Baby Mobiles - How and why to use them to aid development

Baby mobiles are one of the first ways that you can actively engage your baby and aid their development. Mobiles aim to help develop the sense of sight. They help babies to practice focusing on and tracking moving objects and also retain their interest as their depth of vision and perception of colours improve.

By planning out what mobiles we will use and when to introduce them we can aid their development further by matching their current skills and helping them towards the next step.

Six baby mobiles including three inspired by Montessori

I made these mobiles in advance of Miss C being born. It was a lovely project to work on whilst pregnant and preparing for her arrival.

2 - 6 weeks old

High contrast black and white baby mobiles

The first mobiles I made were black and white and I introduced these to Miss C at approximately 2 weeks old. Waiting until 2 weeks gave her time as a newborn to simply settle into her new world. At this age babies can focus best on objects with high contrast and objects that are approximately 30cm away from their face (the distance from mother's breast to mother's eyes by no coincidence). The first mobiles are therefore black and white for the contrast and are hung close to baby. We have two spots in our house where we hang the mobiles. One is her play space over a sheepskin rug and next to a mirror, the other spot is above her change table.

For instructions on how to make the black and white felt mobile click here and for the pom pom mobile I simply made the pom poms and threaded them on embroidery thread at differing heights.

6 - 8 weeks old

Octahedron and paper crane baby mobiles

At approximately 6 weeks old I introduced the next set of mobiles. At this time a baby's perception of colour has improved and they are better able to distinguish between different colours. The octahedron mobile (instructions here) uses the 3 primary colours in shiny paper which also catches the light and shines beautifully. I made the paper crane mobile myself by following origami instructions and threading embroidery string through the back of each crane to hang them.

 8-12 weeks old

Montessori Gobbi mobile and pinwheel baby mobile

The Gobbi mobile (blue pom poms) is a beautiful Montessori inspired mobile. It is introduced at approximately 8 weeks old when baby has a better ability to distinguish between shades of colour and also has a better depth perception to see the balls at the varying heights. There are many DIY versions of this mobile on the internet, I decided to make mine out of pom poms using wool of varying shades to do so. At this point I also introduced a pinwheel mobile for Miss C using different shades of colours on the front and back. If I made this again I would have put no more than 5 pinwheels on the mobile.

4 Baby mobiles tused in developmental sequence

Miss C is currently 5 months old and we still keep these mobiles in rotation. We have now moved on to gross motor mobiles above her play space to encourage her to reach for and grasp objects but have kept a visual mobile above her change table. By rotating through these 6 mobiles she regains her interest in each one and still clearly enjoys looking at them. It is a nice way to keep her occupied during nappy changes too (for now!).

It is important to remember that whilst these mobiles are fabulous for babies and will engage them and aid their development, the very best thing for your baby and what they will enjoy looking at the most is your face and the faces of others who hold them. So keep baby close and give all the cuddles that you can too!

Happy Playing,

Alison :)

SAFETY: These mobiles are designed to be looked at not touched, so hang them out of reach of baby. They are also not babysitters and children should not be left unsupervised with them. Do not hang them over sleeping spaces and it is advisable not to hang them directly over baby's head.

Six handmade baby mobiles

For more baby mobile ideas you can follow my Pinterest board here. For a baby who is sitting you can read more about our interactive mobiles and treasure baskets for simple play ideas.

CONVERSATION

1 comments:

  1. Super cute! My 8 month old would love this! Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete

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