A mobile that sends your baby to sleep you say? Sign me up!
The Independent just published their top ten mobiles to help your baby sleep.
It’s a big promise isn’t it?
Don’t know if it’s just me, but I certainly couldn’t imagine my (or any!) little one just lying happily on their back and simply drifting often unprompted to the land of nod as they quietly gaze at a mobile. In my experience babies just don’t work like that. But maybe that was just my baby. Has anyone experienced the magic of a sleep inducing mobile?
Instead of being used as a sleep aid, mobiles can have real value in stimulating baby.
With the right design, mobiles can provide babies from as young as just a few days old with enriching visual input that can help develop a range of skills, from simple eye tracking to colour perception, depth perception to motion perception. And they don’t need to be limited to hanging above the cot either. We found ours worked wonders over the changing table to keep baby entertained during all those nappy changes.
The problem is, the majority of mobiles out there hardly take into account baby’s needs at all, meaning it’s easy to end up with something that’s pretty meaningless when it comes to helping baby thrive.
Here are four main problems to watch out for when choosing a mobile for your baby:
1. The majority are designed to be looked at from the parents-view (from the side) rather than considering babies view (the worms-eye view if you like). When buying a mobile consider how it looks from below.
2. In the first few weeks of life baby lacks the contrast sensitivity to decipher between subtle shades. So all those beautiful pastel and silver/gold shades – while fitting in with your Farrow & Ball colour scheme – are at best dull for baby (and at worst, not event visible).
3. Visual acuity improves over the first few weeks of life, meaning newborns can’t pick out fine details and patterns. A lot of mobiles use intricate or fine detail which look great to us, but fail to include the bold, simple shapes and patterns that baby loves most.
4. Some mobiles make big claims – like even making your Baby into a little Einstein. Be sure to check out whether there’s actually any evidence or research informing the design and be sceptical about big claims if there’s no transparency about who has designed the product and how.
It’s hard to find mobiles that really address all four points above. But there are a few.
For example Wimmer-Ferguson have their Infant-Stim mobile which is based on credible neuroscience research.
When I was pregnant with my little one, I was so disappointed with the mobiles that were available that I resorted to making my own. Turns out my little one absolutely loved it, and it kept her entertained for many a precious moment while I sunk a much-need cup of tea and hob-knob.
Unlike other mobiles currently out there, our NURTURE mobile has been designed based on over 50 years worth of neuroscience research. What’s more, it changes across the first year of life with inter-changeable components. So it constantly provides stimulation as baby develops.
We’re not saying it will make your Baby Einstein, or make their brain grow bigger.
What we are saying is that every single element in this mobile has been informed by years of neuroscience research, to provide baby with the optimal stimulation we know how during this critical period of brain development. And it looks pretty amazing from baby’s view!