The Importance of Infant Mobile Exploration
With so many amazing options out there now, you can either buy or DIY your own infant mobile. I saved Cy's wooden play gym mobile that is easy to alternate different materials such as plush items, hanging toys, scarves, or noise makers. I also made these these DIY mobiles out of embroidery hoops when Cy was first born with various ribbons. It has been so sweet to be able to see how E explores the same mobiles Cy did.
Often we imagine a mobile as merely decor or safe place to your baby, while in reality they provide a number of different benefits to an infant. One of the first things mobiles ignite are visual stimulation. An infant’s vision is not yet fully developed when they are first born therefore initially they benefit the most from looking at hight contrast ones such as black and white. As the baby gets older they benefit more from bold shades of blue, red, yellow, and green. The more colorful the mobile is, the more visually stimulating it will be. You will also see as time progresses and continuous exposure, when they become excited enough by a mobile, they are likely to want to follow it with their eyes and engage even more.
Mobiles can also help develop an infant’s motor skills. Eventually as they get a little bit older, they will probably want to swat, touch, or grab the mobile which is a great sensory experience, sharpen their spatial awareness, bilateral coordination, as well as hand eye coordination.
Relaxation and sound timulation can be provided with a mobile. When they hear the different textures swift and move it helps stimulate and develop the baby’s hearing. The infant baby will learn to follow the motions and expect the toys to move when the music is played or sound is created when the objects move. Another way to engage is for the adult to intentionally talk about different shapes, colors, sounds, animals, textures, and more.
Overall mobiles can ignite a myriad of curiosity, stimulation, and developmental benefits. So whether you let them explore on a play mat, changing table, crib, or a DIY one, you can't really go wrong! It can also be a great way to get an older sibling involved and feel validated/empowered to help their little brother or sister play.