Before becoming a parent, it was easy to assume that mobiles, toys, and other baby-centric gadgets were all created equal. As a mom, I quickly learned that this was not the case. For example, the
best crib mobiles will be designed with colors and shapes that help with cognitive development, and many of them will feature music that will help lull your little one to sleep. Not to mention — some will add a nice decor element while keeping baby occupied.
While there's a wide array of mobiles to choose from, it's important to note that for the
first couple months, babies are better able to see high-contrast colors as their eyesight develops (think: black, white, and bright shades of red or green), but can differentiate more subtle colors as they grow. So if you want to entertain your little one at all stages (and don't mind spending a little extra money), you can start off with a simple black and white Montessori-style mobile, and work your way up to a more fun and interactive option. Or, opt for a mobile that features more muted tones, and not to worry — your child may begin to distinguish between these more subtle shades of color by about 4 months of age.
And while some mobiles are simple and straightforward, there are also quite a few that offer all the bells and whistles. Think: a wide selection lullabies and soothing sounds to help your little one doze off and built-in projectors that fill the room with twinkling stars. And one of the most innovative mobiles on this list is by
Nurture Smart — it has a setting that mimics the sounds of the womb for added feelings of security and comfort.
To complete your nursery and keep your baby calm, happy, and entertained, check out the
best crib mobiles below. We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team. 1 A Bright Mobile With A Detachable Music Box
crib mobile is decorated with bright, vivid pendants that will help stimulate baby and aid in cognitive development after those first few weeks at home. Attaching easily to the side of the crib, the automated mobile rotates and has a detachable music box that plays 20 songs from three music categories: cradle, nature, and joy. There's a timer and control for adjusting the volume, and the mobile can run for 20 minutes of continuous play (a great way to keep your little one occupied). Plus, the friendly hanging characters can be detached and used as rattles as your baby grows. Batteries: 2 AA (not included) Glowing review: “Very colorful and love the timer. Granddaughter absolutely loves it.” 2 A Black & White Mobile For Young Babies
mobile for infants foregoes color in favor of black and white tones — a contrast that younger infants will be able to see clearly. The non-rotating mobile attaches to the crib and features simple, pendants made from soft felt, and the detachable, wind-up music box plays Brahms' "Lullaby" for three minutes. Glowing review: "I love the black and white design for infants. It allows for little ones to see the contrast of the objects. Great product!" 3 This Mobile Decked Out With Plush Dinos
mobile features soft-to-the-touch dinosaurs that are made from plush velour, and the ancient (and super cute) creatures rotate while the built-in music player cycles through three classic nursery songs, calming baby for up to 20 minutes. And although there's no timer, it does have a volume control option, which is key for those moments you prefer more subdued tunes. This mobile attaches directly to baby's crib. Glowing review: “Great quality. The stuffed animals don’t look cheap and cheesy like some other mobiles. It looks great on the crib and matches the bedroom set.” 4 This Mobile That’s A Minimalist's Dream
Bright decor not your cup of tea? Give this
crib mobile in soft neutral shades a go. Made from environmentally-friendly wood and wool, it’s handmade by artisans and available in four colors and styles, including a galactic moon and star version, and this mobile with a soft knit elephant at the center. While there aren’t any music or rotation functions, it will still entertain baby and assist in development. One downside: There's no arm attachment for the crib, so you'll have to buy that separately, but reviewers say it can also be easily mounted to the ceiling with a hook and fishing wire. Glowing review: “I love the soft colors and ‘natural’ look of this crib mobile. I paired it with a Shiloh musical mobile and attached to the crib with a mobile bracket also purchased on Amazon. Overall, very happy with this purchase.” 5 The Mobile With The Most Sound & Light Options
On the other end of the spectrum is this
musical mobile with the most sound options in the bunch: six nursery rhymes, five nature sounds, 10 organ songs, and 150 (!) lullabies . What's more, the rotating mobile features a built-in projector with two image options and pendants that can be detached and used as rattles.
Back to the music box: It has a built-in night light, volume and timer controls, and can be detached and used on its own. The mobile attaches to the crib is also available in two other options: airplanes flying under clouds and horses flying under a UFO (because why not?). Suffice it to say, baby will hardly grow bored.
