Musical Mobile (a.k.a. Rainforest Crib Mobile) pictured above (who comes up with these product names?). Again, this is a quite a popular model, so we felt we really could not go very wrong. So here is my review of the Fisher-Price Rainforest Mobile.
What we liked about our Fisher-Price Rainforest mobile
The mobile was easy to attach to the crib without any tools, screws or drilling, essentially with a big wing nut. Unless you don’t have standard crib “bars”, you will be fine. The colors were bright and the animals were fun. They turn slowly and the leaves open and close in a peek-a-boo type of style (ah, now I get the name). The mobile has four buttons, three of which play 18 minutes for of a melody by each of Beethoven, Bach and Mozart and the fourth plays “rainforest sounds”. There is also a night-light on the unit.
It’s frankly hard to say whether a three month old baby is enjoying this. You think she’s looking at the animals, but then again you also think that each passing of gas is a smile and each vague gurggle is a three syllable scientific word. Then again, every once in a while we’d go into the room in the morning (or, during the first few months, in the middle of the night) only to find the music playing again long after it had stopped. Since our place hadn’t been the sight of a ghastly murder some years ago, ghosts were ruled out fairly quickly after the readings on the PKE meter were negative. In any case, it turns out that she had figured out how turn on the music by whacking the unit with her foot until she hit one of the buttons. Not bad for a four month old baby! More importantly, I guess that means that she liked the mobile.
The mobile comes with a remote control. It’s the size of your baby’s head and it’s purported use is to turn on the mobile from a distance without disturbing baby. I’m not sure where ours is, which tells you how often we used it.
How long does this thing last?
It is recommended that you take down mobile once the child can sit up or reach the dangling ornaments lest they break off and eat them. In our case, we dropped the floor of the crib around then and it was back out of reach. Another good thing about the
Once your child is able to stand and reach, then you’ll have to decide whether you want to take those down. Ours has actually managed to grab hold of the animals on a couple of occasions. She’s got quite a grip and some arm strength but they held on tight and she lost interest.
The mobile itself probably doesn’t get her attention much anymore, but we often still play the music before bed time. She picks her own music now too.
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Value: Fairly valued
Lifespan: about 12 months (depending on how tall your child is)