Batteries: 3 AA (not included) Glowing review: “The music is great, with so many options! [...] Great functionality, and you can take off the mobile parts to use as rattles. I love the projector feature!” 6 A Whimsical Unicorn Mobile
Add some magic to your little one's room with this fanciful
unicorn mobile that attaches directly to the crib. The rotating mobile features four plush unicorns with pink and lavender manes, and the built-in music box cycles through three soothing lullabies. The music plays for up to 20 minutes, and the volume setting lets you customize baby's experience. Glowing review: "This is literally the cutest thing ever! So happy with it!" 7 A Mobile That Pays Homage To The Mountains
Introduce your little one to the great outdoors with this felt
mobile with 3-D snow-capped mountain and evergreen pendants. Made from soft felt and unfinished wood, the straightforward mobile comes with a matching garland that can be hung on the wall, plus a ceiling hook for mounting (but you'll have to purchase an arm separately if you want to attach it to the crib). It's highly rated and available in a shorter option, as well as a version with a gray moon and dark green trees. Glowing review: "I love the quality of the materials and the simplicity!!! Brings me joy just looking at it makes me wonder why adults don’t these around the house! Just love everything about it and will keep around even after my child out grows it." 8 This Montessori-Inspired Mobile Designed To Help Baby Focus
Handmade from wood, cotton, and paper, this
Montessori-inspired mobile set is designed to guide your little one through various stages of development by encouraging focus and helping to develop vision and understanding of movement while cultivating aesthetic taste (because it's never too early to get some style). The manufacturer recommends swapping out each mobile at pre-determined times to optimize learning, but if you're not ready to invest in the (admittedly) pricy set, you can purchase certain mobiles individually.
It comes with an S hook for attaching to the ceiling, but does not include an
arm for crib installation. Glowing review: “I know how great this mobile is to develop eye and neck control by tracking. I am so glad I purchased it. I will purchase this for others in the future.” 9 A Colorful Mobile You Can Take On The Go
take-along mobile has an arm that attaches to crib, but you can also detach the arm and use the clip or Velcro strap to attach it to Pack 'n Plays and stroller or carrier handles when you're on the go. The mobile rotates and plays five soothing melodies for up to 30 minutes, but keep in mind there's no volume control. The mobile features a fox, owl, and sun, all of which are totally adorable, but you can also opt for other versions, including a black and white option that's great for younger infants. Batteries: 3 AA (not included) Glowing review: “With the Tiny Love Take Along Mobile, my baby is entertained for full 15 minutes or so. This is amazing to me because there is nothing else that can engage her for that long at this moment.” 10 The Mobile That Simulates Womb Sounds
crib mobile features five soothing sounds specifically selected by audiologists and clinicians, including womb heartbeat, lullabies, ocean waves, and white noise. Plus, the rotating mobile features reversible discs with black and white images on one side for infants under 6 weeks and colorful images on the other side that are great as the baby gets older. The mobile has adjustable volume and timer settings, and there's even a night light projector that displays a celestial sky on the ceiling walls. In other words, it's the priciest option on the list, but it just might be worth it.
The mobile attaches to the crib and is also available in a smaller, more
portable version that can be used on strollers and carriers, as well as cribs. (It's more affordable too.) Batteries: 4 C (not included) Glowing review: “For us it was a no brainer buying this item baby came home from NICU so wanted something that she was familiar with. She loved it then and loves it now.” 11 An Interactive Mobile Arch You Can Also Use On Your Stroller
With a unique and flexible design that stretches across both cribs and strollers, this
travel mobile is made from a soft, plush material and features pendants that can be used as teethers for growing babies. The pendants are interactive, too: The zebra squeaks, the lion rattles, and the monkey plays music. Plus, the black and white, zebra-print arch is visually stimulating to babies under 6 weeks, but the colorful accents and toys will keep them entertained as they grow.
One note: Some reviewers have reported that the item doesn't fit their crib, so double check your measurements to ensure a proper fit.
Glowing review: “My baby absolutely loves this! When not asleep he will look up at these toys and play and keep himself entertained! Fits our crib perfectly and easy to adjust!"